Three Lessons Marketers Can Learn From The Fyre Festival
Published on April 10, 2019 on Forbes.com
At this point, a lot of people have watched one of the documentaries on the Fyre Festival (Netflix and Hulu). Like many, I watched the films with a sense of disbelief as the entire event crumbled into dust like a building being demolished by explosives. But, I was also watching the documentaries through my lens as a professional marketer who has organized multiple events over the years, although nothing as ambitious as the Fyre Festival aspired to be.
While the storyline of the Fyre Festival is fascinating and entertaining, it is a bit like watching a slow-motion train wreck. Afterward, I couldn’t help thinking about the many lessons marketers can take from the entire experience. So, here are three specific points that stood out from the festival’s collapse.
1. There are dangers in overpromising.
Part of being a successful marketer is making a product, event, offer, service or general message seem as appealing to the intended audience as possible. We use a variety of tactics, from compelling imagery and design to well-written content and enticing offers aimed at gaining our audience’s attention, getting them engaged and eventually taking action (making a purchase, etc.). But, experience demonstrates that making the final product look too good in marketing — much better than it actually is in reality — can have long-term negative impacts on a campaign or brand. There’s a fine line between realistically promoting the benefits of a product and overselling its potential to prospects.ss
The Fyre Festival obliterated this line and created a marketing vision of an event that it could never live up to — even if it had actually taken place. The videos of supermodels, yachts and a spectacular island setting absolutely worked from a marketing perspective. The organizers made it look like the event of a lifetime and had people lining up to pay for their luxury accommodations well in advance.
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