Target AudiencesDuring my production work of my magazine, I wanted to ensure that I targetedmy audience effectively. In order to do this I carried out some research.When doing my research I came across, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs thorium. Ithought that this was very important when understanding an audience’s needsand desire. Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs model can be divided into basic needs. You must satisfy lower level basic needs before moving on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been satisfied, you are able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.
Stages of Original Hierarchy of Needs• 1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.• 2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability.• 3. Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, affection, relationships.• 4. Esteem needs - self- esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility.• 5. Self-Actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self- fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.
• Maslow exemplifies the different social groups that are in society. His theory shows the needs that everybody requires. This theory is an important part of understanding an audience. The theory is also the first step to understanding their socio economic background, job, income and more elements. In my opinion, I think that taking Maslow’s theory into consideration, it will provide me the understanding of different audiences. From this theory I could obtain an ideal target audience.
Signs and Semiotics• Semiotics, or semiology, is the study of signs, symbols, and signification.• I will carry out some research to familiarise myself with semiotic, in order to allow myself to understand the needs of my target audience and to produce a strong media product.
Media Theorists• Researching signs and semiotics, I came across the media theorists- Roland Barthes, Charles Sanders Pierce and Ferdinand de Saussure.
Roland Barthes• Roland Barthes was a French literary theorist and philosopher. His ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, social theory, anthropology and post structuralism. Roland Barthes word pioneered ideas of structure and signification which have come to underpin cultural studies and critical theory today. However, he always remained an outsider due to his sexuality and religious beliefs.• Barthes emphasizes the diversity of possible references, and the ambiguity of each signifier. A boundary between denotation and connotation could not be held, and final interpretations are impossible, so every text is plural. His argument:- The signifier is the image used to stand for something else, while the signified is what it stands for.- Society is the construction, preserved by signs of the dominant values within its culture.- Semiology was the close analysis of process of meanings by which the capitalist class who own most of society’s wealth and means of production converts its historical class- culture into a universal nature.- According to modern semiology, the benefit of culture resides in the differences of attitude and groups. Without these differences, choices would be limited.- Barthes feelings were that ‘Occidentalism’ was set like binders, providing one tool for understanding namely, rhetoric.
Continued..• Barthes wanted to create a way for people to deepen their understanding language, literature and society and wanted to point out that all the signs we see today make up society around us. Example:• RED WINE- is the French national drink and can be viewed as life giving a refreshing in cold weathers. It can be associated with many myths (Keeping warm, all things cool and sparkling). It can also be seen as a drink of the lower class, this is because it is seen as blood-like as in Holy Communion.• Relevance to the media?• Roland Barthes theory links with the media, mainly because the media controls the ways in which society works. Society is constructed around signs and the media presents society with non stop signs. Overall the media makes these signs for us to interpret and influence what we do in our day to day life. Many signs have change through the period of time (e.g. Red Wine) this is because cultural meanings have changed and this is because the media has recreated this.
Ferdinand de Saussure• Ferdinand de Saussure was a Swiss linguist whose ideas on structure in language laid the foundation for much of the approach to and progress of the linguistic sciences in the 20th century. Saussure’s argument is that a sign is composed of a signifier and the signified.• A sign is something that stands for something to someone. This sign could be perceived in different ways depending on the recipients different qualities (e.g. age and gender). The signifier could be an image or a sense.
A Sign- This is a painting by Rene Magritte called The Treachery of Images. From the painting one may infer that the picture shows a pipe. However the French sentence at the bottom of the painting reads, "Ceci nest pas une pipe“ which is French for "This is not a pipe." What this means is that Magritte is saying that this picture isn’t a pipe, but represents an image of a pipe.The Treachery Of Images: “This Is Not A Pipe” – ReneMagritte.
Conclusion• Due to an understanding of media theorists, signs and semiotics and Maslows hierarchy, it has enabled me to produce a music magazine that can effectively target my audience. Also if I was to place my magazine into the magazine industry, it would be successful because it will meet the requirements for my target audience if I took my research on board.
Further Reading• If you wish to have a deeper understanding of signs and semiotics, click on the following link for more information:• http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Docu ments/S4B/semiotic.html