Picture a beautiful island vacation combined with a music festival highlighting some of the biggest stars on the planet. Picture seeing Blink 182, Disclosure, or Migos, all in the same festival. That’s literally something for everyone. Now picture spending $12,000 on that. Is it worth it? I mean if you spend $12,000 on anything, you’d expect it to be a quality product. Now…picture that “once in a lifetime” experience going wrong in the absolute worst way possible. By now you’ve probably heard about the beautiful disaster that was the Fyre Festival. For those who don’t, essentially the Fyre festival was partially planned by rapper Ja Rule (lol) as a music festival getaway in the Bahamas. Ideally, it’s pretty important to take a look into these kinds of failures and take a look into why things didn’t go according to plan from a marketing point of view. Without going into every detail, here are a couple of reasons why this went wrong.
Influencers & Promotion:
The event had some pretty big name influencers behind it. From famous models like Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid to Kendall Jenner, the event had some promotion that included some huge stars. However, influencer marketing is risky. You have to think of the product that you’re trying to promote along with the influencer’s brand. If something goes wrong with the product, it not only tarnishes the money spent to use influencers, but it tarnishes the influencer’s brand as well. Kendall Jenner’s recent disaster with Pepsi does not help at all.
In regards to actual advertising, the promotion was poor to begin with from the start as well. Check out the promotional video piece that was created for the event below:
Did anyone get anything out of that? The video doesn’t really show the product that people were looking to buy. Saying it’s a once in a lifetime event with a bunch of hot models dancing around doesn’t realllllly tell anyone what they were buying to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly gauged some interest, but when it comes down to it, I would not spend any money after watching that video, let alone thousands of dollars.
This in my opinion was probably the biggest reason why this failed miserably. Yes, music festivals can be difficult to plan. But you always have to expect that there will be a possibility that a big name will pull out. In this case, everyone pulled out. Yes, every big name pulled out of the event. While it is a bit of an unfortunate and unpredictable situation, you have to plan around these things. Event management is all about planning ahead, and even planning a proper risk management program. So what do you do in this scenario? Well, planning proper food and housing would probably a good start. The event offered limited food, and gave people tents that had very limited security. Ultimately when you’re taking $12,000 from people, making sure that you plan for the absolute worst would probably be a safe investment.
All in all, Fyre Festical was a disaster. From lack of product delivery and poor promotion, to lack of proper event planning, to horrible risk management, it’s hard to pinpoint what factor was the tipping point. Let this be a lesson to anyone in event planning. The way you market your product is important, but without delivery and execution you end up with situations like this: a nightmare.
Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.