Analysis of Indie/Alternative
By Hannah Lenane
This is an advert taken from NME magazine,
promoting the infamous band, Kings Of Leon’s
Firstly it is important to notice that an image of
the band themselves is not present. This is
unusual as image and how the band is perceived
is of great significance to the Indie/Alternative
genre. However, the sudden popularity of the
band can justify their absence from the advert.
They no longer need to directly sell their image to
audiences as their target audience, as well as
others, will already be aware of who they are and
what their image is. In conclusion, as a result of
their popularity, the band no longer need to
advertise themselves nor their image.
Next we focus on the colours of the image. Warm tones of red, purple, orange and brown are used.
These colours give the image a washed out, faded effect that works well with the high contrast
lighting used. This turns the minimalist advert into an artistic image with a vintage/rustic effect.
This will appeal to audiences as vintage, rustic and retro styles are highly influential with concern to
and sought after by those following the Indie or Alternative fashion and music scene. This colour
scheme also links to the central focus of the advert, which is an over-exposed photograph of a
palm tree. The two items work together well to create connotations of tranquillity, relaxation and
The font used is bold, plain and simplistic, placing emphasis upon the name of the band - ‘Kings of
Leon’, the name of the album - ‘Come Around Sundown’ and in a slightly smaller yet equally bold
font, where you can purchase the album from - ‘Amazon.co.uk’. These items are in bold font in
order to be the first things on the advert to catch the audience’s attention and present consumers
with the vital information needed to sell the product.
The theme of simplistic theme of bold white fonts, warm, washed-out
colours and the image of the palm tree are mirrored in the album
cover and theme also. This creates a recognisable gimmick and
image for the band’s new album and potential ‘new image’.
This overall simplistic theme is effective as it does not allow the audience to gain too
much information on what to expect from the album itself from it. This will entice
audiences as their previous knowledge of the band will draw them towards the album, yet
the minimalistic style also adds an air of mystery to the band. The warm colours and faded
sepia style image contrast to the styling of their previous album and advert themes that
were made up of haunting images and dark colours.
This implies that audiences can expect something new and more from the band,
appealing to them further. This also correlates with the present transition Indie bands are
making from an Independent, quirky genre to a more mainstream and pop-inspired
This is an advert for John Legend &
The Roots taken from UNCUT magazine
promoting their new album.
Immediately this advert differs dramatically
from the previous. Firstly, the central focus
of this advert is an image of the band
themselves, performing. This portrays to
audiences that their focus is their music
not their image. The photograph is taken in
black and white. This gives the image an
Artistic and sophisticated flair that will
attract the targeted Indie/Alternative
audiences as, from research, we can
understand they find appeal in meaningful
and artistic artists. An image of the band is
also used as they are not as well known or
mainstream as The Kings of Leon are and
therefore have yet to create and maintain a
recognizable image for themselves.
• The colour scheme is of highly contrasting, bold colors. This contrasts to the
washed out, vintage style of the previous advert and introduces a clean cut, sharp,
modern style. The colours of the advert match those of the album cover, creating
an ongoing theme and link between the two. The font on each is bold and either
bright yellow, or yellow and black contrasted against each other. This emphasizes
the name of the band, album name, release date and description. Information that
record companies will want audiences to receive and retain. Although the image of
the advert and artwork of the album cover do not correlate, leaving the link
In the bottom right hand corner of the advert is a minimized image of the album
This image has been added to the advert in order for audiences to be able to
the album should they want it, as the advert image is not the album cover and
audiences may therefore become confused when looking to buy the album.
This is an advert endorsing the latest album by
Firstly, we can see that an image of the band
is present in the advert and is the background
image for the entire page, although an image of
the band has been used in this advert for
differing reasons to that of the previous advert
analyzed. The band’s photo is not used here to
establish their image nor introduce them to
audiences as they are already renown artists.
The reasoning for including the image could be
for a number of reasons: Stereophonics have been
in the public eye since 1992 and therefore it can be
Understood that they are using the new album as
an opportunity to visually prove to audiences that
they are fashionable and up to date. This will
attract younger, more fashionable Indie/Alternative
audiences, widening the band’s fan base.
Or, more probably, they are using the advert to promote a new image for themselves as
they attempt to make the move to the mainstream along with other bands from the
genre. It can be interpreted from the use of their image in the advert that the band is
trying to make the move to mainstream along with other bands from the genre. Evidence
supporting this lies in their previous album covers and adverts, all of which are concept
photographs and images, suggesting that the band were previously more focused on their
music and the message being portrayed than their image and audience perception which
is their new aim and focus for their latest album.
There is also correlation between the colour
scheme used in the advert and that seen on the
album cover. The colours are dull and the band are
wearing dark tones that cause them to stand out
against the background, placing emphasis on them,
drawing audience attention to them. There is also a
link between the fonts used on the advert and on
the album cover. This creates a continuity that
audiences will recognize and associate with the
This final advert is taken from UNCUT music
magazine and is announcing the debut album of
band, Frankie Rose and The Outs.
As the band is just starting out they have a small fan
base and are somewhat unknown to the public.
Unusually for a band of their low status there is no
photograph of the artists to promote their image or
to allow audiences to recognise and become
familiarised with them. It is my understanding that
they have instead opted for a simplistic advert
sporting an illustration and only the name of the
band and release date of the album to create an air
of mystery for the band, that will create hype and a
build up to the release, filling audiences with
curiosity and compelling them to buy or download
the album to find out more.
The colour scheme used connects with this idea as the bright yellow background of
the advert, complete with quirky spotted pattern will stand out from the pages of a
magazine and catch audience attention. The font is simplistic, black, large and bold,
making it stand out so that audiences will receive the minimal, yet necessary
information instantaneously, igniting the curiosity that will later lead to their targeted
popularity. The spotted pattern and etched, abstract artwork will appeal to the young
target Indie/Alternative audience this band will be aimed at as spotted patterns are
considered fashionable within the Indie style and the artwork unique, modern and
therefore appealing to young, artistic people.
There is also a link between the colours
and imagery used on both the advert
and album cover. This theme will allow
audiences to associate the advert with
the album and recognize the band
without having ever seen them. It is a
device used here so that the band
remain anonymous, therefore
mysterious, yet recognized by their