Moderator post

Dear Moderator,

My name is Brandon Poonwasie (0660). I am in Group 3, along with Juliette Wileman (0875) Chrystal LI (0470) and Audrey King Lassman (0397).

If you'd like to view any of my A2 work, just click the labels on the right that include A2 in them, i.e. A2 Research and Planning and A2 Prelim.

Thank you,
Brandon

Group 3

Group 3

Our Facebook Group

Here is the link to our facebook group:
Group 3 Facebook Group

Our Music Video

Our Website

Our Website
To get to our website, click the banner above. It will automatically open in a new tab/window.

Our Digipak

Our Digipak

Monday, 26 January 2015

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

1. In What Ways Do Your Media Products Use, Develop Or Challenge Forms And Conventions Of Real Media Products?

The Music Video:

In our music video, we used conventions of the indie-pop genre, and also of music videos overall, drawing upon the theories of Carol Vernallis, Andrew Goodwin and Richard Dyer in order to create this media text.

Our music video conforms to Andrew Goodwin's theory that music videos demonstrate genre characteristics, and also that the relationship between music, visuals and lyrics must illustrate, amplify or contradict each other. We also ensured the inclusion of visual hooks and intertextual references, as these are conventional and would have appealed to our target audience, specifically to fans of the indie genre.

Through our research, we noticed that it was conventional of indie music videos to include a band performance, and also visual hooks such as CUs of instruments and band members, so we used this convention in our own video to demonstrate the genre to our audience.

Showing two of our main influences, and also our own video, and our use of CUs

The video obviously had to include 'beauty/money shots' of the of the lead singer, as these are what music video audiences expect to see, and the lead singer is the main star of the band, so his star identity needed to be focused on in the music video. This particular genre signifier allows us to demonstrate Eli as the attractive lead male, playing with the voyeuristic aspect of music videos with the direct addresses and framing. The direct address also serves to make the audience feel included in the video, as if Eli is singing the song to them, increasing the viewing pleasure for them.

Influences shown: 'Love is on the Radio' - McFly, 'Girls' - The 1975, 'Awkward' - San Cisco.

However, we decided that we should do individual shots of the other band members as well, as this is conventional of the genre, and would both help the audience to identify the indie-pop genre of the music video, and to build the band's image. This was key to showing the variation of racial representation within our band, demonstrating our ethnic mix, while also showing fair gender representation, having an equal split between males and females in the band. This would appeal to our target audience, as indie fans are from all ethnicities and genders, so this widens our potential reach.
From looking at our influences, we saw that individual shots of the other band members were included, but they did not have a long shot duration, which is something we have conformed to with our music video. These were used to enhance the racial and gender representation of our band, as well as to convey the genre.
The difference in shot duration follows Carol Vernallis' theory, with some shots being more important than others, therefore shown for longer, i.e. individual shots of Eli instead of the other band members. The use of different framing in music videos is also something we've conformed to, with Vernallis' theory being that extreme framing is common. Below is an animoto showing the extreme shot types included in our video, alongside our influences.




Our video also conforms with Simon Frith's idea of there being different music video types - performance, narrative and conceptual. From our research, we saw that the majority of the indie-genre had either performance videos, or a performance/narrative hybrid. We decided to go with the hybrid, as it allowed us to use our narrative to illustrate (and slightly amplify) the meaning of the lyrics, while the inclusion of both narrative and performance demonstrated our genre clearly.


To show some of our influences of the genre, and how they used both narrative and performance, I created a short video:


We we chose to create the narrative of 'lovers throughout time', both amplifying and illustrating the lyrics of 'born to be together', which imply the idea of love being controlled by fate, and also the interpretation of love as eternal. Our video displays this amplified meaning of the song through the use of different eras, but at first glance it can be interpreted as the typical boy-meets-girl love story, so there are multiple meanings that the audience can draw from it. This means the audience would be more engaged with it, and also widen our potential audience, as each interpretation would appeal to different audience groups, i.e. an ABC1 female indie fans aged 16 to 25, or C2DE male indie-pop fans aged 26 to 35.

Each of our narrative scenes were linear, using match-on actions to ensure continuity, conventional of the narrative scenes in our chosen genre. This both conforms to, and slightly challenges Vernallis', theory, as we use match-on-actions in order to maintain continuity here, and also in our performance bed and dance sequence, which goes against her theory. 

A gif showing the way match-on-action is used in the era scenes, as well as jump cuts disrupting continuity rules.
However, our overall video mostly conforms to her theory, as we use jump cuts and break the 180 and 30 degree rules, alongside jumping from one era to another during the dance sequences. A lot of the frames are juxtaposed in the dance sequence, and there is also a lot of repetition of eras in this section of the video as well. 


The different coloured backgrounds, costumes and sets all provide juxtaposition during the dance sequence, while each era is repeated throughout. At the end, the video cuts to the drumbeat, having previously cut to the guitar riffs, enhancing the illustrative relationship between the visuals and the music.

We also chose to include a dance sequence to illustrate the 'Shut Up and Dance' lyric, as well as to suit the music during the bridge and end of the song (see above for cutting to the music during the dance sequence). For this we drew inspiration from videos such as 'All About That Bass' by Meghan Trainor, and also 'Love is on the Radio' by McFly.


Costumes:

When we were creating our costumes, we were influenced by Richard Dyer's theory on star identities, and how they are constructed. Our band costumes were based upon research which we had done into the style and look of indie bands, and were made to be relatively quirky to be conventional with the indie-pop genre. (see prezi below on how we came up with the costumes)


Intertextual referencing:

As in Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy', we wanted to include intertextual referencing that would help clearly define each era, while also engaging the audience. (See below, 'Clueless' on the left, 'Fancy' on the right).

We specifically referenced 'Fancy' by Iggy Azalea although it's not of the same genre, as we wanted to reference the different eras using intertextual references, so we looked at the way they'd used costumes and set to do this with 'Clueless'.

In order to intertextually reference the film, iconic costumes and settings were replicated in the music video, but with the action occurring to suit the song, i.e. the dancing in the sports scenes (the last row, above).

Having seen how intertextual referencing had been done, and it's popularity, we decided to create intertextual references in our video, below are two examples of eras in which this has been done:

70S ERA:


50S ERA:



As seen above, we went through and decided one or two texts from each era that we wished to reference, i.e. Friends for 90s, Grease for 50s, and then we designed the set and costumes so that these references would be clear. 

We also had to ensure that the intertextual references would be clear to our target audience, particularly the 16 to 25 year old indie fans, as these signified the era, so the references had to be obvious to them. Bearing this in mind, we knew that they would be most likely to recognise iconic films and TV shows from each era, so we chose the references that would be most obvious to that age group.

Website:

We tried to maintain synergy across both our website and album cover in order to construct a consistent overall brand, by using the same colour scheme (black with neon rainbow colouring) and the band logo across all of our web pages, and on the digipak. This conforms to music video website conventions, as the band logo remains constantly on the page, as seen on the 5SOS website, and also the San Cisco website. It is crucial that the platforms are working in synergy, as the website is the marketing hub of any band, so when the audience gets onto the page they need to be able to immediately identify the band's brand by the logo and styling of the site, even before they look at the content of it.

On every page, we have the band logo in the top left corner, maintaining synergy with the album cover, which has the same image as the front cover. Using the logo across both platforms helps to build the brand identity, allowing the audience to immediately recognise our band from the logo.

5 Seconds of Summer have their logo constantly in the top-left of their website.

San Cisco maintain this banner across all pages of their website.


We decided to have a landing page to increase the interactivity of the site, and also as it is conventional for indie/indie-pop bands to have these, for example alt-J and 5SOS.

5SOS have their logo on their landing page, and allow the audience to watch the video, while also including to give the audience interactive opportunities. There is also a clear button to enter the site.

We kept ours to having just the social media links, institutional information and our band logo, as this fit with our simplistic design of both the album cover and the actual website. We also have a clearly labelled button which the audience click to go through to the website.
At the bottom of both our landing page and our website, we had the institutional information, such as the Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions and Record label logo as it is conventional for artist/band websites, and makes it seem more official.

The institutional information in the footer of our page
On our contact page, we included a map and our record label's address, so that people can make enquiries about business opportunities such as potential gigs, collaborations and other events.
The 5SOS institutional information is included at the bottom of the page

We tried to include as many interactive opportunities for the audience as we could, without ruining the minimalistic style that creates the synergy between our media texts. For example, at the top of our page is a rolling advert, that allows the audience to click any part of the banner and be taken to that page:

The banner at the top of our page. When the audience click it at this point, it takes them through to the competition page. 

We also took into account Henry Jenkins' theory of participatory culture, which is that all are free to contribute, with the circulation of media marketing relying heavily on the consumer's interaction. To ensure that the audience interact with our website and our band, we decided to have the social media buttons constantly on the footer of the page. This is a convention of artist websites, as it is below-the-line marketing, which also offers the possibility of a viral marketing campaign, so we thought that it would be beneficial to our record company to follow this convention.

Our social media buttons, clearly seen on the page. These link to the twitter, facebook and instagram pages of the band, as well as the iTunes page, offering them both interactive and purchasing opportunities.
The social media bar of 5SOS, leading to their band pages on social networks.

Having social media incorporated into the site allows the audience to engage with more content, and keep up to date with the band (gratifying the audience's need for surveillance), so we also included a scrolling, social media news-feed on our homepage, making it easily accessible for the audience to interact with, and encouraging them to like and share the content on their own social media profiles as soon as they get onto the website. This aspect is particularly targeted at 16 to 35 year old indie fans, with 98% of the demographic having a presence on social networks, so would be an effective way of targeting them.

The scrolling news-feed displays content from all of our social networks on the website, making it easier for the audience to interact with the band's social media without having to leave the website.

A sign up page was also created so that the audience could opt-in to receive updates about the band, i.e. about merchandise, tour dates, competitions and giveaways. This meets their needs for surveillance, but also for personal relationships, as the marketing sent to them once they had signed up would seem personalised from the band, so they would feel part of a community.

The sign-up page of our website, maintaining synergy with the album cover due to simplistic design and colour scheme. In order to ensure we didn't ostracise parts of our audience who didn't feel comfortable sharing their details, we created an option for the to send the band a message without signing up, still giving them the opportunity to interact with the band.

When the audience scroll over buttons such as 'Gallery' or 'About' in the navigation bar, we made it so that a little menu pops up, allowing them to choose which page they'd like to go to within that section.

An example of the menu when scrolling over the buttons. We thought this was important as it adds another small part of interactivity to the user experience, making website navigation seem more engaging and fun for them.


Our navigation bar was inspired partially by The 1975's, whose buttons become underlined when hovered over. It is quite simplistic, which is conventional of the indie genre, so we decided to follow this convention in order to ensure the audience were able to identify our indie-pop genre.


On our website, we also included content such as our blooper video and behind the scenes images to gratify the audience's need for diversion, whilst increasing interactivity and engagement. 

Our behind-the-scenes gallery page, which then contains links for the audience to go through to the pictures from each era. 

Our blooper page contains the blooper reel from our video, which we created to include more interactive content on our site. It also helps in creating our band identity, creating Richard Dyer's pop star - a persona not restricted to just their music. This creates our band's identity as quite fun, outgoing and upbeat, while also characterising them as individuals. This identity is relatable and aspirational to our target audience, synergistic with the 'role-model' images we created for them in the music video.

5SOS's video page, with their live music videos for the audience to watch. This cultivates their image as a music performer, whereas we have taken it one step further to create our band's star identity

In addition to the interactive opportunities, we also included purchasing opportunities on our site, displaying links to the store on both the home-page and navigation bar, and also on the scrolling banner. These encourage the audience to purchase from the site, as they are reminded that the new album is out, and immediately given an opportunity to buy.
The banner on the top of our page, encouraging the audience to buy the album, while also taking them directly to the store page in order to do so.
The button on the homepage creates a reminder to the audience of the purchasing opportunities available.

The button on the navigation bar is clear, and the store if therefore easily accessible to the audience.

Our merchandise all includes the band logo, helping to meet the audience's need for the creation of a personal identity, and becoming part of a community. It also means that when they use our products, they are providing us with free marketing, as it will create brand recognition in the general public, inciting curiosity and widening our band's potential reach.


We also included a tour page, which informs the audience about our band's upcoming tour dates, and also has a link to ticketmaster, where they'd be able to purchase tickets for particular shows.

The tour page of our website, clearly informing the audience about tour dates, and allowing them to purchase tickets easily.

Album cover

In order to create our album art, we researched artists of a similar genre such as The 1975 and Daughter, and then found out the conventions of indie album covers.

We conformed to the convention of including information such as the following to ensure that our album cover would be identifiable by the audience as an album cover, as they are necessary in the recognition by the audience:
- The album title
- The track list
- Institutional information (i.e. record label, copyright)
- Barcode


As with the 1975 cover, we used the same font for the band logo as the track list, and had the track list centre aligned.

By maintaining synergy across our two media texts, we are building a consistent brand for the band, meaning the audience will be able to easily recognise our band from characteristics such as the 'sticky-tape', our rainbow colour scheme, and our band logo.

As we wanted to do an album cover that only had the band logo as the front cover, we looked at other albums such as Franz Ferdinand and Daft Punk. We also looked at ones such as Daughter and The 1975, but these included images on the front.

This album cover was similar to what we wanted to do, and of the indie genre, so good to reference. However, we did not use it as a reference quite as much as the others due to the prominence of the image on the cover, whereas The 1975 image was far less prominent and therefore more useful in designing our front cover.

Franz Ferdinand's album had only the album title and record label logo on the front cover, so was a good reference, and similar to what we wanted. 

We broke the convention of having a focal image on our front cover, as it wouldn't have created synergy between the website and album cover, so the design needed to be minimalist. 

Everything Everything's self-titled album, with focal images. Focal images are conventional of indie albums, but we decided to break convention as it makes our album distinctive, and builds the brand identity, making the logo more recognisable and impactive, which is used across all of the merchandise and the website.

On our inside cover, we used one picture to cover the two panels, as we felt that it connoted the quirkiness of our band correctly, and also helped to connote the indie-pop genre of our band:

In this photo, the clothing and pose connote the indie-pop genre, while all four band members are shown, with Jacob sprawling across both images, making it obvious that he is the lead singer and the rest of us are band members. 

We used this image of Everything Everything in order to come up with the photo for our inside cover. We liked this because it shows all four band members while connoting the indie genre with the serious facial expressions, the sombre lighting and background, and the dark clothing. However, we decided that this didn't connote the indie-pop genre well enough, as it was too sombre in comparison to other album art such as San Cisco (see below), so we decided to have more vibrant colours and brighter lighting for our inside cover to connote the genre.
After looking at similar-genre album covers such as The 1975, San Cisco, Franz Ferdinand and Walk The Moon, we found that it was conventional for indie artists/bands to have self-titled albums, so followed this convention by making our own album self-titled. This also allowed us to create synergy between the website and album cover, as it meant we could use only the band logo on the front cover, rather than including a different title as well.

San Cisco's self-titled album







2. How Effective Is The Combination Of Your Main Product And Ancillary Texts?

Our main product and ancillary texts were created to be as synergistic as possible in this cross-platform marketing campaign, attempting to create a strong brand identity, and also band identity. However, each product is also designed to promote different products whilst maintaining this synergy, with the album cover promoting our album, our video promoting the single, and our website acting as our marketing hub for all interactive and purchasing opportunities, i.e. gigs, t-shirts, albums, competitions.

On our website we included a 'Music Video' page, helping to promote the music video to our audience. This would therefore aid they music video in its aim to promote our band's single.



Band Identity:


Creating the band identities was crucial across all 3 of our texts, as we needed to ensure an appeal to the target audience of indie fans. To do this, we created the 'performer' image, then built on this to create the 'pop star' image that Richard Dyer refers to.

'Pop performer' image:

In order to create the 'pop star' image, we needed to first construct our band's persona within their music. Our music video was the main tool which we used to do this, using a narrative/performance hybrid in order to do this.

The band performance in the video was key to building our band's pop performer identity, as it showed them playing the music, with shots such as the ECU of Jacob displaying their passion for what they do.

Having these shots of Jacob is effective in appealing to the audience, as it presents him as passionate about his music, while also building his own performance style, making the band unique.
Our wide shots show the band as unified, sharing the experience together. This would appeal to the audience, who like to see band interaction, and it is conventional for the indie genre (such as The 1975 and San Cisco).

A wide shot of the band in the 1975 video for 'Girls'


Having the band smiling and playing their instruments connotes their individual enjoyment of music as well, which the audience can relate to, as they would consume music for a variety of experiences, i.e. escapism. Seeing the band members play the music for these reasons would help to make them more relatable to the audience.

We also managed to build upon the 'pop performer' identity on our website, especially with aspects such as the 'About' page, which includes pictures of them behind their instruments. This causes the audience to associate the band members with their music and the instruments they play, building their identities with regards to their music.

Our about page. The links to the individual band member pages are images of the band with their instruments, showing them to be performers, while their poses and facial expressions begin to connote their individual 'pop star' identities. We also included publicity shots of them with their instruments in the gallery.

The album cover was also used slightly to create the 'pop performer' image, as although they are not shown to have their instruments, it is selling their music, so the audience associate the images they see on the back cover (serious facial expressions, conventional of indie-bands) to the music that is available on the album.

The back cover of the album presents all of the band, and the inclusion of this on the album would cause the audience to associate them with the music on the album. The sticky-tape style is also used in synergy with the website, helping to create a consistent brand identity.
'Pop star' identity:

For the construction of their pop-star identity, we used the website the most, and the inside cover of the digipak. 

On our website, we included publicity shots of the band without their instruments to show the band's persona outside of their music, demonstrating their upbeat, happy, indie-pop image, and also their more serious side as well. This works in synergy with the inside cover of our digipak, which presents them as quite playful, quirky and outgoing, showing interaction between the band members as friends rather than in relation to their music.

An example of the publicity shots on our website. We use different backgrounds and costumes as well as the ones in the music video, in order to make the products seem unique when compared to each other, but the costumes are always similar enough to connote innocence, fun and the indie-pop genre. The pose here is quite playful, synergistic with the image on the inside cover of our digipak, which presents them similarly.

The inside cover of our digipak. This works in synergy with our music video, as they are wearing the same costumes as in the band performance.


Throughout all of our products, the costume and make-up of our band members makes them seem quite clean-cut and innocent, acting as role models for younger fans (and likeable to the older indie audience), while the colour used helps to connote their playfulness as well. This creates a consistent band identity across all of our marketing platforms, and this would help the audience to more easily relate and aspire to our band.

We included 'About' pages on each of our band members, with little interviews with each of them. This would be effective as it would allow our audience to read the content easily, while giving them information about our band members, creating individual identities for each member, therefore making them seem more realistic.

The About pages included images of each of the band members as well, connoting them as individuals within the band, i.e. Chrystal looks quite serious and calm, but her interview is still quite fun, while my character's picture shows me as quite eccentric, and so does my interview. This would be effective, as it shows the different personas within the band, allowing more for people to relate to, and therefore widening our audience reach.
The inclusion of the blooper reel also helps to further their 'pop star' identity, as it shows them behind-the-scenes, allowing the audience to see them as the individuals on set rather than the pop-performers of the video. 

The blooper page maintains synergy with the music video by including the different sets and costumes, but also makes the website into an individual product by including things such as the dancing in between costume changes, providing entertainment for the audience and reinforcing the star identity of the band.
Below is a PowToon on the way 5SOS created their band identity, as they are a band that we used as inspiration during the creation of our band identities, as they are of a similar genre, and are connoted as quite quirky and fun.

(Please note: The PowToon is only fully viewable with autoplay enabled, and if the PowToon does not load immediately, please refresh the page. Full screen viewing is advised, as the PowToon logo may obscure text in the regular viewing area.)


Brand identity:

Across all three platforms, we attempted to maintain a consistent brand identity that the audience would be able to recognise easily through synergy, and also symbiosis on the website.

On all three of our texts, we include the same band logo, creating an anchor for the brand identity, and the rainbow colour scheme and font make it stand out, so would be easily recognisable to the audience. On our website, the band logo remains on the page in order to strengthen the brand identity and recognisability, and it is also included on the merchandise in our store, to provide us with both purchasing opportunities for the audience, and promotion when they use our merchandise.

An image showing where the band logo is on each of our texts

The band logo is on all of our merchandise, allowing the audience to feel a part of the fandom community after purchasing the products, and also providing us with possible word-of-mouth promotion when people see them in public. This is effective in widening our band's potential audience, and also our marketing's potential reach, as it inspires curiosity in the general public.

We used repetition of the 'sticky-tape' style across our website and digipak, which created synergy between the two platforms. Originally this began on the website, thinking that it worked with the coloured-frames, and made the site synergistic with the home-made style of our music video, representing the indie-pop genre.

The sticky-tape style was used on both the album cover and the website, making the products synergistic, seeming very home-made and also quite innocent, while suiting the simplistic style of our brand.
This motif is not seen on our music video however, so this feature does not create synergy between our ancillary texts and our main product, but it allows the music video to be an independent, distinct product from the other two, allowing it to promote the single effectively.

Our colour scheme is also consistent throughout all three products, using the colours from the different sets (blue, green, yellow, red, purple and white), 

The consistent colour scheme brings synergy to our three texts, and helps to anchor the brand identity, as the audience will begin to associate this array of colours with our band.

Below is a PowToon showing how 5SOS used synergy in their campaign in order to build brand identity, which we used as an influence when considering how we were going to construct our brand.

(Please note: The PowToon is only fully viewable with autoplay enabled, and if the PowToon does not load immediately, please refresh the page. Full screen viewing is advised, as the PowToon logo may obscure text in the regular viewing area.)


Symbiosis and more

On our website, we included links to sites such as ticketmaster and XFM's website. This was done in order to widen our record label's potential reach, and XFM are known for playing indie artists and bands who are up and coming, so would be an effective use of symbiosis as they have a suitable audience to expose our band to.

On our news page we also had a link to HMV, as we planned to have our band do a signing there. This would be good, as it targets the UK audience (Oxford Street HMV), and a large number of customers go to HMV to purchase music, so they are a valuable company in increasing our potential reach.

Our XFM interview is advertised on our news page. We decided to have them appear on the radio's breakfast show, as this is a prime time slot, which has a large indie audience listening to it, so would be effective promotional exposure for our band and single.
We took advantage of cross-media convergence by including social media on our website, with the scrolling news-feed allowing the audience to easily interact with the band's social media pages without having to leave the site. The incorporation of social media into a marketing campaign is conventional of artists and bands, as it provides the opportunity for the audience to engage, and works in line with the theory of participatory culture.

5SOS include links to their social media on their home-page
The social network newsfeed is on our home-page, which allows immediate, easy access to the social network for our audience, effectively encouraging them to interact with the content, i.e. sharing it to their own pages.

The content on our social network feed is also very inclusive of the audience, addressing them directly, which contributes to the sense of community for the audience, while simultaneously gratifying their need for surveillance of the band. (see right)




The social media was also used for the competition, compulsory for audience entry, so this would have worked effectively with the 16 to 25 year old indie fans, who are prolific users of social networks. This would have created word-of-mouth promotion for us as well, as fans would discuss with their friends what was going on with the band on social media, such as the competition and tour updates.
The competition utilises the social network of twitter, which is good for easily sharing content and promoting trending topics. If there is enough audience engagement, this could start a trend on twitter, bringing word-of-mouth promotion and possibly causing viral promotion of our band/album due to the fan videos being created.
The competition also appeals to the prosumer aspect of our audience, who are able to produce their own content as well as consume due to technological convergence and the interactive nature of Web 2.0. This means that our competition would probably be effective with our target audience, as it allows them to share their creative content with the rest of the fandom community, as well as the band.


Having created strong brand and band identities, we needed to have purchasing opportunities available for the audience, as this maximises our record label's profits:

We have the album available for sale on our website, promoting the album alongside the album cover, as well as other merchandise such as T-shirts and backpacks (see in 'Pop Star identity' section).



As well as this, we have the tour page, on which we have information about tour dates to inform the audience, as well as links to ticketmaster to encourage them to purchase tickets for the tour right then. This would be beneficial to our record label as the audience would be more likely to purchase tickets, as they would not have to search for it themselves, or have to remember it later.

The 'buy tickets' button stands out clearly on the page, to draw the audience's attention to this purchasing opportunity.

In hindsight, the inclusion of a final frame on our video, perhaps including the url of the website or 'Album available now', could have increased the effectiveness of our music video, and made it more synergistic with the website.