Note to moderator

Note to moderator:
My name is Godgift Emesi (9044) and for my A2 Coursework I am in group 3 with Monica Aghadiuno (9365), Angela Chen (9025) and Thakshana Yogeswaran (9179).
To see my work, please click on the 3 labels on the right named A2 Research and Planning, A2 Construction and A2 Evaluation, and ignore the rest as that is my classwork.

Group 3 - Music Video

Group 3 - Digipak

Group 3 - Digipak
Our Digipack, top left - back, top right - front, bottom left - inside panel, bottom right - inside panel (CD)
This is a link to our website, click the image above to enter our site

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

My three media products use, develop and challenge forms and conventions found in real media products in various ways. Although through different platforms, they all have the same focus of using predominantly the right genre conventions to effectively attract our chosen audience of British RnB/Pop/Street Music fans. This is because, many of the referenced real media product examples I will be analyzing have a strong use of genre conventions.


THE MUSIC VIDEO


Simon Frith's theory presents the idea that Music videos come in three types. Each type have their own features which are recognizable to audiences. 
Ciara- "I bet"
Empire Cast- "Keep it moving"
Simon Frith's Theory
Fifth Harmony- "Boss"
By looking at examples of real media texts, such as 'I bet' by Ciara and 'Keep it movin' by the Empire Cast, in the same types of genres we wanted to make ours (RnB, Pop and Street) we found that music videos for them were predominantly ‘performance’ based, with sometimes a hybrid mix of narrative. Girl groups, like the Fifth harmony ‘Boss’ music video (on the right) are usually of the performance type. We decided the best way to utilize a girl group music video that would also be able to appeal to our TA, is to create a performance type with a subtle hint of narrative, using the generally overused ‘love’ story as the theme.







Our music video also follows the conventions of a performance video by including shots of the group dancing and in lip-sync. There are also dramatic changes of framing and heavy movement of camera to emphasize the dance convention of performance and we develop this convention more with fast-paced and discontinuous editing cut to the beat of the music.
Dancing and Lip-sync example


Discontinuous, fast-paced editing
example

Points 1-2, from Andrew Goodwin's theory below, are also key features of a performance music video, where the music and lyrics inform the performance. However it’s the performance that drives the video. We used this convention in our music video through the use of symbolic imagery of “heart”, “planet” and themes of ‘Red’ like it’s frequently used in the lyrics of Red Planet. 

Example gifs on the right show the Red imagery we used: sometimes in the shape of circles to connote ‘planets’ & silhouettes in order to bring mystery to the subtle theme of space.

We were also able to conform to the voyeurism aspect of Goodwin's theory through the use of the individual narratives each girl member creates with her male partner. 

For example in the screenshot on the left, we have many cuts to 'two shot' shots of them as a couple and shots of them individually it provides the audience with not just the chance to watch the girls (the artists) but also, with the gratification of entertainment, to watch the guys. Thus further developing Goodwin's theory when he only refers to the voyeurism "...in relation to females...".


We also conformed to the use of 'beauty shots' (multiple close-ups of the band members) mentioned in Goodwin's theory. However we developed this convention because we didn't just use them to give variety to the video, but to also add to the band identity. Creating the idea that all our members are on equal level of importance to each other and each have their own unique style and personality.

Example of 'Beauty shot'/Close up
 convention in real media-
Little Mix "Move"
Use of individual close up example
Angela close up example-
in order to show her personality
We fully adhere to the genre conventions of Rnb/Street/Pop in terms of style, Band identity etc. Within the individual aspects of our music video, which make it unique, we still include conventions our audience expect to see from an RnB/Street/Pop music video. 



Drake- "Headlines"


Tion Waynes- "Can't go broke"

For example, discontinuous editing with choppy cuts and visually striking colorful effects, as seen in the real media "Headlines" and "Can't go broke", are key conventions when it comes to the style/look of an RnB/Street music video, as you can see in the examples below.
Our use of discontinuous editing

Representation
Usually in Rnb/Pop/Street music videos, women are usually represented as sex objects and usually use their bodies to sell the music, as seen in the examples below:

Girl group example-
Fifth Harmony "Boss"



Although girl groups in this genre play it down, it’s still prevalent. We challenge this convention of the sexual portrayal of women/girls by reversing the gender roles and making the guys look like ‘objects’. 

We have the men serving the women 
in this shot- a metaphorical shot
 highlighting the men as objects
 rather than the women.
Band Identity

Below is a picture board analysis of how we created a band image through using references of other real artists


Please feel free to full screen the Prezi presentation and double click on images to enlarge them


The Album - (on the first slide, the picture on the left of our album is a real media text example of Ed Sheeran's Album "Multiply"

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Question 2: How effective is the combination of your main products and ancillary texts?

We made our main product and ancillary text with the idea that they would be used together to promote our girl groups brand in a synergistic and interdependent way in order for us to effectively sell the product (the music) to our target audience. 

To be able to do this we looked at our influence, The Weeknd, an already existing effective synergistic marketing campaign. The example can be found on the left below.
Example of Synergy 


Our incorporation of synergistic techniques
helped bring together our music video, website and album. Although they have their own identities and were created for different purposes, they're also able to work together to promote an overall brand and generate an interest in other elements of our products- such as tour tickets and merchandise we created.
How our three products
work together with
synergistic techniques
THE WEBSITE

According to marketing theory, each of the ancillary texts we created is meant to have their own identity and individual theme that makes them distinctive from the other. This is so that they can work distinctly to sell the product (the music) in their own way. The website is usually the focal point of the campaign, connecting everything together. Our website is effective because it provides a range of information, purchasing and interactive opportunities for our audience, as you will see in the Prezi below. 





How our album effectively conveys artist identity
According to Richard Dyer's Theory, the 'star' is a construction and not a real person. The theory states that the 'star' is constructed through music videos, magazines and advertisements. Using this theory in the making of our music video, we purposely included codes in our music video (as explained in the clip below) in order to create an identity for each member of D4MES and thus create a brand that can reach specific social groups important to our target audience and appeal to them. 




Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Question 3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

How we used audience 'Uses and gratifications' theory to appeal to our audience:

When planning and producing our three media texts, we always had to keep in mind our target audience of Rnb, Pop and Street music genre fans in mind.

We needed to be able to effectively appeal to our audience through either and/or all of the three media texts we created in order to make them buy into the D4MES brand via buying their merchandise/album and becoming a fan. For us to do this, we used techniques referenced by Blumer and Katz's Uses and Gratifications theory.

1) Personal Identity

By having completely contrasting personalities for each group member, it provides the audience with many options of aspirational band members, whom they could either identify themselves with or find models of behaviour in.


For example Monigal is presented as the sporty, energetic member of the band who's just as cool and as tough as the guys (if not better). This may encourage girls, especially young ones, who are afraid of trying to break the stereotypical girl who can't/ doesn't play sports or is active.


The music video also portrays the group members as strong women who can take charge of the love relationships they're in. This would empower and inspire many women as there're few media texts that put women in a power role.


2) Surveillance (Inform)

Our website takes on the more of the responsibility of gratifying the audience with information than the music video/album do. The proliferation of web technology (web 2.0) and portable devices mean that the information content that our audience would be looking for to gratify that need is easily available to them.


3) Personal Relationships

Social media features on our website
 provide the audience a relationship with
the artists
Most of the interactive parts of
the website are what provided
the personal relationships
gratification for our
audience 




Throughout the music video, our audience are given an insight into the social interaction of friendship between the girl group. Friendship/companionship is a social interaction all humans strive towards and is the one of the ultimate gratification we can provide the audience with. They can  aspire to having the same close-knit, tight relationship with their circle of people like D4MES is portrayed to have throughout the music video. This is a gratification included in many girl group music videos, since the USP for a group of artists is that they are a GROUP so even if they may not like each other or get along in real life, their music videos and marketing campaigns are usually constructed so that it looks like they are.

Example: The Saturdays
Example: Neon Jungle











4) Diversion/Entertainment

Performance music videos are known for their 'engaging' nature, with fast-paced, discontinuous editing and the artists in a mode of movement/action that catches the attention of the viewer. From our anonymous online survey feedback, we found that our music video was successfully able to entertain our audience. For example with...


Monica's rap
Silhouette and moving spotlight
1) Every group members verse having it's own variation of the typical 'love' story narrative and a different style of editing, for example Monica's editing was more dynamic and 'in your face' than other scenes

2) Fast paced editing with quick cuts to keep the audience on their toes and in suspense of what's coming up next
Fast-paced, discontinuous editing
Choreography











We were able to gain audience feedback through an anonymous online survey I created using SurveyMonkey (an example of some of the questions can be found below). We also interviewed those who fit into our target audience of young Rnb/Pop/Street music fans and asked our peers to give responses after watching/ previewing our texts during the construction stage.


Our online survey via Surveymonkey
Using surveymonkey was a great form of feedback as it helped us during the decision process of the construction period by giving us an understanding of what was good/ needed improvement. 

Using the online survey also helped us realize that although we had already decided a target audience, in reality it seemed to turn out to be different to who we had thought D4MES would appeal to, as you'll see below.



What we learned from our feedback during the construction stage and how we improved from it:

Another type of feedback we collected was through a focus group interview. This was effective because each person was encouraged by the other to give as much detail as they could in their constructive comments, thus allowing a lot of in-depth discussion about what we could improve. Please watch the video below as I have annotated our focus group's comments in order to analyse our feedback.



I learnt from this focus group discussion that people are very quick and able at deducing whether the construction of a star identity is 'constructed' and therefore 'fake', thus making me realize that we needed to take a lot of caution and precision in how we make our artists come across to our viewers- that we need to make them seem as 'real people' and natural as possible.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Question 4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?

During this project the use of media technologies was vital in a variety of ways. We were able to complete all three stages and it made the process of communication between the group easier. Although there were a few challenges along the way with some of the technology we used, individually I was able to make a huge learning curve and with the benefit of hindsight now, I see that there were a lot of things we could've done differently with the hardware and software we had available to us.

Research and Planning
(Please click once on tabs to enlarge them, especially for videos so you can watch them properly)


How we used Mobile technology


1) WhatsApp- This mobile app was our main point of communication as a group for when we weren't together. It was more effective that it was usable via mobile because it meant we could contact each other on the go, wherever we were. Therefore whenever there was an emergency situation (for example in the screenshot below where we had to hold an emergency meeting to finalize our song and move on with creating the steal-o, which we were already behind on) we could easily get a hold of each other.

A screenshot of when we were
planning one of our initial group

 meetings
Our WhatsApp group

WhatsApp had cross media convergence capabilities. This meant that not only were we able to send messages to each other through the group chat, but we were also able to send, pictures, videos and voice messages to each other. The multi-media aspect of WhatsApp meant we had many creative solutions to completing work. For example, when designing the flat plan at home, I was able to send pictures of some of what I had drawn to my group for feedback on how to improve it and things to add to it.

2) Instagram- This is another mobile app that we used to plan out and research costumes that would make our artists appeal to the Rnb/Pop/Street music fans. As you can below, one of our main searches would be "Urban Street Fashion". This is an app where people from across the world can post their own pictures, so this app also helped us learn directly from our target audience how to appeal to them.

A screenshot from when we were
 researching costume ideas for
the music video via the

 Instagram app

3) Capturing media/ research evidence- As you can see from the short clip below, to be able to capture most of the evidence for our blogs and content to send via our WhatsApp group chat, as much as camera's were useful, phones also had a beneficial use too. They are small and portable and because the WhatsApp mobile app we used is integrated to our phones, it was easy to send the media content directly to each other.


video


Construction


Evaluation

Web 2.0


1) SurveyMonkey- An online service that allows users to create web browser based surveys; the survey I made can be found below. We used it in order to get feedback from a randomly selected group of people so that we could get an authentic image of people's opinions regarding our three texts and whether we were able to successfully reach and appeal to our target audience. 

Create your own user feedback survey 

Benefits and Disadvantages of using SurveyMonkey

2) Prezi- Prezi is an online presentation tool that can be used as an alternative to the traditional slide making slide program, PowerPoint. I used it because of the many creative options it provided me with when I wanted to make my method of presenting information on my blog visually interesting. 



Benefits and Disadvantages of using Prezi
Benefit- Being able to embed the prezi into
our blog posts on blogger, which is also a
symbiotic element of the site 
3) Imgflip- An online image creator that specializes in memes and GIF's. I used it for visual presentation purposes in order to create moving images that could clearly example points I made in my evaluation blog posts. Below is a video example of how I would create my GIF's.


video

4) Padlet- Probably one of my favorite online web tools to use as it's cross media convergence was better than all the other web tools since you could import even GIF's, as well as videos and photos etc. Padlet is a virtual wall that allows people to express their thoughts on a common topic easily. I used it for visual presentation purposes. 


Benefits and Disadvantages of using Padlet


Software:

1) Microsoft Word 2016- I used word to be able to create most of the diagrams for my blogger evaluation posts because it was really simple and quick to use.



Hardware:

1) Cannon Legria HFG30- We used it to film our focus group interview as it had great image quality and it was easy to use so wouldn't distract me from asking questions while filming at the same time.