Fyre Festival was a complete Instagram SCAM. Wolf Millionaire explains how this all happened thanks to some high paid, Instagram Influencers with massive followers that ended up scamming and defrauding thousands of followers.
Fyre Festival was all anyone was talking about a couple months. I didn’t write about it immediately because I wanted to see how it unfolded and get all the facts before I decided to chime in. One thing I pride myself on is being transparent with all my followers as well as those new to my Wolf Millionaire teachings! Well there have been some damaging emails leaked online in the last couple days which further proves that Fyre Festival was a scam from it’s planning stages to extract the most amount of money from people who eagerly signed up!
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Fyre Festival – What Really Happened
In March, rapper and now controversy-embroiled entrepreneur Ja Rule spoke at a panel at Austin’s South By SouthWest festival entitled “Is Authenticity In Advertising Possible?” Two months later, with the dust still settling over his ill-fated Fyre Festival, the irony of his participation in that panel is as amusing as it is unsettling.
To recap, Fyre Festival, conceived of by Ja Rule and business partner Billy McFarland, was slated as a luxurious Bahamian get-away and music festival for the rich and famous. Attendees could pay from $1500 to $400,000 to schmooze, “glamp”, (thats glamorous camping) and scope music performances with celebrities and prominent online influencers in the paradise of Exuma Island.
The reality was much different: organizers failed to establish the proper infrastructure to support such an event, and many early attendees arrived at more of a wasteland than a paradise.
The Fyre Festival quickly fell apart and BLEW up (backfired) on Social Media as it was abruptly postponed after the first day, stranding those attempting to flee the Island.
Images of the festival quickly went viral, among them this representation of the food offerings of processed cheese and bread. The fest resembled a dystopia, or possibly a satirical comedy sketch, rather than an ultra-luxury party. Fyre Festival Media is now facing several lawsuits, including a class-action for over $100,000,000.
The incident has shed light on some of the pitfalls of Influencer Marketing. The festival was largely marketed on social media by models and influencers, including Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowksi, Hailey Baldwin, and Bella Hadid. It has become known that several influencers who promoted the event did not disclose the fact that they were being paid to do so, which not only violates FTC regulations, but complicates the public’s ability to trust social media marketing initiatives.
Though there isn’t much pleasure derived by someone causing another person’s misfortune, the role of the influencer and the trustworthiness of Influencer Marketing have never been more in question.
Kendall Jenner, arguably the most famous of all influencers involved in promoting Fyre Festival, was recently the star of the now-infamous Pepsi protest ad. The double whammy of being involved in a universally mocked (and subsequently pulled) TV spot, followed by her involvement in a disaster like the Fyre Festival, heightens the sentiment that the messaging carried by influencers can be bogus or ill-advised.
While Jenner shouldn’t necessarily be faulted for agreeing to market for these brands, an incident like Fyre Festival fraud illuminates a potential disconnect between influencers and the products and services they sell – how do we know that they know what they are really marketing?
Consumers in 2017 expect transparency in advertising, which is why the internet pounces on influencer scandals so ruthlessly. It’s also why the FTC is regulating influencer marketing. The term “influencer” is still fairly vague, so finding transparency among influencers may not be as clear-cut as one would hope. The effectiveness of having a product marketed through someone’s Instagram post lies in the supposed authenticity of the medium. While a TV ad is staged and heavily produced, an Instagram post in the form of an advertisement feels much more real. An incident like Fyre Festival calls into question the perceived realness of Influencer based social media marketing.
Caroline Issa, fashion director of Tank Magazine, warns that real consequences could be on the horizon for influencer marketing: “The influencer bubble will totally collapse in the next 12 months if people aren’t very careful about the money being thrown around as brands try to buy influencer placement.”
Issa is highlighting the fact that without transparency, influencer marketing can’t last in its current state. But transparency alone may not be enough. People feel personally connected to the influencers they follow online, so when an influencer becomes embroiled in a controversy about the very thing they are marketing, especially if their authenticity is challenged, followers could see that as a personal betrayal.
Check out some of these leaked emails from Mic that show PURE NEGLIGENCE and SCAM ALERT!
It should be noted that some Influencers do make concerted efforts to assure their followers that they are genuinely looking out for their best interests. Some (not many) Influencers won’t sell out simply to sell you some pie in the sky dream, some magic weight loss or anti-bloat tea just to make a few extra bucks. However for the most part you as a consumer should always question the merits behind what is being promoted to you by your favourite Instagram & Celebrity Influencers!
Wolf Millionaire Domination is the ONLY Instagram Guru and teacher who actually looks out for the wellbeing of others and I blog FOR FREE to teach others how to be safe on Instagram and the web! Make sure you read all my BLOG posts and my FREE Wolf Millionaire YouTube Videos! I want to TEACH YOU EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT INSTAGRAM STEP-BY-STEP!
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Ja Rule might have been genuinely interested in authenticity when he signed up for his SXSW panel in March. But now, no matter how much he insists that Fyre is (see image from his Twitter account above), he and McFarland have opened a Pandora’s Box on the discussion of authenticity in Instagram Influencer Marketing Money, and on the future of the influencer.
Remember telling the truth and being transparent with people in this very digital focused age we live in is the only way to win people over and connect with your fans. I do my best to keep it real and show ALL my followers that life isn’t always filled with rainbows and unicorns but it helps when you do your best to maintain a positive outlook!