Transforming Miss America

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In four months, Miss America was able to successfully rebrand their image from a more traditional one to one that focused on inclusivity as well as scholarship opportunities for their contestants. They changed words like pageant and contestants to competition and candidates.

Miss America was able to rebrand their overall value to fit the social atmosphere of the nation and send a message to the people on what Miss America 2.0 about. This panel featured CEO of Miss America, Regina Hopper, Chief Creative Officer of Y&R New York,  Leslie Sims as well as Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019. It was moderated by the New York Times COO, Meredith Kopit Levien.

After Miss America’s email scandal months ago, the organization experienced a turnover in command, and the new executives wanted Miss America to have a new look. Although it was seen as an organization with an iconic brand, the relevancy was at a low point. People no longer cared about Miss America, and not many knew about the services the organization offered to women, from volunteering to scholarships that could pay for their schooling. In fact, Hopper, who was Miss Arkansas in 1983, said it was how she was able to pay for law school.

With those services in mind, the organization teamed up with Y&R to completely rebrand Miss America in a short time span. One of the biggest changes Miss America 2.0 made was removing the swimsuit competition from the show. This change brought the organization criticism, as well as praise. Because the brand was trying to reimage itself, the negative comments, although expected, didn’t exactly help. Nevertheless, Hopper said the amount of praise that came from people far outweighed the negative comments, which made it all worth it.

The metrics that went into rebranding Miss America had a lot to do with the society today. There is a lot of cultural change and Miss America wanted to take that into consideration. Sims said that as a mother, she saw where Miss America could go, and wanted to make sure it went in that direction. Miss America could be a great layer for young girls who age out of American Girl dolls and needed some role models to look to.

And that is exactly what Franklin hopes to be for those people.

Franklin, who started competing just two years ago, wants use her position to encourage young girls to compete Miss America 2.0. She will be the first Miss America 2.0 to have her own social media platform and stand up for issues she believes in. This is another big change for Miss America, since previously, the winners could only use the organization’s account. After the rebranding, Miss America realized how important it was to take stands, and give Franklin the opportunity to do so.

Their new messages make it possible for girls to be comfortable in their skin and still believe they can be the next Miss America.

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  1. This article is full of irrelevant and incorrect information. I compete in the system and I have been for 5 years now. I have had a personal social media platform this entire time. The rebranding is taking credit for the old brand. The only things that changed were the logo for Miss America, the dashes, and the horrible leadership that thinks they are so great. Please don’t publish biased information about a system that is actually falling apart and doesn’t let its “candidates” use their voices.

  2. 2.0 did not create social media platform. That was implemented in 1989 and has been a powerful part of the Miss America experience at local, state, and national levels. Miss Carlson competed prior to the implementation of the Platform Statement.

  3. 2.0 did not create social media platform. That was implemented in 1989 and has been a powerful part of the Miss America experience at local, state, and national levels. Miss Carlson competed prior to the implementation of the Platform Statement.

  4. This article is paid propaganda promoting Gretchen Carlson’s delusions of grandeur and containing talking points/spin written by Young & Rubicam staffers who know next to nothing about the organization or its legacy. Contrary to what is stated here, Miss America is an iconic near-100-year-old brand that is being destroyed by Gretchen Carlson’s ineffective leadership.

  5. Rebranding doesn’t just mean a new (stock image) logo and new (terrible) leadership, it means a total repositioning of a brand – establishing new brand tenents, a new voice. Deciding who the brand is and who they aren’t. Doing ethnographic work to understand the target, interviewing key stakeholders to truly understand the brand and making sure not to alienate any current consumers while going after new ones. As someone who has been around this organization for over 20 years, I can tell you that Y&R has not rebranded the organization, but taken credit for what was already existing and called it new again. I guess taking credit for the work of thousands of volunteers is worthy of being highlighted during AdWeek, but not worth highlighting their work. The brand Miss America is dead and the current regime killed it. Y&R, you’ve hitched your wagon to a sinking ship.

  6. Actually it was written by an independent student writer that covered an event in New York City last week. Sorry about your butt hurt. Would you like a tissue?

  7. I don’t believe in miss America 2.0 and it’s awful leadership, especially for what Gretchen and Regina did to Cara mund and not let her use her voice and perform her role as miss America.

  8. Thank you for writing an article about the Miss America Organization and its recent transformation under new leadership. I do challenge the writer to check the comment made by Ms. Hopper about positive comments outweighing negative comments about the changes. Please go to social media to take a look at the comments. I think you will find the opposite is true. Sure the MAO organization needed a few changes, but instead new leadership has ignored the stakeholders in making these decisions. I feel the panel discussion for the advertising group was utilized to push the new agenda for current leadership instead of being honest about recent changes and how they are being accepted by those most important to the organization.

  9. SUCCESSFUL re branding means establishing a new target market and working towards expanding your brand/business while STILL MAINTAINING your established base market. MAO leadership has alienated 75 percent of its established base (who does all the work and fundraising) in order to pursue a target market of those in the feminist agenda, who may now not criticize competition as much, but will never BUY IN to it or embrace it. Nor will they gain competitors from this new target. The old saying “a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush ” applies here. They may have sought to re brand , but it was anything but successful.

  10. Not much research done in this article. Personal platforms have been around since I competed 20 years ago. The dictator leadership that has installed itself at the helm despite tens of thousands of volunteers across the country calling for them to step down is making a mockery of the organization we have all built. Please actually report facts. I mean, cant expect much from a site that is actually called advertisingweek. PAID by G and R.

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