Beyond Celebrity Business, Beyond The Disney Machine
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The Disney Stars Factory | The Jonas Brothers Case

It’s The Miley Cyrus Method of Career Management.


“It’s tacky/hot, but we can’t say we blame him for going this route. He could’ve posed for a thousand pictures in menswear and they wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much attention as these half-dozen. It’s the Miley Cyrus Method of Career Management.” Tom & Lorenzo


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The Jonas Brothers are, like their siblings, an interesting case study in growing up as a Disney teen star. With this controversial editorial on Flaunt magazine, toppless Nick Jonas grabbing his junk,  mark a clear turnaround with his Christian virgins image that was slowly die down.

Every members of that famous country music boysband were rebelling against trademark, just like Britney did years ago.

Did you remember the NYT piece open letter by Joe Jonas “My Life As a Jonas Brother” ?

“Being a part of the Disney thing for so long will make you not want to be this perfect little puppet forever. Eventually, I hit a limit and thought, Screw all this, I’m just going to show people who I am. I think that happened to a lot of us. Disney kids are spunky in some way, and I think that’s why Disney hires them. “Look, he jumped up on the table!” Five, six, ten years later, they’re like, “Oh! What do we do?” Come on, guys. You did this to yourselves._ Joe Jonas on the Disney Machine

Disney Kids in Training

I’ve been pretty fascinated about those Disney kids stars recently (See more HERE). Disney pick’em young, very young, train them, tell them how to speak to the media, how to sell, and build a perfect American sweet image for them to fit in.

The Jonas Brothers were acting as the perfect Christian and virgin boys from New Jersey.

I went through media training, and I hated it. […]. Playing dumb is the best way of getting out of anything. ._ Joe Jonas on the Disney Machine

The Disney empire is incredibly massive. They train hard, put them on top to become cash cow money. The Disney machine is a system that had proved successfully. According to the Forbes 2010 Celebrity 100 list, former Mouseketeer Britney Spears, is #6 on the list, 7-year-old Miley Cyrus earned a reported $48 in the same year, and fellow Disney stars Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas pulled in a collective paycheck of $35.5 million. Big Money!

Burton who specialised in child stars,  once declared that:“I hate to say it, but kids are pieces of meat”. The younger they are, the more lucrative they seem to be. [Source : thecrimson.com ]

Disney is great at creating fame.

That was definitely our first major love shown by Disney, and I think it might have been a trial to see whether they should give us a show of our own, and they did. We got a sitcom called Jonas in which we played characters named Kevin, Joe, and Nick Lucas, members of an already-famous band._ Joe Jonas on the Disney Machine

The money-making machine is working by strict rules and a very traditional business model. The make and model is the same from show to show, character to character. Television is ground zero for all marketing audience acquisition to the Disney demographic.

George clooney once said that fame arrests at the age it arrives. If you’re 16 when you get famous, you’ll stay 16 forever.

I had to shave every day because they wanted me to pretend like I was 16 when I was 20 […] We went along with it at the time, because we thought Disney was our only real shotDisney made us more famous than we ever knew we could be._ Joe Jonas on the Disney Machine

Gomez, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff and Demi Levato, the Disney stars machine creates lots of them. All of whom benefited from Disney’s trademark corporate synergies, with TV shows, recording contracts, concert tours, Radio Disney spins, and Disney soundtracks.

But after years of Disney’s stars flashing purity rings and then silently checking into rehab, the stench of inauthenticity became too strong for many audiences—the company hadn’t produced a major teen star since Lovato.

“Because of our age, because of Disney, because of those rings, there were so many things throughout our career that we had to sugarcoat. If a lyric was slightly sexual, someone at the record company would tell us we had to change it._ Joe Jonas on the Disney Machine

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Walking Away From Disney

“Being a part of the Disney thing for so long will make you not want to be this perfect little puppet forever,”

While growing up some of them need to escape. They reach a point were they’re too old to play for  a young audience. They also reach a point where they cannot be control the way Disney control them anymore. But they still need some sort of control or they’ll loose it out of their mind (See Britney or recently Amanda Bynes). So they’re looking to re-build their brand image and try to reach a more adult audience in some sort of ways.

Miley cyrus did it well. She didn’t want to have 14 years old fans forever. So eventually, especially considering her penchant for posing naked, a Disney exit strategy was expected. And it’s not like no one else has done it before.

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