This Influencer's 'Surprise' Proposal Was a Staged Marketing Scheme

This Influencer's 'Surprise' Proposal Was a Staged Marketing Scheme

This week, The Atlantic released a report about how an influencer staged her fiancé's "surprise" proposal. Writer Taylor Lorenz was able to get access to a pitch deck created by Marissa Fuchs, a director of brand partnerships at Goop and an Instagram blogger known as @fashionambitionist, which details the supposed surprise adventure her boyfriend Gabriel Grossman had planned and spoke about in a video he posted to Instagram (which Fuchs then reposted).

In the video, Grossman says, "I have the most important question of my life to ask you. The problem is, we're not really into traditional weddings. It's not really our style." This video resulted in a 48-hour scavenger hunt supposedly orchestrated by Grossman, that took Fuchs from New York City to Montauk, then to Miami, and to Paris. She was able to collect two diamond-and-gold necklaces (which are quite obviously sponsored), and documented everything on Instagram.

The Atlantic's Lorenz posted her findings on Twitter. She interviewed advertising executive Bryan Pederson, who was quoted saying, "Either her fiancé has been intimately involved in every single aspect of her business and influencer marketing career and knows every detail of her influencer partnerships, or she has had some input."

And though the pitch deck claims that Grossman is working with the Fashion Ambitionist team, unbeknownst to Fuchs herself, the deck is complete with an itinerary and posting schedule for Fuchs as she goes along her scavenger hunt.

Lorenz then makes it clear that this viral proposal culture isn't unique to Fuchs and Grossman. The reporter tweeted, "If you like the absolutely insanity of this viral proposal btw I VERY MUCH encourage you to follow Hey Ladies on Instagram. @CarolineMoss had this deck days ago too and is deep in the crazy wedding world. There's wild stories like this every day."

Twitter user @babegladwallers also chimed in on the thread, and said, "I work for a company that sells engagement rings and we get CONSTANT pre-engagement pitches from influencers. Nothing about this is out of the ordinary."

Still, the staged nature of these engagements don't really bother fans and followers of these influencers. "The audience doesn't just see an influencer as a... celebrity, they see them as a friend," Pederson told Lorenz. "And if it's a friend, you're going to forgive anything."

What a time to be alive! Still, according to The New York Times the couple maintains that their scheme was not for money but was done out of genuine love.

Read The Atlantic's full report here, and The New York Times' piece here.

Images via Instagram