I am the mother of three daughters and one is a huge fan of tween sensation Miley Cyrus. Miley is 15 years old and is a huge Disney television star, singing star, and just plain ole’ star – especially to her demographic of 6-12 year olds.
She recently took some photos over at Vanity Fair Magazine with famous photographer Annie Lebowitz, and one of the photos was a nude Miley covered with a white sheet. In today’s world I wouldn’t consider it provocative or racy — But is it something I would want my 8 year old copying or emulating — uh, nope! Now while my child hasn’t seen the photo, nor will I show her, over 4 million people logged online to view the photos!
So after I got over my initial disappointment with her parents (who were at the shoot), because of course now I’m paranoid that she is one minute away from a Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan slide, I thought about the marketing side of this (as I often do:)
Why did they do the Vanity Fair shoot? Yes, she is a famous photographer. Yes, Vanity Fair is a reputable magazine — but they are also known for this. Many major celebs that do a Vanity Fair shoot and/or interview ends up angry at the reporter and mad at the magazine. Because yes – they take it there. So was that a really smart move for the Cyrus family to make with their child’s career?
Sure – it was great for Vanity Fair. Millions of people logged online to see their exclusive photos. But for Miley – I don’t know if from a marketing standpoint that this was a good move. I’m sure I’m not the only parent now – that is a little more on “alert”. Waiting to see if she grows up a little faster then we hoped. Waiting to see if like her predecessors she forgets WHO her demographic is and WHO the people are that are paying for that demographic to watch her, listen to her, etc.
I think this was a lesson in remembering your marketing plan. Staying on track. Staying focused. And not falling for the next “bright and shiny” object to come up!