The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority is the main sponsor of Miss England 2012 and has given this publicity campaign the appealing name of celebrity marketing.

On their website, they claim this prestigious event will help increase their visibility in the UK and that the brand will be visible worldwide as a result. Furthermore, the contest is described as promoting natural beauty and attracts considerable positive press.

All this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Miss England in… England

While in Mauritius, the Miss Mauritius and especially the Miss World contests remain very popular, in England, Miss World barely gets a mention, let alone Miss England which goes unnoticed year after year. And if Miss England is not widely broadcast in the UK, what do you think worldwide visibility is ? Who watches Miss USA in the UK or anywhere outside the US? Who watches Miss Australia outside of Australia?

The lack of prestige and publicity for Miss England is because the British view this beauty contest in a much different light. Many think women shouldn’t be judged by their looks and that these beauty contests promote just that, whether that beauty is natural or not! Most of them don’t watch or follow these beauty contests. Press coverage is often negative and one winner even got arrested for catfights: http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/15440946

The British Way

On a sidenote, this is quite hypocritical as the British are obsessed with all things celebrity and plastic surgery. The famous Jordan is famous for nothing but her big bosom. Many women who have had breast enhancement surgery have recently been scared of leakage and cancer risks of their implants. Eating disorder is widespread with thin girls deemed anorexic and slim ones too fat.

Cultural awareness

You need to be on the ground, that is, in Britain to know what is and is not popular there. Just because an international contest is popular in Mauritius and elsewhere abroad doesn’t mean it’s also going to be successful in Britain.

The Eurovision contest is another similar example, albeit with greater visibility. England doesn’t do well in this musical competition and hasn’t been a winner recently, as a result, people tend not to be too interested. In East Europe, it’s a different story – the contest is hugely popular.

The right way…

But back to Miss England and the MTPA. Good money is being thrown away in the hope of increased visibility. A much simpler way to get increased visibility would be to advertise where people are, for example among commuters: on buses and on the London Tube. Commuters work and earn money. Many who take the tube in London work in the prestigious City of London, the financial district. They are the ones most likely to be able to afford a long-haul luxury holiday to Mauritius, not some couch potato watching pretty girls parading in bikinis.

Advertising on Google is à la mode but perhaps not the best way to increase visibility in this case. PPC advertising on Google is reactive advertising, only serving what people search for. If few search for Mauritius holidays, launching a huge advertising blitz on Google or any other search engine won’t change that. What you want is to grow the market and display advertising can do that – on TV, on buses, billboards and so on. The MTPA should make more people aware of Mauritius and the possibility of exotic holidays here.

Let’s hope the MTPA takes the hint…

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