So clogged were my feeds Monday morning from all the Miley Cyrus hate that it felt like some weird digital cardiac event.
I didn't watch the MTV Video Music Awards
, but I learned all I needed to know thanks to Twitter
. The virtual stones hurled unrelentingly at Miss Cyrus, whose strange artistic statement involving tongues, twerking, and really strange teddy bears ticked off a lot of people who apparently expected something more subdued from a pop singer trying to ditch her former good-girl image
I won't repeat the insults here. I'm sure you saw or even gave a lot of them anyway.
During this infamous performance, who should show up for a duet but none other than R&B/soul singer Robin Thicke, whose latest music video, released exclusively on YouTube, basically involves him and his buddies watching girls prance around topless (with no, *ahem*, "blurred lines" blocking anything out). Yet, unlike Miley, Mr. Thicke escaped the incident with barely a digital scratch.
In addition to the double standards our society places on entertainers based on gender, something else really struck me about this pairing:
The simple, yet effective, social marketing.
Let's start with Robin Thicke. He releases a racy music video, too hot for network TV, exclusively on YouTube, the second largest social network in the world. This video mostly contains 1) boobs and 2) the hashtag #thicke
. All set to a catchy danceable beat. Call me crazy, but I doubt you have to be a marketing genius to figure out this will create social buzz.
And then there's Miley Cyrus. Again, no substantial marketing chops needed to figure out that if you take a former wholesome-as-apple-pie Disney star with a God-fearing country music singer for a father and let her tramp it up for a few minutes at a notoriously racy awards show aired on national television, people are going to start creating hashtags about it.
So, before you get all up in arms and take to social media to voice your disgust (or praise), remember: That's what they want, because that's what sells records.
Artistic expression, schmartistic expression. That Miley madness was deliberately coordinated down to the very last tongue-wagging creepy plush toy, and now she's sitting back and watching as all the girls who once idolized her as Hannah Montana tweet their disgust while secretly buying her songs on iTunes because they know it'll piss off their parents.
And Robin Thicke? Well, nothing like a twerk to boost your exposure.