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Category ArchiveAuthenticity in Marketing

Fyre Festival satire logo

How Fyre Fest Used Social Media to Fake Rich People Out For Epic Fail

Fyre Festival outhouseLast week’s much-hyped Fyre Festival, a musical excursion on a, “private island once owned by Pablo Escobar,” fell apart faster than a drunk sailor on a dilapidated dock in a hurricane.

But for many of us who have experience working in the music festival space, we saw this coming a mile away. For proof, check out the RS Article: Fyre Festival Disaster: Industry Vets Weigh in.

The amount of bullshit hype was probably the first clue that Fyre Festival was not all it was chalked up to be.

It’s also a good example of what Deep Creatives stays away from in terms of clients and projects. At the heart of great marketing and design is authenticity and this festival had none.

The over-hyped festival paid a handful of “social media models,” including Kendall Jenner upwards of $250,000 to create sizzle videos, buzz, and pictures for social media. Let’s stop here, and take a look at one of the official sizzle promos:

 

Here’s how the promoters put their festival into words:

Two unforgettable weekends of mystery and music, Fyre Festival is for those with uncompromising taste and a burning desire for adventure.

Set against the surreal island backdrop of the Exumas where ordinary rules don’t apply, Fyre ignites the best in music, cuisine, innovation and hospitality.

A closer look at the promos and the veneer begins to peel off. Instagram models were paid to sell a product that simply never existed. And to the legally trained eye, none of the models disclosed on their Snapchat, Insta, Twitter or Facebook posts that they were paid. Several class action lawsuits have already been filed alleging negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation. One lawsuit is claiming $100 million dollars in damages.

Fyre Festival tickets started at four grand a pop, twelve grand for VIP tickets, and reports of ultra-VIP tickets topped out at $250,000 circulated. So when the advertised “gourmet food,” ended up being soda, chips and cheese sandwiches, let’s just say it was a harbinger of things to come.  If the uber rich thought that that was a raw deal, they went from the frying pan into the fire; disaster relief tents instead of beach villas, leaking roofs (it rained), feral dogs roaming the beaches, no running water, massive housing shortages, and um – oh yeah, a cancelled show with thousands of rich kids wandering around with no idea what was really going on. To add insult to injury, the event’s disclaimer states that tickets are non-refundable.

The moral of the story? Make authenticity a core value of all your marketing projects. Be organic with your ideas, connections, and affiliations. Save the hype for your fishing stories. But before I sign off – here’s one of the “famous,” Instagram models talking about the fun she had at Fyre Festival.

Google Winter Wonderlab

How I expanded my business from Sacramento to San Francisco

Nutshell ver 3.0: 3 years in 60 seconds

Che and Sergey Brin at Wanderlust Tahoe

DC founder CT and Google co-founder Sergey Brin in Tahoe.

A week before Halloween in 2013, I found myself flying to Las Vegas courtesy of Google. A few weeks later I was helping Google test the waters in retail space at Google’s Snowglobe. When the party was over and the Google gig began fading away in my rear view mirror, I headed up to Lake Tahoe where I ran into Google co-founder, Sergey Brin. We had a brief and inspired engagement about international food and where he could find some. This auspicious event triggered me to get back on the Google train, which I did and promptly.

Today, I’m preparing to take my Google game to Oakland and San Francisco to meet with some major players in the 501(c)3 space. That may sound mundane, but trust me – it’s anything but routine.

Google Explores Retail

In 2013, Google took a serious pitch at entering the retail game, albeit late when compared to their rival, Apple. Sure, they had endcaps at Best Buy, but this pitch would be much stronger than setting shop up under somebody else’s tent.  Enter Google’s pop-up shop, aka Snowglobe. This effort required some 200+ trained Google Specialist to keep the shops running smoothly across the country from New York to Los Angeles.

As the week-long training came to a close, the prospect of failing the final exam was nerve-racking. Had I come this far only to fail and be left behind by one of the world’s most successful companies in tech? Hell no. I passed with a relatively low score of 97%, but it worked for me.

On my flight home, I thought about all the endless possibilities before me. Could I land a gig at Googelplex? How would I handle the commute from Sacramento? Were there other ways to get on but stay in Sacramento? Could I be a Google marketing manager at Best Buy? Did I really want to work at Best Buy? Who did I know at Google? All that I knew for sure is that this was just the beginning of a long-term relationship and I was betting big all on Google.

As I wrapped up my last shift on Christmas Eve, I felt triumphant but also knew that I had to figure out how to continue working with Google. As luck would have it, three months later, Google launched a program called “Google Partners.” I jumped in hook, line, and sinker. This was exactly what I needed to keep my Google “juice,” fresh and not allow my recent experience to fade to black.

Getting Googley

Vince Vaughn never gave up, we don't either.

Vince Vaughn never gave up, we won’t either.

Google Partners are tested and certified by Google as competent ad specialists, (AdWords).  Their ad system is fairly complex and requires serious studying and hands-on use before becoming an adept user. By 2016, I was managing Google Ad campaigns for the Sacramento Public Library, the Sacramento Zoo, The Crocker Art Museum, The California Nurse Practitioner’s Association, The Sacramento Philharmonic and others.

As 2016 came to a close, I began working more and more with nonprofits. My job evolved to help them leverage Google For Nonprofits and Google Grants, both of which are well suited for management by Google Partners.

 

The Takeaway

After three years and three months of working on Google stuff, the upshot is that it’s super critical to know your stuff better than the next person. After that, keep your professional relationships alive with regular communication. Lastly, realize innovative ways to apply what you’ve learned and carve out a new niche market if you can.

Know your stuff better than the next person. Communicate regularly with your network. Carve out a niche market.

Within 24 hours, I will be expanding my services into Oakland and San Francisco’s financial district. The players at the table have budgets beyond my wildest imagination. I’m not trying to get rich here, I’m trying to make a living and provide nonprofits with value added services that put money and results back in their pockets.

I like to tell clients that my goal is to help them realize a 10-to-1 return on investemt. For every dollar they spend with me, they get ten back.

As an aside, I was approached by Wanderlust management after I was spotted walking around with Sergey. They asked me if I knew how to get in touch with Google so they could present a proposal. Yes, I answered and dug into my digital Rolodex. I shot off some emails and made a few phone calls to Googlers I knew. Long story short, Google ended up being on-site the next year with Google Play Music. Below is the video they produced from this experience. My job often feels like a connector or people and ideas which often leaves me outside looking in. Lucky for me, I’ve got a memory like an elephant. Even better, I’ve finally developed a niche service for a huge market and I barely have to leave home to meet with my new clients, and besides all that – I love San Francisco and Oakland.

 

 

 

Advertising Burning Man Style

Burning Man Videos and Fiya

Original post: September 6, 2016
Edited: September 19, 2016

Burning Man is arguably the most fantastic display of human ingenuity and art and architecture and music and high vibes. Over the years, many inspired videos have emerged and 2016 was no exception. DC’s mashup includes a remix of a 2015 live dj morning set at the Pink Mammoth party.



“Sunrise at Burning Man,” is a mashup featuring moments from Burning Man 2015-2016. It was published on Youtube on August 31, 2016. It was simultaneously published on Facebook as a native video, (embedded), under the title, “BM Playa Temple Love mashup-remix 2016.” As of September 6, 8:20 a.m. PDT – 7,502 views have been clocked on Youtube. Credits to

The Christina, burning boat on the playa in Black Rock City, Nevada.

Burning Man proves timing is everything in digital marketing.

Imagine my surprise today when YouTube reflected more than 7,000 views.  Am I cheating with smart hashtags or backlinks or simply asking friends to like and share? No. My “cheat,” was in the timing. Sounds like something I read in Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War.”

The days when brands could buy their way into markets are behind us. The paramount key to great marketing today is no longer shrink-wrapped, slick or glossy. Nay. Those qualities will kill your brand fast as a millennial can swipe left on a beat troll on Tinder.

Virtually all adults and most teens are armed with oceans of real-time info about anything because Google. It’s best not to risk your company and brand’s digital rep by veering off the course set by authenticity. Successful brands keep their messages authentic and time their launch dates.

Three mantras of authentic marketing

  • organic relationships, (not paid)
  • legit shit, (really good product(s))
  • culture as a brand

 

Keep Calm and Keep it Stupid sign

Rule #1, KISS.

Brands cannot buy this stuff. They try, but reputation and authenticity are not items a brand can simply purchase. They can only build it from and with some metaphorical and real sweat equity. Much of the time, that’s all a small boutique agency has.

 

Agencies continue to bamboozle their clients into spending more money on storytelling, even if the story isn’t completely true. Doubt this? You spent about $700 on your last smart-phone. So tell me, what’s your phone’s story? Crickets, I hear crickets.

The answer to succeeding in brand building, marketing, advertising and ultimately sales and brand loyalty is genuine, old-fashioned, authenticity and nothing communicates that like video.

 

Hello Story-Doing

Broadcasting stories is falling flat on all mediums. What to do? How are you gonna get your story out there and heard, and acted upon? Try shining a bright light and speak to the medium of people. In other words, give the people what they want.

Hello Video

Video is the premier channel that all great marketing campaigns seek to leverage.  Smart  phones have become the great equalizer, putting the power of video into the hands of “everyday people.” Apple’s story-doing campaign, “Shot on iPhone,” is captivating audiences with aspirations that maybe they can “GoPro,” to steal a mantra from another camera brand.

It’s an elegantly simply call-to-action: buy an iPhone, make great videos. Will that translate to clicks and shares and brand building? Maybe, maybe not. What I discovered is elegantly genius, in our pursuit of making videos “work.”



Case Study

DeepCreatives has been developing a brand in Lake Tahoe called Tahoelove. The brand is a conglomerate of sorts, blending information about the stuff that makes Tahoe magical: mountain bike trails, outdoor festivals, concerts, skiing info, apres ski, fun vibes and of course the very lake itself. With a mere 350 likes on Faecbook as of this posting, it’s not exactly registering on anybody’s social media richter scale. But this fact goes to show the sheer power of doing video right. If I’ve got 300 odd likes on a FB page, how is it generating thousands of impressions? That’s right, sharing and liking. And that’s not easy to buy, but when it’s organic, i.e., word of mouth, well, it’s hard to stop.

Timing is Everything

Last week, as friends began showing up at Black Rock City, aka the Burning Man locale, large and small media outlets began teasing “stories,” about the greatest show on earth. They were all boring. An epiphany hit me. Make a mashup video for Burning Man. Tag it properly. Describe it well. Publish the shit out of it, and share it.

These guys don’t know jack about BM. They’re not burners, they’re reporters.

I threw all the “ingredients,” unto my proverbial cutting block where I edited and pieced together my final cut. At the same time, I listened to white label mashups on Soundcloud from Burning Man 2015 waiting for the perfect song. Half a day later, I finished the final cut and loaded the edit on Tahoelove’s FB page, and simultaneously on my Youtube Channel.

The first 24 hours racked up 700 views. Good. A week went by, 9,000 views on both channels. Wow. In the end, I’ve built up some brand indentity, some new Likes and subscribers on two of the biggest social channels on the web. This will go a long way, soon, as I prepare to launch a product line for Tahoelove. You can bet poles to skis, I’ll be running video for that launch.

 

Burning man accidental fire turns into epic photo shot.

Adam Pollina’s set burns accidentally.

Photo by @peterruprecht

The flames are not supposed to be there. This blazing set was created for an epic playa performance that was to be documented with photographs. Designer Adam Pollina worked for six months on it, handmaking everything in Bali, and every detail of the production was carefully planned. And yet, before the show began, the set and all the props caught on fire (no one knew why). At the last minute, photographer Peter Ruprecht yelled to the whole cast and crew to move to the upwind side of the fire and get at least one shot. “The photo is, to me, proof positive of perseverance through disaster…,” Ruprecht says. “IT BECAME ONE OF MY FAVORITE photos ever.” | #burningman #blackrockcity #brc