The Fyre Festival was a festival goer’s nightmare. Organizers promised a chic and luxurious experience in the Bahamas, with concert goers spending up to $12,000 to attend.The festival was promoted through influencer marketing, using Victoria Secret models, Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. The models were shown on luxurious beaches with jetskis, a huge concert and classy boats, all on a private island once owned by Paoblo Escobar. Yet, when people arrived to the concert site, there was construction, wet bedding, and tents instead of villas. The fact that it was a private Island made the disaster worse. When it became clear that staying on the Island was a bad idea for concert goers, (The night that they flew in) the airport was closed, thus trapping guests on the island.
The Fyre Festival, while being an absolute tragedy, demonstrated the power of influencer marketing. It promoted a new festival that no one had ever heard of and got people to buy tickets ranging from $1,500 to $12,000
Ever since the Fyre Festival’s catastrophe, the future of influencer marketing has been in question. In the weeks after the festival, news outlets were showing polls stating that consumers are no longer trusting influencers in the aftermath of the Fyre Festival.
But while there may have been a dip in the popularity of influencer marketing from the Fyre Festival backlash, influencer marketing is here to stay. Why?
Consumers are Not Responding to Traditional Marketing
47% of consumers in the 18-24 age range use ad blockers. Traditional web ads are being phased out of use. Video ads and commercials on television are getting less and less viewership. Netflix is slowly replacing traditional tv and Netflix doesn’t show ads (as of yet.) Additionally, the minute commercials come on when watching tv, phones come out and consumers are checking their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. Traditional marketing isn’t reaching consumers, yet influencer marketing is.
Organic Exposure 24/7
Influencer marketing is here to stay because its organic. Save for the Superbowl, no one watches TV to see the ads. Audiences on social media, however, are always looking at what products their favourite influencers are using. One can see this in the rise of youtube beauty gurus, fashion blogs, and vlogs featuring products. A morning routine on youtube could be an ad for a facewash, toothpaste, pyjamas, and the audience is actively seeking out the advertisement instead of having it blare at them on TV.
Yes, there has been a momentary dip in influencer marketing popularity. But, influencer marketing is actively replacing traditional marketing and consumers are responding positively to more personal and organic advertisements. For better or worse, influencer marketing is here to stay.