Miley Cyrus… we’ve avidly watched her Hannah Montana episodes, danced to her hoedown thowdown, attempted the twerk and belted out Wrecking Ball. We’ve all being paying attention her entire career, so maybe instead of an off the rails teen, she’s actually more of a marketing genius. Was all of her “insane controversy” really a trainwreck, or a well-planned rebranding campaign?
She first came to our attention as Hannah Montanna a role model for tweens everywhere, and their parents easily accepted her as a symbol of “pure” fun. The Cyrus and Disney brand seemed to go hand in hand, and Miley just reinforced Disney’s family values, and vice versa.
As most Disney stars realise at some point in their careers, if they want any success outside of their young image, they will need to ‘break away.’ Miley knocked that idea out of the park with her insane twerking attack on the 2013 VMA’s. Watching it, the whole world thought she was losing it right in front of their eyes… and there was no looking away, (obvious with the 306,100 tweets per minute that the Miley hashtag received). Coincidentally she released her new single “Wrecking Ball” the very next morning which quickly moved into the 13th spot in the Billboard charts and got 90,000 digital downloads. She added 226,273 new Facebook fans and 213,104 new Twitter followers, had every talk show wanting an interview with her and became the talk of pretty well every media channel.
So even if she did go completely nutzo… it seemed to work for her.
According to a veteran Hollywood publicist “From a marketing point of view, these artists want to carry their audience with them — which is hard to do. It’s easy to be hot for a while but in music in particular, it’s hard to keep that going.” Miley’s audience is typically her age group, so she seems to be growing and changing her brand to suit them. Maybe we haven’t all gone to the level Miley did in our “rebellious” teenage years, but she certainly portay’s this kind of time after she captured us all in our tween years with her fun loving Disney pop star role.
After this teen meltdown period that Miley went through, countless celebrities have been trying to move themselves over to an edgier more thrilling image to keep up with the Cyrus rivalry. Today the media scene sees Katy Perry has almost morphed herself into her, while Taylor swift is trying her own big move, surprising dropping her new single at the VMAS exactly like Cyrus did.
So it seems only fitting that in this newly edgy music scene, Miley breaks out of the rut and instead switches back more towards her first “healthier” image again. She’s dropped a new album, and instead of being pictured with her tongue out or swinging on a wrecking ball, licking a sledge hammer, she’s on a farm in a grassy paddock smiling as if for a school photo. Maybe she’s recognised that her audience has undergone their own rebel teenage phase and is starting to grow up and attempt to adult, and that’s what she needs to do to. It also seems as though she’s found the need to So this is her third, and likely not final rebrand. And we’re still eating it up!
So has Miley really changed, or has she just perfectly timed her marketing by following a perfectly manicured business plan making her one of the most talked about entertainers in the world. Who knows! But what she has done, is pretty successfully been able to keep her audience in tune over all these years. So now matter what her actual mental state, her marketing state has been superb.