Having evaluated the Miss Universe brand, we found that fans tend to feel disconnected from the competition and contestants based on limited knowledge of the criteria in selecting a winner. Fans want to be able to learn about the contestants in an authentic way to make the women more real and ultimately influence the outcome of the competition. The more fans learn about the contestants, the more engaged they become with the women as individuals, and as a result, they become more invested in the winner and brand as a whole. By having the fans play a larger role in who is crowned Miss Universe, we give them a voice and a platform to express their point of view.
Based on this information and an overarching goal to raise awareness for the brand and international broadcast, Miss Universe developed a real-time fan vote. The live vote enabled fans to engage and virtually participate in the competition utilizing social media and digital platforms. MUO's goal was to activate our worldwide fan base of approximately 600 million viewers across 170 broadcast partners while producing a live and dynamic show where viewers were able to effectively impact the outcome of the competition as the show unfolded in real-time. Through the creation of an engaging fan vote module, the objective was for fans to explore the contestants' bios and educate themselves on their interests, accomplishments and the causes they are passionate about to better the world.
The strategy was to create an experience where fans could seamlessly integrate into the worldwide broadcast and affect the results of the competition. Miss Universe turned to Telescope to power a mass scale, validated voting process for the competition. Telescope provided a cross-platform vote to support the extremely popular event across the globe. Users were empowered to vote for all the contestants via both Twitter hashtag and a custom, interactive voting experience on MissUniverse.com in the week leading up to the show and for the finalists in real-time on the night of the event. Through the voting mechanism, fans could act as a judge and ultimately helped to determine the winner.
More than just an online social vote, fans from around the world gather behind their representative and create their own social campaigns to spread awareness, getting other fans to vote for their contestant. In turn, the contestants have a vested interest to engage and rally behind these campaigns as an opportunity for them to advance further in the competition. Additionally, through the production of 92 bio videos and vote graphics – one for each contestant – fans would be able to educate themselves on the women who are competing for the title. The aim of the videos was to showcase the education, careers, cultures, and personal lives of each contestant, as well as, their achievements in sport, humanitarian work, and more. The videos were widely distributed across digital and social channels and the press and were additionally incorporated into the broadcast. The overarching strategy was to put on a competition that showcases and evaluates the women's lives holistically while giving fans a seat at the judges table to help determine who they felt deserved to be the next Miss Universe.
The main challenges were to activate the viewing audience across the globe in multiple languages, across several broadcast partners, and with a wide range of technology. Even more challenging was the need to validate tens of millions of votes during the length of a commercial break in order for the competition to keep advancing in real-time. This was accomplished through Telescope's mass scale voting platforms, social prompts advising that the voting windows were open, multi-lingual voting graphics and on-site staff monitoring the experience and validating results with our accounting firm.
For the global audience to feel their impact, graphical content was incorporated into the broadcast for the worldwide voting audience to see their collective vote and how it factored into each round of the competition.
During the weeklong life of the campaign, over 116 million total votes were cast with 6.5 million unique voters from 230 countries worldwide. Leading into the broadcast, 93 million votes were cast to secure one contestant's place in the Semifinals. During the three-hour broadcast, 24 million votes were cast from mobile, desktop, and tablet devices with a peak of 16,000 TPS (transactions per second). The main voting demographic was female ages 18-34, one of the key demos for the brand. Online visitors peaked during the second hour of the program with 1.9 million sessions and the day of the broadcast, MissUniverse.com reached 15 million page views. These stats in turn generated 2.4 million social interactions and over 38.6 million social impressions. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa was crowned Miss Universe.
Voting on Twitter via #MissUniverse and a contestant specific hashtag created a worldwide trending topic during the evening with over 28.2 million tweets from 1.2 million authors. The Miss Universe Global Fan Vote thereby achieved the goals of increasing brand and broadcast awareness as well as giving fans a voice in determining who took home the coveted crown.
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