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.