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Miley Cyrus’ ‘Flowers’ is more than just a song; it’s a lesson for marketers

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Miley Cyrus’ ‘Flowers’ is more than just a song; it’s a lesson for marketers


Through the popular Disney show, Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus rose up the artistic ladder and went on to become a musical sensation. And, a lot has changed since then. Today, Miley Cyrus has the top spot on the Billboard 100 and might just be a ‘marketing genius’.

The song Flowers broke the Spotify record in just a week for becoming the most-streamed song, taking over the title from Adele’s Easy on Me

Miley Cyrus’ Flowers was the number one single on the ARIA charts in Australia and managed to grab the world by the lapels, landing itself in the first place on the Billboard 100.

But, what is so phenomenal about an artist releasing a track when it’s what they do for a living? 

If there’s anything we can learn from a pop icon like Taylor Swift, it’s that there is an undeniable need for artists everywhere to find clever ways to initiate a real buzz before releasing the song. 

That’s exactly what Miley Cyrus and her creative team at Campaign Edge tapped into. 

While the song was as iconic as the direction of the music video itself, there were some hidden marketing gems that slipped under the radar. Campaign Edge’s creative director Dee Madigan calls it, “an example of marketing genius.”

Miley Cyrus is talking straight to the fans

Madigan believes that until two decades ago, an artist would follow a top-down approach when it came to releasing a song. 

It would start off by pushing the song to journalists first, followed by critics and finally pushing it to the radio heads to try to get fans interested.

“Now, it’s a bottom-up approach,” she says.

Artists aim to get the fans excited about it first because, “in a way, they start to do their marketing for you,” she adds.

Be it Lady Gaga with her ‘Little Monsters’, Justin Bieber fans being called ‘Beliebers’ or BTS having an army (of fan following), hardcore music lovers have the biggest share of the pie in relation to promoting an artists’ journey. 

The same algorithm clicked for Miley Cyrus. 

Supplied: Campaign Edge | Dee Madigan

Madigan says that “[Artists] start to talk about it on social media.”

Since Miley’s marketing manager is a ‘super’ fan of her work, the marketing team knew how to play their cards right and “released a few little Easter eggs.”

“They let rumours go. I don’t know whether the rumours are coming from them or not, but I suspect some of them are.”

Madigan adds that ‘not addressing the rumours was an example of marketing genius’.

“It’s smart,” Madigan says of the pop star. 

Recollecting that even before the song was released, Madigan points out that little teasers started to drop on social media platforms like TikTok, which really piqued the fan’s curiosity levels. From Miley’s much spoken about golden dress to the gigantic mansion the song was filmed in, everything led to a ton of speculation, keeping fans hooked from the very beginning.

Social media: the real hub for labels

As an artist, it is important now more than ever, to keep up with the social media trends, and aim to be in the list of songs that influencers use as a critical part of their storytelling. Lizzo’s famous soundtrack About Damn Time can be seen as a prime example. 

The star not only earned the title as 2022’s number one music artist on TikTok, she also secured the fourth spot among top-trending songs last year.

As TikTok is now becoming the number one music discovery platform, it’s clear that GenZ is spending a lot of time on TikTok to purely consume musical content. This indicates that fans have a control over the rise and fall of content in today’s world.

In the article titled, The Backbone of the Music Industry – Fans, there’s an estimation that fans make up 85-90 percent of the revenue in the music industry; record labels, streaming services, and media corporations are always innovating new ways to remove power from the fans.

@riristea Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” Becomes The Most-Streamed Song In A Single Week On Spotify! @Spotify #spotify #mileycyrus #flowers #mileycyrusflowers #mileyflowers #riristea #entertainmentnews #celebritynews #celebnews #rivetsoro ♬ original sound – RiRi’s Tea ☕️

However, the fans’ speculations played a key role in shaping the lifecycle of a song, and as Madigan says, “It keeps the intrigue up. It keeps them talking. Is it true? Is it not true? So, in a way, the speculation keeps the song current, it keeps people interested in it.”

“It’s such a great song. I love it. It’s so empowering,” she adds.

It’s evident that as long as social media trends exist and continue to expand its reach by either paying creators to promote songs on TikTok or resorting to the magic of ‘micro influencers’, content will gain traction in the most unconventional way.

And, in the case of musicians, even the slightest hint dropped online would make fans go gaga since it “makes them feel like they’re part of something and like they’re in the inner circle.” says Madigan. 

Here’s an interesting one for marketers who wish to captivate audiences with the power of music.


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