Influencers' 'Surprise' Wedding Proposal Revealed as Cynical Publicity Stunt

Influencers' 'Surprise' Wedding Proposal Revealed as Cynical Publicity Stunt

What seemed like a dream wedding proposal-gone-viral is now thought to be little more than a publicity stunt manufactured by an Instagram fashion influencer and her soon-to-be husband.

As detailed by The Atlantic, Marissa Casey Fuchs has spent the last couple of days on a scavenger hunt across two continents, conveniently tracked by various media outlets who seemed to know all of the details of this surprise trip. The discovery of a pitch deck — a carefully designed PDF littered with photos of the couple that outlines the travel itinerary and social media posting schedule — suggests that the bride was not as unwitting as the posts themselves make out.

Inevitably, the stunt has drawn some ire in the comments on the couple’s Instagram but, despite the emergence of the love story’s as a cynical marketing ploy, it seems to have worked. @fashionambitionist has gained more than 50,000 followers in the last ten days.

Those seeking to create partnerships with the fashion influencer might want to keep in mind that HypeAuditor suggests that her Instagram shows “follow/unfollow patterns,” “massfollowing patterns,” and that her “audience might be inauthentic.”

Example pages from the couple's pitch deck sent to companies and media outlets.

Example pages from the couple's pitch deck sent to companies and media outlets.

As The Atlantic notes, influencers seem to be relatively immune to ethical missteps and public outrage as the bond with their audience means that their followers treat them as friends rather than mere celebrities and are thereby much more forgiving of questionable behavior.

What next for Instagram influencers? Which other life events can be packaged as a marketing opportunity? Giving birth? Funerals? Your thoughts in the comments, please.

Lead image from StockPhotoSecrets.

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17 Comments

Carl Murray's picture

... and this has what, exactly, to do with photography? Maybe rebrand Fstoppers as the digital version of a goss/tabloid magazine, because damn there has been a lot of that garbage here recently.

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

Lemme guess? Free stock image? I think the editors are under the influence.

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

"What next for Instagram influencers? Which other life events can be packaged as a marketing opportunity? Giving birth? Funerals?"

Everything is a market if you are a big enough piece of shit to milk it. And these influencers are massive turds bobbing around waiting to stick to any cancer or crisis they can.

They will only get worse. And it dosen't help when you swell their bloated ego's with these regurgitated articles.

Michael Kormos's picture

I'm more saddened and disturbed by the fact that my 4 kids are growing up in a world where they may potentially see being an "influencer" as an actual career choice.

Jason Lorette's picture

Many already do...in a world of influencers, who are they actually influencing?

Leigh Miller's picture

.....more "stock" images from Unsplash?

Patrick Hall's picture

Nope, paid stock images! We did the “right” thing

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

Should have just done the right thing and not the "right" thing. It would have seemed a lot more genuine.

Leigh Miller's picture

Listen I'm sympathetic...running a business isn't easy and there are really only three ways to increase profits. I assume you gentleman decided that decreasing expenses was a way of ensuring profitability so that you can focus on being competitive. I get it...but ya, you didn't have to "right" thing your answer.

Cheers to the right thing...keep on churning out those very good tutorials!

Patrick Hall's picture

It had nothing to do about profitability and everything to do with just using a resource that was free and easy for our writers to use. Buying $200 a month in stock imagery isn’t going to affect our bottom end or make us more competitive over another website.

Truth is, I’d actually love FS to have even better lead images over other sites and paying a little for those seems like good business to me. I still don’t have a problem with people creating content for free or those who use that free content but Mike joked to put our money where our mouth was so to speak and so we did. I still have no issue with Unsplash.

Leigh Miller's picture

Free and easy huh...ok

Yes you did and thank you!

To quote a favorite line from one of the greatest radio shows of all time, Adam Carolla & Dr Drew's Loveline...

"SHOCKING. SHOCKING."

Rob Mitchell's picture

Posts like this make me so happy these crap ‘influencers’ don’t pass in front of me.
Then they get posted here. <argh>

Will you marry me...For likes?

Nicholas K's picture

The word "influencer" is a joke. Nobody is influenced by some 3rd rate nobody on Instagram. Sure, the Kardashians sell stuff (being a 3rd rate somebody will shift product) but almost everybody else is just wasting marketing budgets.

There is no ROI from using these halfwits to promote your stuff... but it won't stop marketers who can't use a calculator from pretending otherwise.

Watching these shameless parasites beg for everything in their lives (and get it in a lot of cases) is hilarious.

Watching people try and pretend that "influencer" marketing is "authentic" is absolutely priceless.