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You’ve heard that no press is bad press. In the case of Miley Cyrus’s 2013 VMA performance, we’d go a little further and quote the illustrious media mogul, Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), from Tomorrow Never Dies: “There’s no news like bad news.”

Whatever your opinions on Miley Cyrus’s antics, it’s hard to deny she made some big waves. It was impossible to take out a phone, flip open a laptop, or turn on the TV Monday morning without being bombarded by stills, GIFs, and videos of Miley’s epic tongue-wagging. It also goes without saying that anyone who heard about the performance through their friends or saw a GIF of Miley twerking against Robin Thicke instantly searched for live video.

What, exactly, has Miley accomplished?

  • She started a dialogue with people who were already her fans
  • She started a dialogue with people who weren’t already her fans
  • She got more tweets than Lady Gaga and NSync combined

With her new album, Bangerz, out this October, we think it’s safe to say that Miley’s gamble paid off. If the Smith family reaction is any indication, no one’s going to forget about this VMA performance anytime soon. Better yet, big media outlets are creating bite-sized, shareable news for her.

At the end of the day, Miley’s 2013 VMA show-stealer made a strong statement about her brand, was a great tribute to her fans, and acted as cannon fodder for the media. It’s an excellent example of how video can lead to discoverability and drive future sales through social media engagement.