Miley Cyrus At the VMAs

So she’s half-naked.

And she’s twerking with Robin Thicke.

And it’s the Video Music Awards so who cares.

The next generation sees Miley Cyrus, the VMAs and the music business with the clearest eyes.

No talent.

No excitement.

No clothes (or not much).

No problem.

Let Mika Brzezinski be outraged, she has a right.

But if you want to understand the Millennial audience – those 80 million listeners and viewers coming of age – this is a good opportunity.

MTV is a mere shadow of its former self when Bob Pittman supposedly invented it.  Gen X may have wanted its MTV but MTV ended up giving them reality shows and no music.

They made it on music and then switched to TV shows.

The VMAs are useless.

This isn’t me.

It’s Millennials many of whom wonder out loud why older generations cannot see the real fraud going on – a desperate 20-year-old coming unhinged while everyone is taking advantage of her.

That goes for Robin Thicke who blurred the lines during Miley’s VMA TV abortion.

And Mika’s outraged but in today’s world, it’s all about promotion not performance.

Bare butts – this time Lady Gaga instead of Prince.

It’s not the nudity or the outrageousness, it’s the vacuous performances.

Millennials want authenticity – they insist upon it if you are to be credible to them.

So what does radio do?

Play the same records over and over because they get ratings.

Yes, maybe phony PeePee M ratings but not audiences.

Taylor Swift?

Now she’s the real deal even though the cognoscenti are haters.

She speaks to teens and is a potent force to reckon with and yet many baby boomers and Gen X execs dis her.

The Mad Men era is over.

It’s good TV and lousy policy.

Touting how good you are or being outrageous just to get attention is over.  It will not work.

Be outrageous or scantily clothed, but say something – this is the demand of a new generation.

If you’re looking for a generation gap, look no further than what passes for radio, network TV and the advertising business in the new era of social media.

Some new rules:

  1. Always be authentic.  Show you’re not perfect and you gain in esteem.
  2. Mad Men brag, wise content creators go viral.  Nothing turns off a Millennial more than bragging about yourself.
  3. This generation is very open to alternative lifestyles, gender equality and even outrageous behavior but they rebel against blatant marketing and promotional efforts (i.e., Miley Cyrus at the VMAs).
  4. Of these choices pick b:  A) rip off the audience and create phony buzz using controversy and no talent then raise your rates or B) go real and get the audience to love you first because you are authentic then monetize it.

Let’s continue this conversation at my 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.

Discover Jerry’s 2014 Media Conference