Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe Flub

3 Marketing Lessons Uncovered

I enjoy Steve Harvey. By now you have probably heard about his massive flub in crowning Miss Columbia as Miss Universe instead of Miss Philippines. If not, watch this short clip:

Mistakes happen. Some mistakes happen on a global stage like Harvey’s, but many marketing mistakes are unseen and simply take money out of a business owner’s pocket for no value.

Here is what I learned from Mr. Harvey:

1. Execution IS Critical
missuniverse2015Harvey set himself up to fail by his statement “And the winner is…” The card that he is reading is prepared for the lead in statement “And the 1st runner up is…” A simple execution error from which he did not recover. I’ve seen many well developed marketing strategies fail at the execution phase. Here are just a couple of examples:

  • A two-week, intensive radio campaign to drive people to call a certain phone number to attend an open house. Sounds simple, except that during the first week of the campaign that number was forwarded to voicemail because someone was on vacation.
  • A $30K 8-week, multiple channel campaign was successfully launched in the marketplace; however, a totally different promotion was running on the company’s homepage because the webmaster thought his was a better idea, not realizing the investment that was being made for the other promotion.

2. Attend the Rehearsal (or test, test, test)
Harvey skipped the last rehearsal for this live, global event. Rehearsals help to identify the critical points of success and make sure those elements are properly working. If not, adjustments are made. Testing your marketing strategy and tactics before launching or at least during the first week of launch is much better than looking back at the end of the campaign and discovering it was doomed from the beginning.

3. Make the Flub Funny…Later
steveharveyIf you are a comedian, like Steve Harvey, you may be able to make the flub funny at a later time. To his credit, he took responsibility during the show. However, on Christmas day, he posted “Merry Easter y’all!” poking some fun at himself.

It turns out, this flub may actually increase his value as rumor has it that certain brands are now in negotiations with him for a Super Bowl commercial.

Now that is truly turning lemons into lemonade.

Avoid Flubs

One way to avoid future flubs is to engage the services of a Chief Marketing Officer who can identify the critical points of the campaign and make sure it is not doomed from the start.

Another tool for the business owner is joining a Marketing-Focused Executive Round Table. I am launching several different types in 2016. Click here for more information and to apply.

Here is to a Prosperous 2016 – Let’s get there together!


Drew Dinkelacker


Posted in hmt

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