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  1. 1. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   MS4: Music Industry The Saturdays   1  
  2. 2. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   The Saturdays – formation, development and genre The Saturdays are a British and Irish pop, R&B and electropop girl group. The group consists of five members Una Healy, Mollie King, (a former X Factor auditionee) Vanessa White, Rochelle Wiseman and Frankie Sandford (the latter 2 are former members of S Club Juniors). In 2007 the band were put together and given an instant record deal with Fascination, a sub-division of Polydor Records. N.B. Industry info: Polydor Records remains one of the strongest record labels in the UK. In Spring 2006, Polydor launched Fascination Records, a music label dedicated to pop music. Both Girls Aloud and Sophie Ellis-Bextor transferred to the new label, and Fascination effectivel ‘created’ The Saturdays. Polydor is owned by Universal Music group (one of the ‘big 3’) Timeline of events: 2007 – the band formed after auditioning to be part of the group (i.e. they were ‘manufactured’ by their record label Polydor). The signed to Fascination Records, a sub-label of Polydor. 2008  –  supported  Girls  Aloud  on   their  ‘Tangled  Up’  tour.  Began   recording  their  debut  album,   Chasing  Lights.         Released  their  1st  single,  If  This  Is   Love,  which  peaked  at  Number  8  in   the  UK  charts.         1st  album  Chasing  Lights  released   Oct  2008,  and  went  to  number  9,   eventually  going  Platinum.  5  singles   in  total  were  released  from  this   album.       2009  –  The  Work  Tour  –  their  1st   headlining  theatre  tour,  to  promote   their  first  album.     The  band  picked  up  several  lucrative   sponsorship/advertising  deals,   including  deodorant,  tampons,  mobile   phones  and  hair  removal  creams.     Oct  09  –  their  2nd  album,  Wordshaker,   was  released,  again  peaking  at  number   9  in  UK  charts  (this  album  went  silver).   Only  2  singles  were  released  from  this   album.   2    
  3. 3. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   2010 – the band released a mini-album, Headlines. The single from this, Missing You, went to number 3 in UK charts. Late in the year, work started on their 3rd studio album. 2011 – The group began recording the 3rd album, with press coverage promising it to be more RnB,, more ‘danclefloor’ orientated, and even ‘sexier’. The girls in the band co-wrote some of the songs. Nov 2011 – 3rd album, On Your Radar, released. December 2011 – the girls started their arena tour, the All Fired Up tour.   3  
  4. 4. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   2013 – Living for the Weekend, fourth studio album, released October 14, 2013 The album charted at number 10 in the UK charts.   4  
  5. 5. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Genre and style in The Saturdays’ music Essentially, The Saturdays are a ‘pop’ band. Pop is clearly a vast and diverse genre, in fact what you might call a meta-genre (a loose amalgamation of a variety of styles all under the same umbrella). The term pop music originated in the UK in the 1950s, as a description for the new non-classical youth music styles that were emerging at the time. From the late 60s, the term began to be used in opposition to ‘rock music’, giving a distinctive generic significance to both terms. A western invention, pop music has spread throughout the world and has come to constitute common denominators in global commercial music cultures. Pop music could be categorised as being mainstream, commercially orientated (quantified through charts, radio airplay, etc) recorded music, often aimed toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes. It is also often characterized as a softer alternative to rock. Pop music has absorbed a variety of other influences, including soul, dance, gospel, and electronic, and contemporary pop music, such as that made by The Saturdays, is can clearly be seen as a hybrid of some of these popular styles. Identifying generic signifiers in the music of The Saturdays Listen to extracts from the following lead singles from each of The Saturdays’ albums, in chronological order. For each, identify the typically ‘pop’ genre signifiers. What other subgenres of pop can you hear as influences in the tracks? What sense of progression is there is their music? Have the generic features and influences evolved as the band’s career has progressed? First single – If This Is Love (2008) Single from 2nd album – Forever is Over (2009) Single from mini-album – Missing You (2010)   5  
  6. 6. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Single from 3rd full studio album – Notorious (2011) Single from 4th studio album – Disco Love (2013)   6  
  7. 7. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   The Saturdays - REPRESENTATION Starter activity: Look at the cover images for 3 of The Saturdays’ singles (chronologically). Annotate to highlight key representational issues. What do the 3 texts have in common?   7  
  8. 8. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Representations of Gender Video analysis 1: ‘Ego’ (2010) Reception Theory suggests that different audiences will read the same texts in different ways due to their individual social and cultural backgrounds. It could be argued that videos such as this are designed to elicit different responses from young male and female audiences. Read the introductory statements that could be made about the video, and complete them, using terminology/theory where you can, and referring to specific parts of the video as evidence (remember, this is the sort of tone you are aiming to write in for the exam!) On the one hand, this video could be read by a young female audience as empowering. The band members could be said to be representing young women positively, as they… However, it is also notable that the girls are emphasised sexually through camerawork, mise-en-scene and editing, which facilitates the voyeuristic response of the ‘male gaze’ from male audience members. This idea is reinforced through…   8  
  9. 9. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Video analysis 2: ‘Notorious’ (2011) Watch the video (twice if necessary) and record your observations of key representation issues below. Use specific scenes/images from the video as evidence for your points. Try to comment on aspects such as: § § Their status and persona §   Gender Similarities and differences to Ego video 9  
  10. 10. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Issues and debates in the representation of The Saturdays Being a ‘pop’ band, The Saturdays have a lot of fans in their early teens, and even younger. On the one hand, they have been represented (by the media, and to some extent, by themselves) as role models to their younger fans. For example, they recently came 14th in Capital FM’s Best Role Model In Pop 2011 online poll, with one fan who voted for them adding, "Vanessa and Rochelle aren't your typical stick thin popstars and we need more role models like that." Recently, following comments in the media about her weight gain (which she later revealed was due to an ovarian cyst), Rochelle Wiseman released a statement saying, “As a band we take pride in being role models to children and other young girls and I think that the best role model is someone who is comfortable in their own skin! And I am!” However, they were also cited in a recent (early 2011) controversy surrounding the sexualisation of children in today’s society. Look at the article below: A Panorama investigation into the sexualisation of children will be screened tonight amid fears that children are being bombarded with sexual images. The show will be presented by newsreader Sophie Raworth, who says she was inspired to look into the issue after being disturbed by what her daughter was watching. She described her reaction to viewing a pop music DVD featuring popular acts the Saturdays and Girls Aloud that her six-year-old daughter had been given as a Christmas present. “Within minutes I felt deeply uncomfortable. As I watched these videos through the eyes of a young child, I saw heavily made-up girls with huge false eyelashes in really skimpy clothes with lots of cleavage and sexy dance moves. My gut reaction was to switch it off. “But children are surrounded by sexual images all the time – be it on television or the internet, in video games, on billboards or in magazines. They are growing up in a world which seems more and more sexualised.” A recent report which features in the Panorama investigation has found that 24 per cent of nine to 16-year-olds have seen some form of pornography in the last year and that more than half go online when they alone in their rooms. Miss Raworth said that her research had reinforced the importance of parents communicating with their children. “If there’s one message that has come through from all the parents and experts I have spoken to, it is talk to your children, communicate with them and know what they are doing, particularly online.” Panorama: Too Much Too Young was screened on BBC One at 8:30pm on Monday 10 January, 2011. The Saturdays also use lads’ magazines such as FHM as a promotional tool, appearing in phtoshoots and features in highly sexualised poses. Look at the recent promotional video on, showing the girls from the band taking part in an FHM photoshoot. Discussion point: How can we reconcile all these differing elements in The Saturdays’ representations? Is there an inherent hypocrisy, or is it possible for pop artists to be both sexualised/objectified and to function as positive role models (i.e. to have a deliberately polysemic image to cater for different audience segments?)   10  
  11. 11. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   MS4 – Text, Industry, Audience (Music) THE SATURDAYS – marketing strategies Starter task: List as many specific ways you can think of in which The Saturdays are marketed and promoted to their audience: Marketing is the pricing, promoting and distributing of goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives. It focuses on how customers make choices, and how companies should design products and services in relation to these choices. In the music industry, there has been a shift away from marketing specific products (e.g. albums, singles, etc), and instead a move towards marketing bands and artists as BRANDS in their own right (a brand with a ‘personality’ and that offers a unique brand ‘experience’).   11  
  12. 12. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Examples of marketing strategies Type of marketing Analysis of examples ‘Hard sell’ marketing techniques Analysis of key selling points of ‘Notorious’ video (2011): ‘Soft sell’ marketing techniques Analysis of online TV series, ‘2013 Flip videos’ available via the band’s official website and also posted on youtube: (music videos, appearances on music channels, press adverts and features, etc) (eg official websites – help to generate word of mouth publicity)   (consider mode of address, audience positioning and appeal) 12  
  13. 13. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Analysis of official website: (to include key selling points, what content is on offer to fans, who it would appeal to, how it would generate follow-on publicity, the concept of ‘team sats’ etc) Online communities and social networking: Forums, fansites, facebook, Twitter, e.g.   Analysis of Facebook (Link to theory – how do these sites work to engage fans and promote the band? (Use U&G and other key media terminology) 13  
  14. 14. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   How is twitter used by The Saturdays? Twitter, a social networking site, allows its six million users to broadcast their every move to the watching world through 140-character messages sent via the web or their mobile phone. Twitter has been embraced by celebrities and politicians. Celebrities used to just use a simple web page in order to promote their brand and their image. Twitter has arguably fundamentally changed the relationship between celebtrities and fans, and has become increasingly popular as a way for celebrities to tell their fans what they are up to. Look at The Saturdays official page,, and then click on some of the individual accounts of each member. With reference to specific examples of posts, explain how twitter is arguably used by the band as a form of digital marketing.   14  
  15. 15. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Sponsorship, Case study: Impulse TV ads merchandise and tie- ins ture=related Why are tie-in promotions such as this effective? Who benefits and how? How do the ads represent The Saturdays and who is the target audience?   15  
  16. 16. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Associated publicity (e.g. celebrity gossip magazines) Analysis: OK magazine Visit the OK magazine website: and search for recent articles on The Saturdays. How are gossip magazines and websites used by pop artists as a marketing tool? Give examples/evidence from the stories that you find. How do the stories and articles affect our ‘readings’ of The Saturdays? (Link to theory: the 2-step flow)   16  
  17. 17. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Having considered all of the above, how would you sum-up the brand identity that those responsible for marketing The Saturdays are trying to create? Create a visual summary (e.g. mind map) below to illustrate your conclusions.   17  
  18. 18. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   MS4: Text, Industry, Audience (Music) THE SATURDAYS – sponsorship and tie-ins Julien Temple, a music video director has been quoted as saying: The best pop music is the truth of someone singing powerfully about what they feel. If that’s owned by a conglomerate of soft drink, it’s like having an invisible Pepsi sign engraved on your forehead. That’s definitely part of the process of how pop music’s being killed. It becomes useless because it’s incorporated. Lots of record companies are chaining music down to where it’s not very interesting and nobody can do anything different with it. (From As Heard on TV: Popular Music in Advertising, Bethany Klein) The relationship between corporations and musicians have ranged from sponsorship or tours and music programmes, to the use of popular songs in adverts, to, in some cases, the offer to pay artists for approved lyrical mentions of products in songs, or product placement in music videos. Each of these methods has raised eyebrows to varying degrees in different markets. ‘Pop’ music has always been commercially driven, but is this commercialization (using an artist’s name, songs or images) to sell other products in some way ‘degrading’ pop music? Or is it necessary in today’s climate in the music industry where record companies are losing money due to illegal downloading and therefore are looking for different ways to increase an artist’s profitability? Product placement: Use the link above to read the article on the website Brands and Films about The Saturdays and to look for the placement of Ice watches in the video for Missing You. Summarise the most important parts of the article into 5 bullet points below: • • •   18  
  19. 19. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   • • Tie-ins: 1. Fashion Union The Saturdays’ reality show Chasing the Saturdays was broadcast in the UK on the Sky E! channel. The show was sponsored by the online fashion retailer, Fashion Union. The company’s sponsorship ran for 10 weeks from February 2013. The show is now to be shown on 4Music. Reuters press agency reported: The campaign, which is targeted primarily at women between 16 and 34, aims to continue to raise the profile of Fashion Union and further position the retailer as the one stop online destination for up-to-theminute women`s clothing and fashion. Activity will also include an online push via social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, including a competition to win The Saturdays` latest look. Pawan Khosla, CEO at Fashion Union said: "This is a major campaign for FashionUnion. It`s the first time we`ve explored TV advertising in this nature and E!`s audience is a great fit for this campaign which is very much in-line with our targets and business objectives. "There is a clear synergy between Fashion Union as a clothing brand and the programme content of `Chasing The Saturdays`. Our target audience has a real affiliation with the girl group and this sponsorship allows Fashion Union to remain front of mind when viewers are looking to recreate the outfits worn by The Saturdays in the show which fits in perfectly with Fashion Union`s commercial strategy."   19  
  20. 20. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Why is this a good tie-in for both The Saturdays and the companies involved? Watch a clip from the show and analyse how the band are promoted and how this acts as synergy for the group. 2. Rimmel In December 2011, cosmetic brand Rimmel announced that they were to sponsor the All Fired Up Tour. Read about the deal using: Then look at how the tie-in was used in Rimmel’s own website: Analysis points of the tie-in: (representation; target audience; mode of address; key selling points; who benefits and why)   20  
  21. 21. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   2. Three-way tie-in between The Saturdays, Nintendos, and The Dogs Trust Article: biz/article-­‐2031779/The-­‐ Saturdays-­‐launch-­‐education-­‐ initiative-­‐-­‐With-­‐help-­‐adorable-­‐ puppies.html     Adverts: nm4E4vMCJJw vie.php?filename=TA13545     Website  promotion: ws/coral-­‐pink-­‐nintendo-­‐3ds-­‐with-­‐ nintendogs-­‐cats-­‐out-­‐friday/     Charity work: The Saturdays recently joined forces with the Poppy Appeal to launch the 2103 November appeal – see article from The Daily Mail:   21  
  22. 22. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   Create a visual summary [spider diagram, mind map, etc] which analyses both the Dogs’ Trust and the Poppy Appeal, the techniques employed, target audiences, and representations:   22  
  23. 23. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays   The Saturdays – checklist for the exam Would you feel confident applying The Saturdays case study to the following exam questions? Text: Explore the ways in which your chosen texts reinforce or challenge typical representations of gender. Explore the different representations of either women or ethnicity in your chosen texts. How do your chosen texts use genre conventions? To what extent are your chosen texts typical of their genre? Industry and Audience: How do your chosen texts attract their audiences? How successful have your chosen texts been for their industry? Explore the ways in which audiences and/or users respond to your chosen texts. Explore the impact of digital technologies on your selected industry. How important is the internet to your selected industry? Explore the marketing strategies used by your selected industry.   23  
  24. 24. MS4:  Music  Industry  -­‐    The  Saturdays     24