Digicel Successfully Pulls Off Reality TV In The Caribbean With The ‘Ultimate Mission’.

Live stream viewed by 30,000 online and user engagement in the tens of thousands

Monday 26th January 2015 – Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel put its own spin on reality TV last weekend when it pulled off the ‘Ultimate Mission’ event in Jamaica which has been described as a first for the Caribbean.

The ‘Ultimate Mission’ was the culmination of Digicel Jamaica’s Christmas promotion and saw four contestants locked in a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle for 48 hours and having to complete new and interesting ‘challenges’ every two to three hours. The entire experience was streamed on Digicel’s Facebook page, while the last hour was aired live on public television. The contestants, who at times struggled with sleep deprivation and the cramped confines of the car, sang and played games together to keep alert – and the resulting exchanges proved very entertaining for viewers.

Using creative means of consumer engagement has long been a mantra for Digicel in the region. The company’s longstanding sponsorship of the talent show, Rising Stars, which takes place in Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, has over the years, developed huge popularity in the region and the Caribbean diaspora.

Indicators of the success of the event showed that 30,000 people viewed the live steam online and more than 300,000 tuned in to local television for the final hour and the results. Most viewers who watched online were located in Jamaica, but over eight percent were from the USA, Canada and the UK. Another three percent watched from other Caribbean countries, including The Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman, Guyana, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago.

The conversation, which took place over the live chat on the online stream, generated approximately 50 messages every five minutes, as viewers remained glued to the feed and continued to talk throughout. There was also high user engagement on Digicel’s social media pages. For example, one photo of the winner – an affable, easy-going Keisha Lawrence – reached over 28,000 timelines on Facebook organically and within minutes of being posted.

“The making of the ‘Ultimate Mission’ underscores our commitment to engaging our customers with more innovative, interesting and original content,” said Peter Lloyd, Digicel Jamaica Marketing Director. “It was an amazing 48 hours and we can’t thank the contestants and all our customers enough for helping to make this a remarkable experience.”

The world’s fastest man and Digicel Brand Ambassador, Usain Bolt, featured in the campaign and also had some words of encouragement for the contestants. “You can do it, just stay focused, remember what you are in there for and just get it done.”

The contestants completed 20 challenges, which included a scavenger hunt, trivia games, memory challenges and eating raw food, among other things. The grand prize was placed on a stage across from the contestants and served as a constant reminder of why they should endure their stay in the cramped VW Beetle. The winner was determined based on a combination of points accumulated for completing the challenges, call/text votes and online votes.

“It wasn’t easy to stay in the car and do all of the challenges, but when you think about it—the Audi was across from us the whole time, so it motivated me to do my best,” said Ms Lawrence, who won a 2015 Audi A3 for her efforts.

The other three challengers walked away with a share of JM$1 million. The first runner-up, Sacha Shaw-Cuthbert, said she was happy to take home her prize of JM$500,000, which she plans to use to grow her business – a medical practice for families.

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