Let’s talk about the Fyre Festival. How could we not?
Brilliant ways to make meaningful connections are born what seems like every day. Filled with possibility and potential, many suffer the same fate. Trampled on. Used and abused. They end up a vast wasteland of what could have been. How symbolic.
Let’s call it the Buzzword Boom: Viral. Millennial. Engagement. Influencer. AUTHENTICITY.
We’ve seen it happen with every shiny new marketing toy, and influencer marketing is no exception.
In the aftermath of the Fyre Festival-that-never-was, influencer marketing has a(nother) big, black eye. With hundreds of “Fyre Starters” promoting what promised to be a glamorous musical escape to paradise (almost none of which was done in compliance with FTC guidelines), you could almost hear the clambering over tables and chairs as said Fyre Starters rushed for their phones to delete their posts and absolve themselves of any involvement with the event and its promoters.
Last year, we all pointed and cringed when Scott Disick and Naomi Campbell both – within days of one another – lazily copied and pasted a rep’s email, verbatim, into their six figure Instagram captions. But not before the entire internet took note…and took screen shots.
It’s a sad day in marketing when the word authenticity has lost its luster, because it is the only thing that matters.
Collectively, we need to take a long, hard look at the new wonderchild of marketing… influencers. Because black eye or not, the fact is, social media IS an incredibly powerful way for brands to reach untapped audiences. There are, in fact, niche communities of all shapes and sizes that exist beyond a brand’s organic reach. But choosing the right partners – for the right reasons – is now more important than ever.
But first, some backstory:
As digital communications channels have evolved, matured and been fed with larger and larger budgets (which is f*&ck!ng amazing), somewhere in a parallel universe, traditional entertainment models have seen the walls close in around them. iTunes. Amazon. DVR. On Demand. Disruption.
While these shifts have taken place simultaneously, as paradoxical as they seem, they’ve also opened the door to a new kind of marketing. Let’s call it Entertainment Sponsorship 2.0, where brands, artists and fans converge in much the same way they always have, but at scale…and they’re meeting fans on their terms, where they play.
No matter what side of the fence you sit on, we can all agree on this: people need entertainment. They need their music. They need their TV shows. They need to laugh, cry, and be inspired. Without entertainment, we lack that everlasting connection to story.
Social media and entertainment have an opportunity to rekindle the old flame. When brands support bands, fans support brands.
Remember Michael Jackson and Pepsi? We all do (which means something). When talking about the iconic partnership many years ago, in 2009 Brian J. Murphy, then executive VP of branded entertainment at TBA Global, said “You couldn’t separate the tour from the endorsement from the licensing of the music, and then the integration of the music into the Pepsi fabric. If you pulled any one of those pieces apart, it really took away from what the campaign was all about.”
It’s not about reach or impressions. Or engagement. Or actions. It’s not about hands in the air or smiles or stories the morning after. It’s about all of it. And it’s invaluable. That is why BygMusic exists – to connect brands to artists – and therefore their fans – in meaningful ways.
This is the Creator Generation. And what a truly wonderful thing that is for people to be able to create art and deliver it directly to people who care and support them.
Calling all marketers: let’s not let go of authenticity. Let’s not forget the power of entertainment. Let’s do better.
BYGMusic Campaign and Content Strategist