Media texts will never be successful unless they are carefully constructed to target pre
Sian Lynes“Media texts will never be successful unless they are carefully constructed to target pre-establishedaudience needs or desires” Evaluate the ways that you constructed a media text to target a specificaudience.The construction of my media text, in this case my music video, deliberately had a specific targetmarket of young female adults aged between 16-24 years in mind. The direct appeal to my targetaudience was fundamental in the creation of my media text in order to be successful.This is primarily evident through the use of a singular female artist, a generic convention in a popmusic video, allowed the creation of a ‘star image’ that the audience would be able to build arapport with. McQuail’s Uses and Gratifications Theory (1972) of personal identity can be applied asthe artist fell within the same audience gender and age category (aged 20)which the audience canidentify with socially. They may see themselves in, or admire the artist thus making it more likely tocontinue reading the text. Hartley’s (1987) suggestion that “institutions… must also enter relationswith the audience” is applicable in this case because of the artist fitting into the same target marketrequirement it is easier for the audience to view them as a “real person” and continue to interactwith them.Misé-en-scene is also a generic convention of ‘popular music videos’ in order to attract the pre-established needs and desires of the audience. For example, the use of misé-en-scene reflects the1950s era which incorporated a 1950 A-Line polka dot dress for costume with heavy make-up andher hair in rollers. Therefore complying with Stuart Hall’s encoding model, as the costume encodedfemininity and ‘cool’ as it may be seen as more desirable and exclusive by the audience. Thereforethe audience may desire this aesthetic and may want to replicate it in order to fit in with ‘popularculture’. This is compliant with the Hypodermic Needle theory as through the media the artist has anarguable powerful effect on the audience, as this may influence them to dress in a similar way butpassively (perhaps in order to fit into society). This agrees with the above statement as the textcould only be successful in order to fit with pre-established needs or desires as they may replicatethis style in order to feel accepted in society. However, this may promote the sexualisation ofwomen in order to become the object of desire to the secondary male audience; for example bywearing heavy make-up and red lipstick, adhering to Laura Mulvey’s ‘Male Gaze’ theory. Byextension, the sexualisation of my artist through this provocative appeals to secondary audience ofmales through the ‘Male Gaze’. However, the artist’s powerful and challenging behaviour mayEditing and camera work was also a technique used to engage the audience further. For example,continuous mid-shots of the artist lip-syncing whilst on the telephone, in addition to the lyrics aboutlove, may be interpreted that she is going through a break up and that the other person on the lineis her ex-boyfriend. The Active Audience Theory can be applied here, which is the idea that theaudience have an ‘active’ role to play in the understanding of, and creation, of meaning within amedia text. Therefore the audience can apply which ever belief is most applicable to them and themusic video is providing them with what they ‘want’ to believe rather than a direct command on the‘correct’ interpretation of events. Again, my media text adheres to the above statement as the videointends to please the audience and reflect values of the audience, such as social values ofrelationships in this case, which are predominant in society.The music video was also constructed to target a specific audience through the means of escapismthrough the editing and use of an amplification narrative. This was evident through the use of a
Sian Lynesblack and white overly effect during a slow verse of the song; this was combined with establishingmid-shots and close-ups of my artist as in a state of equilibrium, viewed by laughing and smiling etc.This connoted a safe and serene environment that my artist was in, adhering to McQuail’s Uses andGratification theory of escapism. It allowed the target audience to escape to an entire hyper realitythat they desire therefore appealing to them more.Parkin’s and Hall’s Audience Readings theory of ‘Negotiated Reading’ can be applied to my musicvideo. This is evident as the audience will be able to decode the distress in the artist’s behaviour,such as throwing roses and looking away unhappily from the camera compared with happiness insome shots. However, this change in disequilibrium to equilibrium does not directly imply as to whythis is. The audience may agree or disagree with ideas, such as she is going through a break-up, butthis can be debated and find their own meanings.In order to appeal to my target audience through the construction of my media text audiencefeedback was gained from individuals that fitted into the social demographic in order to receive andbuild upon their opinions. For example, an audience profile was carried out where one individualwas chosen, analysing her age, occupation background and ambitions in order to know what wouldbest appeal to them. I also created a pitch before the initial construction of the music video to myaudience to ensure that the idea would appeal effectively by suggesting a song and theme. In thissense I complied with Hartley’s (1987) theory that institutions must produce ‘invisible fictions of theaudience which allow them to get a sense of who they must enter into relations with”. Thereforewithout carrying out systematic feedback or planning to target my audience my media text may nothave been as successful without it.In conclusion, the feminine house style of a red/pink colour tone in combination with my star artistallowed the audience to build a connection more easily with the media text. The audience can lookup to my artist as an icon whilst not being too overtly sexualised as to not hinder their connection.