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  • Determine financial viability of a future productionGather information about the content of productionGather information to assist in the planning of technical and logisitical requirements of a productionGather data about audience consumption of media products
  • All media products cost substantial amounts of money to make – films, television programmes, magazines etc.There are lots of costs involved in producing a text – paying for staff (cast and crew), paying for equipment, locations, props, costumes etc.In order to be successful a media product HAS to make money in order to pay back what it has spent and make profit – since they are after all part of the media INDUSTRY.THEREFORE the producers have to check to see whether the product or service they are planning is actually likely to produce any REVENUE.
  • Many media products require lots of research in their initial planning stages to ensure that they are historically and/or factually correct.THEREFORE the producers have to conduct research into the content of their products – for example the producers of Holby City would have consulted doctors and medical staff about many aspects of the show in its initial planning stages OR a journalist writing an article about teenage anorexia will conduct research into the issue, seeking the advice and knowledge of medical experts, psychiatrists and suffers of the eating disorder to make sure that they write things that are true
  • Once the initial stages of planning of complete and the producers have the financial backing in place to actually create the product, further research MUST be undertaken which focuses on the technical and logistical planning of the production. For example if a producer was planning on creating a television advert for an expensive new celebrity perfume they would have to meet with the director of the shoot to discuss and plan many things, for example they would discuss where to film the advert. This then would lead to more planning as they would have to organise cast and crew in that place, not to mention issues such as visas, travel and equipment.
  • Advertisers expect quality products that reach an intended audience, they have to know that their money is being well spent. They want to be able to measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaign. The producers of media products are well aware of this, they are also more than aware of the fact that the biggest source revenue for most media products are adverts and therefore they need to make sure that their media product actually reaches the intended audience. For this very important reason they conduct research into the audience they are targeting Some of the technologies emerging over the Internet allow for a much more interactive relationship to exist between customer and advertiser.Advertisers have lots of choice about where to direct their money and through which media channels radio, tv, the Internet, Film, magazines, newspapers. They can also choose to sponsor programs rather than just create adverts.Advertisers are attracted to media products because of they deliver a ready made audience with a certain demographic. They will need to predict and then confirm that audience size and make-up align with their goals. Media research ties in very nicely to this.Therefore having up to date and accurate research about your audience serves both to ensure that the media product is successful and that the advertising opportunities associated with it are targeted.
  • Students discuss what these two titles mean and what they might entail – mind map on smart board.
  • Effective and successful media products rely on understanding the audience and communicating with them effectively.Trend in the media industry to become more fragmented – why? Brief discussion point. Consider 1950’s and TV, number of channels available in UK in 70’s =3. Compare with now.Therefore knowing your specific audience has become more important – they are less homogenous and in turn harder to understand than past audiences especially as culture has changed.Brief discussion of advantages to the Media companySome data is commercially available through agencies like Nielsens. Other data maybe freely available.
  • Possible activity - students carry out research on the UK agencies – ABC, NRS, Nielsen Media Research, BARB, RAJAR and TNS institutions.Possible HWK - to prepare a section of a report on these agencies and the services they provide.‘There are a number of institutions you have been introduced to that undertake market research activity for media products. Explain what services they offer and how they relate to producing successful media products.’
  • GenderAlso a major categorisation and perhaps in some instances the most obvious divider between groupsOne of the most obvious media that shows this categorisation is the magazine market. Both genders will of course read magazines aimed at the opposite gender (which man hasn’t read Cosmopolitain’s ‘100 ways to drive your man wild in bed top tips’ or celebrity gossip in Heat magazine). However it is a question of principle audience.AgeOne of the most obvious and significant differentiators between groups of people is their age.What are common age groups in media research?15 and younger16-2425-4445-6465 and olderThese are general – specific projects will be more targeted to one particular segment. E.g children below 15 would need further division if the effects of a product were to be fully understood.What other factors may affect this? e.g. legal for film classificationAlso advertisers will want to know what ages are watching, listening etc so that they can decide whether to place adverts at particular spots in a schedule.Culture and EthnicityToday the media is global – not just the Internet. Consider news such as BBC World or Blooomberg.Newspapers such as The Economist and FT, and magazines such as Vogue and ElleImmigration over the years has also created overseas markets e.g. Hong KongIn terms of research different cultures have different values and references. Some things will work in one culture but not others. Numbers – many UK and US hotels do not have room or floor 13’sNippon Air doesn’t have seats numbered 4 or 9Colours – Red lucky in Chinese, Green significant for IslamWomen in bikini’s in adverts in Europe is OK – in Saudi Arabia not so goodLanguage - Fiat Pinto did not sell in Brasil because it means “tiny mail genitals”Income and Social ClassInvolves looking at annual salary, job type and social classDisposable income is the key because that is what the advertiser is competing for. Also it is directly related to the product.
  • CIE means Chief Income EarnerPossible Student taskStudents find a range of adverts from at least 3 different media that are clearly targeted at different groups.GenderAgeCulture and ethnicityIncome and social groupThey produce a presentation of their work and explain how the elements they see are aimed at target market using the 4 categories above.
  • Possible Student TaskTo brainstorm the possible costs and income generators for a media product
  • Students discuss what these two titles mean and what they might entail – mind map on smart board.

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