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Why Jojo Siwa’s Rebranding PR Strategies Fell Short

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Joelle Joanie Siwa, known as Jojo Siwa, became popular for her participation in Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition and Dance Moms, both run by Abby Lee Miller, and became the most profitable kid from those TV shows.

In 2015, 12-year-old Jojo started her YouTube channel, and that’s when her success really skyrocketed. She started making content for children, and music for the same audience. Bows, rainbows, glitter, and a loud persona were her brand, and she became wildly popular. 

Jojo’s “The Sweetest Dream” book cover

Later, in 2021, Jojo came out as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. A child star with such a large following doing this was considered brave and certainly helped tons of kids to feel more comfortable being who they are. 

Becoming an adult made Jojo want to change her audience but a substantial change was required. Rebranding is a popular occurrence with child stars, as we can see with Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, and many others who grew up under the public eye, but why did Jojos’s rebranding fell so short? Why did it become not only a shock, but a laughing-worthy shock?

The first critique is that the style hasn’t really changed, she just made the colors less saturated and started doing her makeup more dramatically. The characteristic bow, glitter, and extravagant garments were just replaced with black glitter and eyeliner but, her demeanor and over-the-top personality stayed the same. 

Jojo for her latest music video, “Karma”

Her first single “Karma” was originally written for Miley, back in the 2010s, but she passed it forward, and the artist Brit Smith recorded it, and made a music video that was never released, in 2012. 

People online got mad at her for claiming that she had written “Karma”, but Jojo has never said that, she was pitched the song. Pitching is very common in the music industry, it’s when a songwriter goes to a record label with music and then they try to sell it to an artist, for them to record and release under their name.


Meet Brit Smith her song “Karma” that JoJo covered and tried to make it her own🫣#britsmith #karma #fypシ゚viral #jojosiwa #fypシ #lawsuit #oldsong #fyp #trend #trending #foryou #foryou

♬ Karma – JoJo Siwa

Claiming to have created “Gay Pop” made the LGBTQIA+ community upset, as the subgenre predates her existence. Her assertion of inventing it comes across as condescending and obnoxious. While she compares herself to iconic artists like Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Prince, and Lady Gaga, they earned their status through authenticity. Her music is so vague that, especially because it wasn’t written by or for her, Jojo’s attempt to label herself as a pioneer makes the public frown.  

Crafting a song specifically tailored to Jojo’s personal experiences might have made it more relatable and resonant with the public. Simply rehashing an old song with superficial alterations, like a flashy appearance and a slightly darker tone, didn’t achieve the impact they hoped for. 

She likely has a wealth of experiences to share from her challenging upbringing, where the entire family’s income depended on her, however, she opted for a shallow approach. Perhaps she’s not yet ready to delve into these complexities, or maybe she hasn’t fully acknowledged the problematic environment she grew up in. Nonetheless, her choice of a song about being a “bad girl” feels superficial and lacks depth.  

Furthermore, Jojo Siwa’s rebranding fell short due to superficial changes, unsubstantiated claims, and a lack of originality. Despite her courage in coming out so young and creating this safe environment for a lot of queer youth, her transition to an edgier image aimed at an older audience failed to resonate.

The claims on songwriting and attempts to align herself with iconic artists felt forced and alienated her audience. Ultimately, her rebranding lacked depth and sincerity, undermining her credibility as a musician and leaving her efforts feeling hollow and insubstantial.

The article above was edited by Rafaella Angelotti Alcici.

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Rafaela Navarro

Casper Libero '26

estudante de jornalismo, cultura, entretenimento e conhecimentos gerais.