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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.

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


Founder of DC wins 1st Place at Palace of Fine Arts: Teton Gravity Social Media Contest

Big Mountain Movie Further with Famous Truckee Mountaineer, Jeremy Jones

Deep Creative’s founder, CT, took first place in a social media contest by delivering the most paid attendees at a movie premier in San Francisco’s, Palace of Fine Arts.

(TGR), had completed post-production for their latest trilogy and big mountain snowboard movie – Further. Instead of dropping wads of cash on advertising, they did something unique for the time; they held a simple contest using Facebook and Twitter. The contestant delivering the most paid attendees won.

This unique opportunity to go head-to-head with San Francisco’s best and brightest was met with some trepidation, after all, this entire event and contest was held at ground zero of the digital revolution and marketing capitol of the world. But when the first week’s results were published, DC’s founder had inched out the top spot by several tickets. Week two came and it was all hands on deck;  DC pulled out all the stops, nabbed 1st place and kicked off an epic winter in Tahoe because of it.

Teton Gravity Research is one of the world’s most respected brands in action sports media with roots deeply planted in the ski/ride and surf spaces.

Founded in 1996 by two brothers in Wyoming, hence the name, TGR produces films with environmental messages, yet it also produces advertising for a wide range of manufacturers. The company is a key partner to organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation, Protect Our Winters, and 1% For The Planet.

Deep Creatives wins social media contest in San Francisco

Jeremy Jones at Teton Gravity’s premier of his movie, Further: San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, 2012.


Videos on Facebook are King of Content

The numbers are in:  Facebook videos have quietly and quickly become the #1 most clicked content on social media.  Once upon a time, that slot belonged to photos. But photos are so 2013, and we all know what 2 years means in social media, heck, that’s like a decade.  While YouTube has stagnated, even declined in uploads, FB is growing like a weed.

This-is-TahoeLast week, I finally got around to putting the wraps on editing a life-style and sports video of all the things that I love about Tahoe. When I finished, I realized that instead of linking from YouTube, I could show my friends and connections on Facebook that I was the editor if I uploaded it to my Page.  So I did just that.  Of course, I also loaded it to Youtube, but the tools that FB gave me to track metrics were way better than they were just a few months ago.  I was sold.  Personally, I don’t like clicking links to Youtube from my mobile device, when I’m on FB, I kinda like to just stay there.

Read the full report from May 2015 in Business Insider: Facebook is Stealing Vast Chunks of YouTube’s Business.

If you own a business, a video could help you, a lot.  Here’s a few key things to think about when doing a video to promote your business.

  • Keep it authentic
  • Learn how to edit or find somebody who’s good at it
  • “Pin it” to the top of your FB Page aka Feature it
  • Learn how to use music effectively and make sure you have rights to it
  • Keep it short – the average time viewers watched my video was 56 seconds
  • Brand it
  • Use a Call-to-Action
  • Market it
    • Use a professional and interesting cover/intro
    • Load it on Youtube
    • Tag it and write a good description and use links
    • Load it directly into your Page on FB and tag it
    • Link/embedded on other sites
      • Twitter
      • Redit
      • Relevant Group Pages on FB
      • Youtube
      • Your website
    • Share it with close friends
    • Share it with good clients

Adam Callinan echos a few of my tips in this month’s issue of  Entrepreneur.

5 Tips for Effectively Setting Up Facebook Ads

The viral video, “This is Tahoe,” reached 20,000 eyeballs in just about 72 hours or 3 days. To be honest, that’s only 10,000 people and some 3,000 actual views with an average time spent watching of 56 seconds on Facebook.

But, and this is a BIG BUT,

The total reach and engagement was completely organic without any boost or advertising.  And not once did I ask anybody to share it. To be fair, I do run a small digital agency and have amassed a small amount of FB Pages which I manage.  And because of the organic relationships I have cultivated, it was not too difficult to find Pages that were all about Lake Tahoe. So sharing on those pages helped make the reach go big.

Below is the post on Youtube.  No effort was made to push traffic to this video vs. the one on FB because, well, I wanted to focus on social where I’d get more tread from my work.  If you want help with your next video project, feel free to contact me directly for a free evaluation of your plan and I’ll send you an outline of what I’d do if I were you.

Deep Creatives can develop your next video including script, filming and editing.

Social Octopus

Social Media octopusDeep Creatives has been an early adopter of social media from day one. Suffice it to say, we’re not on MySpace anymore. In fact, when somebody uses poor social media etiquette, it’s not uncommon to read the term, “Dude, that’s so Myspacey.” That’s not a good thing.


DC has a lot of experience running sophisticated contests to super engaging boosted posts and more. DC can help you design a campaign that actually works for your brand as well as your customers and potential customers. We don’t just create win-wins, we create WIN-WIN-WINS! With more than 40 Facebook Pages under our wings, we kinda have a clue about how stuff works.  This page is dedicated to showcasing some of the ideas and creatives designed and deployed by DC.


From Facebook Pages and Groups to crazy clever hashtags, we know what works and what doesn’t. To be honest, not every company needs a Twitter or Instagram account. . Others still might  need to upgrade their management strategies with HootSuite and WooBox. If all this has you wondering what your next smart move is should be in the social media space, you might be surprised to hear what DC has to say. After all, we’ve worked with many agencies from all around the country, and let’s just say most of them will sell you a bridge in Nevada. We’ll give it to you straight and in plain language that you can understand.