How to deliver a viral video campaign: An analysis of Fyre Festival

Fyre Festival

Have you always wondered how marketing geniuses create content that hits viral status and explodes all over social media?

Let’s analyse the notorious Fyre Festival and find out how their video campaign took social media by a storm, translating into thousands of tickets sold and golden promotional material for the Fyre app (a booking system for music artists).

So, what exactly did the marketers at Fyre Festival do so well when it came to their video campaign? And what lessons can be learnt?

1. Choose your target market well

Branded as a ‘luxurious music festival’, the Fyre Festival marketing team understood their video campaign needed to appeal to a certain demographic. In their case, millennials and members of generation Z who enjoy music festivals and were willing to spend extra $$ for an exclusive experience. And what’s more exclusive than holding a music festival on an island once connected to Pablo Escobar?

So, the first takeaway is to identify the target market that would respond to your product or service best and make sure they have the financial capabilities to purchase or access it.

2. Understand the purpose of the video

After choosing your target market, decide the purpose of the video. Is it to generate hype around your product or service? To identify a certain demographic? To launch a new product? Or increase traffic to a website or socials?

The Fyre Festival marketing team crafted the #fyrefestival campaign to generate hype around their event.

How do you generate hype for millennials? You choose the appropriate platform that your demographic spends the most time on (Instagram in this case) and reach out to core influencers who frequently engage with their followers (who are your potential clients or customers) on the platform.

Whatever your video may be about, understand the purpose of the video and figure out the best plan of attack to reach out to your customers.

3. Choose your message and communicate it

So, you have chosen your target market and understood the purpose of your video campaign. Now it’s time to choose the message you want to communicate.

The message for the Fyre Festival was an ‘exclusive and luxurious music festival’. What’s your message?

Whatever the message may be, ask yourself, is the message clear? Will the target market understand it? Will they react to the message and share it? Do my competitors use the same message?

4. Storyboard the video campaign

Make sure to storyboard the video campaign. Use tools such as Canva or Google Sheets to work with your team to create a storyboard that will communicate your message best. Always make sure you storyboard a video that your customers will react to and want to share.

A video that is aspirational, controversial or relatable tends to position your video as more shareable. In Fyre Festival’s case, they used aspirational.

5. Start identifying your stakeholders

After you storyboard, it’s time to identify the participants in the actual shoot. Will there be models or actors? If so, who will they be? Celebrities and social media influencers? Will you have a photographer on the day? Is your videographer experienced? Where’s the location? Always remember to choose the stakeholders who will represent your product or the service well and understand how to attract consumer attention.

6. Determine your budget

Your budget is going to dictate what your video campaign is going to look like.

Although financials is the first thing you should agree upon at the start, financials shouldn’t be placed as the first strategy. It limits creativity.

As a campaign strategist, it’s your job to identify what type of campaign you think will convert viewers into buying customers. Do this without a budget in mind. This allows you to think outside of the box and dream big. Once you have an idea, bring the idea down a few notches.

7. Decide on your go-to-market strategy

Finally, make sure you decide on your go-to-market strategy. Will you be working with a PR agency? Write blogs to improve Google searchability and increase hype? Work with influencers to post about your video campaign launch just like Fyre Festival? Instagram stories? Paid ads?

A video campaign needs a solid go-to-market strategy or else why did you go through all the hassle of creating the campaign without knowing how it would be seen by your potential customers.

8. Test and analyse

After your campaign is launched, make sure to test and analyse your data. If it’s online ads, how many clicks, impressions or website visitors did the ad generate? Did it lead to downloads? Did your potential customers respond to it? Did people comment or share the content? Ensure that you calculate the metrics and find your return on investment. At the end of the day, that’s what the campaign is all about.  

NOW READ: Why a video news release needs to be part of your PR strategy

NOW READ: Rather than paying thousands of dollars, here’s how nine-month-old business SkilledSmart did its own PR


Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Apparently none of the lesson’s learnt relate to what an absolute scam the Fyre Festival was and that the advertising campaign was instrumental in selling that scam. So if you too have no moral compass and want to set up a global scam, follow the guide above.

SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.