☕ All fired up
To:Brew Readers
Marketing Brew // Morning Brew // Update
Billy McFarland on marketing Fyre Fest 2.
{beacon} Advertisement
September 19, 2023

Marketing Brew


It’s Tuesday. Join us for an exclusive conversation with Twilio’s CMO Joyce Kim as we delve into the world of AI-powered marketing. Discover how AI is changing marketing tactics and explore the essential tools every digital marketer should have in their arsenal. Don’t miss out—secure your spot today.

In today’s edition:

—Jasmine Sheena, Ryan Barwick


Playing with fyre

Billy McFarland Fyre Festival Francis Scialabba

One of the biggest cultural moments of the 2010s was one that didn’t happen: Anyone with a pulse in 2017 remembers Fyre Fest, the doomed luxury music festival that pulled out all the marketing stops.

Think supermodels like Kendall Jenner as part of a curated influencer group the festival referred to as “Fyre starters” posting blank orange tiles on their Instagram pages, igniting confusion and online discussion. Think a viral, splashy ad featuring other models like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber at the beach.

However, it all fell apart when the festival didn’t actually happen due to poor planning, which stranded festival attendees on the Bahamian island of Exuma. (You remember the infamous photo of a pathetic-looking cheese sandwich taken by a festival attendee that went viral on Twitter.) In 2018, entrepreneur and festival co-creator Billy McFarland pleaded guilty to charges related to defrauding both festival investors and vendors.

The incident birthed documentaries on Netflix and Hulu, as well as four years in a federal prison for the man behind it all: McFarland, who owes roughly $26 million to those he defrauded. It wasn’t the first time McFarland has been associated with questionable business ventures, either (Google “Magnises” to find out more).

Now McFarland, who got out of prison last year, is back with plans for Fyre Fest 2. The first drop of pre-sale tickets for the event—scheduled for December 6, 2024, at an undisclosed Caribbean island—have sold out (100 went for about $500 a pop), according to the event’s website.

McFarland spoke with Marketing Brew about how he’s rolling out the second iteration of the infamous event with the help of a festival company he would not disclose.

Read our conversation here.—JS



Saddle up for a gold rush


Does it feel like your biz has been livin’ in the desert when it comes to successfully leveraging first-party data?

Listen up, partner: StackAdapt’s got a li’l something that’ll make you say, “Eureka!” We’re talking about their new webinar, Transform 1st-Party Data into Advertising Gold. Get ready to start absolutely crushing your personalized digital strategies.

This bad boy has everything you need to level up. Say hello to top-notch insights on topics like:

  • the rise of first-party data and its impact on digital advertising
  • how to leverage potential sources of first-party data across channels
  • the best practices for data segmentation and audience targeting
  • using first-party data to offer personalized customer experiences

Bring the boom to your first-party data.


Think of the children

kids on phones Vera Livchak/Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission is worried about blurred lines. No, not that one. It’s worried about how “blurred advertising,” or ads that don’t clearly look like ads, could impact kids.

Last week, the FTC released new recommendations for advertisers to more clearly distinguish between entertainment and ads.

While many advertisers might love an immersive, contextual, dare we say organic environment, the FTC is concerned that children may struggle to tell the difference between what’s just content and what’s a paid advertisement, “potentially leading to deception, as well as physical, psychological, financial, privacy, and other harms,” a post about its recommendations reads.

Its advice? Don’t do it. “The best way to prevent harms stemming from blurred advertising is to not blur advertising. There should be a clear separation between kids’ entertainment and educational content and advertising, using formatting techniques and visual and verbal cues to signal to kids that they are about to see an ad,” the post notes.

The commission provided some suggestions on how to avoid this blurring. For instance, it suggested including written and verbal disclosures that can help signify that something is an ad, pointing to lines such as, “We will be right back after these commercial messages.”

Keep reading here.—RB



Coworking with Geoff Renaud

Geoff Renaud in Marketing Brew's Coworking Geoff Renaud

Each week, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Geoff Renaud is co-founder and CMO of Invisible North, an experiential marketing agency that’s worked with brands like Bumble, Klarna, and Under Armour.

Favorite project you’ve worked on? I’ve been an advisor to the founder of Coachella for over 20 years. Being part of the core team and helping set the vision for the largest live music event in the world has been the most amazing part of my career. Over the years, my contributions to the festival have varied, but I’m really proud of the work we did together to take its Web3 strategy off the ground last year.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? It’s a classic, but Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercial. It has to be one of the longest-running and most successful ads of all time. From the heart-wrenching picture to the emotional lyrics, it works. They’ve raised millions of dollars for homeless pets. As an animal rescuer, it just gets me every time. I want to send them more and more money whenever I see it.

One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile: I’m a world-class harmonica player. Unfortunately, that gets less and less cool over the years, but I could play anything. I love to jam.

What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Least? I’m most optimistic when I see how AI is going to be used to transform every aspect of business. It’s going to be a wild ride. On the other hand, it’s hard to watch brands try to figure out NFTs and Web3 before Web3 is figured out. It’s far too early for some of these NFT marketing strategies to work. Brands need to know how to interact with consumers in a regulated manner to see success.

What’s one marketing-related podcast, social account, or series you’d recommend? The Download by MIT Technology Review. It’s a fun, engaging daily must-read (other than Marketing Brew, of course). It has an incredible range of insights and news across the broad tech spectrum.



WordPress VIP

Raising the stacks. Want sustainable business growth, executive buy-in, and access to resources? Embrace the data-driven revolution and secure the right martech stack. Download the Martech Trends Report 2023 from WordPress VIP and unpack the trends that will impact your business over the next 12 months. Dive in.


French press Morning Brew

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

Cup of joe: Retail Brew spoke with Nespresso’s North America CEO about social media, sustainability, and more.

Searching for so long: A guide to bolstering your SEO efforts.

Picture perfect: All the video specs you need for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more.

Cut through the noise: And get to the heart of what your customers really want with SurveyMonkey. Choose from ready-made templates or create your own custom survey when you sign up for free.*

Pitch-perfect planning: Looking for a more harmonious marketing strategy? Contentful’s Marketer’s Guide to Composable Content helps you quickly create dynamic experiences across your digital channels. Get the report.*

*A message from our sponsor.


Are you an exec looking to make your next career move or join a board of directors? We’ve partnered with ExecThread, where you can find thousands of confidential job opportunities and board roles that aren’t listed anywhere else. Check out positions like:


two hands shaking Francis Scialabba

Mergers and acquisitions, company partnerships, and more.

  • Netflix and SK Broadband, a South Korean telecom company, formed a partnership to end a long-running legal feud over mobile data costs.
  • The Writers Guild of America is slated to restart talks with studios Wednesday as the writers strike stretches past the 140-day mark.
  • Wasserman, a sports and music-focused management firm, acquired the Hollywood talent agency and production company Brillstein Entertainment Partners.


Share Marketing Brew with your coworkers, acquire free Brew swag, and then make new friends as a result of your fresh Brew swag.

We’re saying we’ll give you free stuff and more friends if you share a link. One link.

Your referral count: {{profile.vars.referral_count}}

Click to Share

Or copy & paste your referral link to others:


Written by Jasmine Sheena, Ryan Barwick, and Kelsey Sutton

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

{if !contains(profile.lists,"Marketing Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"CFO Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"HR Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"EmTech Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"IT Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"Retail Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"Healthcare Brew")}

Take The Brew to work

    {if !contains(profile.lists,"Marketing Brew")} {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"CFO Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"HR Brew")}
  • Corporate: {if !contains(profile.lists,"CFO Brew")} CFO Brew   {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"HR Brew")} HR Brew {/if}
  • {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"EmTech Brew") || !contains(profile.lists,"IT Brew")}
  • Tech: {if !contains(profile.lists,"IT Brew")} IT Brew   {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"EmTech Brew")} Tech Brew {/if}
  • {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"Retail Brew")}
  • Retailers: Retail Brew
  • {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"Healthcare Brew")}
  • Healthcare: Healthcare Brew
  • {/if}
{if !contains(profile.lists,"Daily Business") || !contains(profile.lists,"Money Scoop") || !contains(profile.lists,"Money With Katie")}

Get smarter in just 5 minutes

    {if !contains(profile.lists,"Daily Business")}
  • Business News: Morning Brew
  • {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"Money Scoop") || !contains(profile.lists,"Money With Katie") || !contains(profile.lists,"Raise")}
  • Money & Career: {if !contains(profile.lists,"Money Scoop")} Money Scoop   {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"Money With Katie")} Money With Katie   {/if} {if !contains(profile.lists,"Raise")} Raise {/if}
  • {/if}

Business education without the BS

Interested in podcasts?

  • Check out ours here

Update your email preferences or unsubscribe here.
Please Note: We've recently updated our Privacy Policy. View our privacy policy here.

Copyright © 2023 Morning Brew. All rights reserved.
22 W 19th St, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011
Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.