Instagram V Reality? FYRE

Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened launched on Netflix just a few days ago and yet it is all everyone is speaking about, well certainly in our offices anyway! The compelling and jaw-droppingly exposing documentary showcases Instagram V Reality.


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Posting our best bits on Instagram may be innocent, but people’s lives were ruined because of this façade in Billy McFarlane’s desperate attempt to have anyone who is anyone talking about, sharing and attending The Fyre Festival.

However, it was clear that the fraudster, Billy McFarlane himself was living in this Instagram filtered world ignoring the realities of what was a catastrophe waiting to happen. The show made us sit back and think about our new Social Media reality and the dark sides of it at times. As much as we do enjoy sharing a photo of our eggs benedict in our fave new brunch spot or sharing our pre-flight beers #basic in an innocent and fun way this can, in fact, is not always the reality all the time.

The influencer culture is losing authenticity, and users are seeing through it, and nothing showcased this more than in this documentary. The Fyre Festival created a buzz by reaching out to influencers to post a simple orange tile on their feed and got users speaking about this ambiguous square. Kendall Jenner reportedly got paid $250,000 just to post this. See below Bella Hadid featuring this orange tile on her feed:

When we work closely with brands and influencers, we are forever conscious of the end user and how they will consume the content and that the expectations of this can be met. It was evident that Billy McFarlane and his team did not consider this and blankly ignored the realities and expectations of their customers. One BBC News Reporter stated, “Fyre was basically like Instagram coming to life.” See below photo captured by an attendee of The Fyre Festival’s promised 5-star lunch versus actual reality.

One line in the documentary made by Mr McFarlane to defend his actions was “The internet doesn’t have teachers, parents or rules, no one to tell you what is wrong”, however this mindset went beyond the internet and in fact did have real-life consequences, demonstrating the dangers of your online behaviours.

However, this documentary reinstated the demand for brands to speak authentically to their audiences, and therefore there is a fantastic opportunity and makes us extremely excited for what is to come in the Social Media space.  Brands need to get cleverer, be transparent and admit when they have made a wrong move. As there is a clear backlash against the traditional influencer, see below tweet from Jameela Jamil, fighting against this type of Influencer marketing.

As stated, there is a clear demand for brands to speak to their customers differently, and this sparks the rise of the ‘micro influencer’, whereby they have a much smaller following, but are niche and targeted with audiences that are deeply connected to them. Micro-Influencers are relatable, trustworthy and genuine – This is an opportunity and direction for brands that we are extremely excited about! At Climb Online, we have always worked with brands helping them speak to their customers in a real, authentic yet innovative way and as customers get savvier, this is now a demand for the industry. We’re already on board, come join us!

Step aside Kardashians, there’s a new kid on the block!

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