Fyre Festival: The Most Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign for a Failed Music Festival, Ever

Promises of luxurious cabanas, high-end cuisine, and partying with supermodels on a private island were advertised for what is now the biggest music festival scam in history. As many of you social media gurus may know, this is the story of the infamous Fyre Festival. Both Netflix and Hulu came out with separate documentaries about the madness behind the music festival, and we’re here to talk about it. From a social media marketing perspective, it was, well, pretty genius. As digital marketers ourselves, there were a few key takeaways from the documentaries that really stood out to us.

Fyre Festival’s Marketing

First and foremost, both documentaries clearly showed how outsourcing social media marketing services can be incredibly beneficial for your company. Billy McFarland, the Founder and CEO of Fyre Media which promoted the Fyre Festival, decided to hire the social media agency Jerry Media to promote for Fyre. Hate all you want, but man did Jerry Media run their social media account like a boss!

The concept of running a complete social influencer campaign, which consisted of 400 influencers posting a bright orange image with the #fyrefestival, was brilliant. As mentioned in the Netflix documentary, powerful models pretty much built the entire festival.

Social Influencers and the Power of Instagram

If there’s one thing both documentaries proved, it’s that you should never underestimate the power of social media. In Hulu’s documentary, social media strategist Vickie Segar perfectly worded it as “Instagram social media marketing, or influencer marketing, is the most impactful form of marketing for an entire generation.”

With the world’s top supermodels like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Baldwin promoting the event through Instagram, Fyre Festival quickly became the most talked about event in a matter of hours. Tapping into millennial’s FOMO (fear of missing out) and the need to be a part of something so culturally relevant was the underlying theme that drove Fyre’s promotional content. Rohan Midha, managing director of the influencer agency PMYB, stated in the Netflix documentary “While Fyre itself was a disaster, the marketing choices behind it were not. It just shows how powerful influencers can be.”


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