How long does a publicity stunt last? Analyzing Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is a cropped hair, twerking ex-Disney star who also does a nice sideline in pop songs. Over the past year, she’s been involved in a number of scandals and PR stunts which have shocked the world. What effect, though, has her behavior actually had on her popularity? A good indicator of this would be the amount of web traffic she has been receiving all this while.

 Miley Cyrus Website Traffic Analysis

I used SimilarWeb PRO to take a look at the levels of web traffic for Miley Cyrus’ website over the last 12 months; the analysis showed that between Apr ’13 – Sep ’13 there was a gradual rise in visitors to her website. Oct ‘13 saw an almost 100% rise in visitors and edged to just over 1.1 million desktop visits in a month. There must have been a story behind such a massive spike in web traffic, so I began investigating this a little further.


Web traffic stats for between April ’13 – April ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO



Web traffic for in August ’13 by SimilarWeb PRO

I decided to take a quick look at the build up to the October ’13 spike and examined the August ’13 traffic a little closer. It’s obvious to anyone with 20/20 vision that an enormous spike in traffic occurred on Aug 26 2013 – registering 85,513 visits which dwarfs August’s monthly average of 15,000 daily visits. I began to suspect that Miley Cyrus had been up to no good and suddenly remembered her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards – this aired, of course, on the evening of 25th Aug 2013. By twerking across the stage with Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus managed to become the number 1 entertainment story causing a massive rise in visitors to her website. As the rest of the data shows, though, the publicity didn’t last very long and the traffic returned to normal pretty quickly.

Wrecking Ball


Web traffic for in September ’13 by SimilarWeb PRO

Another spike in web traffic occurred on 9th and 10th September 2013, so I looked into what Miss Cyrus had been getting up to. It was no surprise that Miley’s new video for her single ‘Wrecking Ball’ was released online on 9th September 2013. The video proved controversial almost immediately, due to the singer appearing naked whilst riding a wrecking ball. The world was outraged and gossip about Miley Cyrus reached fever pitch again leading to fans and critics flocking to her website. The traffic spike died down after a couple of days, but the brief publicity caused general interest in Miley Cyrus to grow further.

October 2013 – Busy month!


Web traffic for in October ’13 by SimilarWeb PRO

October was the month where Miley Cyrus’ web traffic hit its peak, so I expected to find a number of publicity stunts and scandals contributing to this – I didn’t have to look far! October 3rd 2013 saw Miley Cyrus engaging in a well-publicized Twitter feud with Sinead O’ Connor to get the ball rolling and create a Cyrus shaped buzz online. Conveniently, this attention came on the day before the new Miley Cyrus album Bangerz was released, so 4th October saw a huge spike of traffic which measured just under 150,000 visits. To keep promotion of her new album ticking along, Miley Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live on 5th October which pushed interest in her website even further with over 160,000 views. Traffic returned to normal within a couple of days but a minor spike was experienced on 27th October after Miley Cyrus appeared, again, on Saturday Night Live to make light of her twerking reputation.

Decline in publicity stunts


Web traffic for in November ’13 by SimilarWeb PRO

The decline in web traffic for Miley Cyrus began in November 2013 and it correlates with a drop off in public activity for the singer. One noticeable spike occurs on November 6th and this ties in with Miley Cyrus appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Traffic drops off fairly quickly and is less than 20,000 views per day by the end of the month. These traffic patterns indicate that a lack of scandals and stunts which rock the world have a noticeable effect on her web traffic and possibility her real day to day life as well.

Good for business, bad for brand

Miley’s album passed the 1 million sales at the beginning of this month, despite pessimistic reports about how her stunts are actually hurting sales instead of boosting them. This type of approach, whether it was a teenager braking or a well planned play, has good and bad sides. From one end it’s clearly increasing conversion, if we return to our online marketing jargon, but from the other end the success is not long lasting and the brand, or in this case – the persona’s name, gets hurt. Either way, it’s a marketing strategy worth examining, no matter which industry you’re working at.


About the Author -

A newcomer to the world of internet marketing, but gaining fresh insight at a rapid pace. A fan of changing technologies, writing to entertain and, most importantly, retro trainers. Based in the UK.

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