Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana: One Brand, One Icon, One Story

Miley Cyrus can be considered a brand all her own, mainly because of her ties with the T.V show Hannah Montana.  The show launched her career and movies, books, music, makeup, clothing and jewelry all were made to build upon this brand.  Despite the show being over, Miley Cyrus still is seen by many young teens as her character on the show, the bubbly, young pop star from Tennessee who just wants to live a normal life.  In many ways, Miley’s own image, apart from Hannan Montana, very much reflects the character that she played.  Miley IS a young, bubbly, pop star from Tennessee who is continuously in the media claiming to just be a “normal” girl.  Her father on the show is her father in real life and her relationships with musicians on the show are similar to her relationships with male singers in reality. Her image seems to parallel the one that launched her brand in a way.  She was able to become so successful and remain successful even after her show ended simply because Hannah Montana was an extension of herself, and not a stretch for her fans to relate to.  I feel that the one issue Miley has is not with fans, but with the parents of her young fans that dislike their children looking up to a young girl who acts much older than her age and could be a bad influence on them.  Miley’s story, for both Hannah Montana and in her own life, is centered around the idea that she is a teen sensation but more than anything makes mistakes and is just like the average girl.  Her fans seem to have lapped this up, the idea that maybe one day they too could be superstars, and latched on to the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus brand.  The story has power over any ordinary girl who wants to achieve something greater and who struggles with the common issues of being a teenager.  The marketing strategy surrounding Miley Cyrus was geared toward introducing both herself and her character to audiences, so as not to overshadow her true self and to ensure that the world was aware of her personal talents and aspirations.  CDs were even launched that contained tracks done by Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus, with a double sided cover entitled “Meet Hannah Montana” and “Meet Miley Cyrus.” I feel that Miley’s transition from portraying a pop star on television to becoming one in reality was very successful simply because her brand was so widespread and never failed to remind audiences of the girl underneath the blonde wig.  I feel that Miley Cyrus now has a platform all her own to stand on and once Hannah Montana fades out and Miley Cyrus loses some of her younger fans (more so parent’s decisions than the fans themselves), she will still be an icon.

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