Two Perspectives on Miley for Tuesday

Miley Cyrus came into September like a “wrecking ball” and she seemingly “can’t stop”—from her Twerking and notorious VMA performance, to her latest misunderstood music video and recently confirmed split from Liam Hemsworth, Miley has had a constant presence in the headlines. This Two for Tuesday, we’re exploring two points of view on the young pop star.

Miley Cyrus — Master Marketer?

Call me crazy, but the fact that Miley made such a dramatic shift in her public persona shows the girl knows a thing or two about branding (at least when it comes to herself). Let’s face it, the most dangerous person to be in the public eye is a childhood star because playing the fame game or the social popularity contest is little more than branding. What people buy into, lend their attention and ultimately their approval to is based on the work, actions and, indeed, the personal decisions of a public figure—people also want consistency from their celebrity idols (which is why being a child in the spotlight is dangerous). All children go through periods of rebranding—let’s call it “Growing Up.” When young stars grow up, how they change (and the public reacts to that change) dictates whether or not their new brand will have a place or will be replaced in the market. From $20,000 brown extensions to a blonde Mohawk, Miley has managed to stay in the game.

Recently, she’s faced public dissatisfaction, but Miley has found herself in the hot seat before with the controversial Vanity Fair photo shoot, alleged drug use and even pole dancing at the Kid’s Choice Awards. Every time, Miley has come back stronger than ever while remaining true to herself.

Part of Miley’s appeal is she walks the line—it keeps her relevant in today’s oversaturated world. As long as she doesn’t go too far, she’s got her brand covered. She’s been brave enough to take the risks, and she has arguably gotten the rewards.

Miles to Make Up

What’s done is done. The unapologetically-edgy pop star exists as the summer’s biggest walking—make that, twerking—punch line. While she set out to rebel against her squeaky-clean Disney persona, Miley may have gone too far with racy lyrics (promoting the drug, Molly) and provocative (borderline pornographic) performances and videos. Even the inventor of the foam finger was turned off by its use in her VMA performance.

Going by the numbers, MTV had successful VMA ratings; however, even if she’s not turning off teens, she is messing with the ones holding the purse strings—their parents. One blogger, whose blog got 2.5 million views in the first 36 hours, wrote in an open letter to her daughter, “Dear daughter, I am going to fight or die trying to keep you from becoming like the Miley Cyruses of the world.” Not exactly the best PR for the young star. (I’m willing to bet that mother won’t fork over the cash to buy Miley’s forthcoming album, Bangerz, for her daughter).

Indeed, Miley has ruffled a lot of feathers, but that doesn’t mean she’s out or even down right now. While Miley branches out, discovers herself and matures her talents, she should also think in terms of business. She is her brand—while her brand makes money, the public may begin to turn away from it. If she doesn’t pull some positive PR soon, the pop star might find the public unapologetically shunning her. Could Miley be on the way to becoming the next Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes?

Cover Photo Source: Helga Esteb

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.
Danielle is a junior executive at SJG. She earned her BS in Advertising with a minor in English from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Danielle fully believes that God accidentally added extra ingredients to form her. Outside of the office, you can find her in Los Angeles training Kobe Bryant for his next championship ring, while secretly trying to win over his heart. (This is not a Joke!)