A-Level Media Studies EvaluationHOW EFFECTIVE IS THECOMBINATION OF YOUR MAINPRODUCT AND ANCILLARY TEXTS?
IntroductionThe production of my ancillary texts; my print and radio advertisements; played a key role in the production of my documentary as I felt that making the combination of the three products effective was important. During the production of my ancillary texts I tried to sustain as many similarities with the actual documentary as possible to create a sense of professionalism and consistency.
Aims of ancillary textsBoth of my ancillary texts were produced in the form of advertisements as a promotion of my documentary. They are both of different types: one is intended to be played on radio whilst the other is intended for print in magazines that our target audience would be interested in such as OK Magazine and NME Magazine. We didn’t want either advert to be too overwhelming, so we decided to go with the style of professional adverts that we had studied by keeping minimal text on the print advert and keeping the radio advert at around thirty seconds in length: by doing this we would only be including the things that we thought would get people to watch our documentary.
Consistency Print Advert DocumentaryIn both the print advert and the documentary, we used the same font to create a sense of consistency and to show that they are related. In addition to this, the radio advert and the documentary used the same narrator and song as well as some audio clips being taken directly from the documentary for inclusion in the radio advert to act as a preview of the documentary to listeners. The catchphrase ‘Seducing your appetite’ was used in both the print advert and the radio advert to show that they were intended as a pair and both serve the same purpose; to promote our documentary. We also chose a short, catchy title which was made clear in both advertisements as well as the documentary and helped to support the intentions of the advertisements.
ContentWith the print and radio advertisements we wanted to attract people into watching our documentary without giving too much away – we used the catchphrase ‘Seducing your appetite’ and the title of ‘Tasty Takeaways’ in both adverts as well as providing the scheduling of 8pm on Channel 4 which acted as an effective promotion of the documentary as it is simple and straight to the point. The audio clips and music used in the radio advert were taken directly from the documentary and preview some of thedocumentary’s content to a listener, hopefully making them want to hear more by tuning into the documentary. Bothadvertisements get their intended message across effectively as I feel that they both provide the necessary information with just afew seconds (for the radio advert) and a single image with limited text (for the print advert).
Comparison to professional productsProfessionalism was something that I and my group kept in mind throughout the entire production process. Our documentary was intended to be shown on Channel 4, so we also produced the ancillary texts in the style of Channel 4 to make our three productions look professional and consistent. Using the Channel 4 website we were able to look at existing print adverts and we adapted their style for our own print advert – this is shown on the next slide. We also listened to existing radio adverts for similar documentaries and used many of their common codes and conventions in our own radio advert such as the length and the content to make it as relevant to the documentary as possible.
Comparison to professional productsHere is our print advert next to an actual Channel 4 print advert for the show Shameless. In bothadverts there is a single image against a plain background which brings attention to the image andhelps to convey the theme of the programme without giving too much away, making a potentialviewer more inclined to watch the show. We were also sure to include the Channel 4 logo on theright hand side of the image, as this is the case in every Channel 4 print advert and we wanted oursto be as professional and realistic as possible. Finally, we put our text in a coloured box with a colourthat matched the image, with the title in large font and a short phrase and the scheduling justunderneath. We felt that it was important to make our print advert as realistic as possible as it is atried-and-tested formula used by Channel 4 with all of their programmes that helps to promote andcompliment the show in an eye-catching and simple manner.
Feedback to our ancillary textsWe asked for feedback on our ancillary texts as this would help us to decide how effective the combination of the texts was. I got my brother to view the documentary as well as the two ancillary texts and asked for his feedback (these interviews can be seen in Question 3 of my evaluation). In the interview he comments on how despite being simple the print advert makes him want to watch the documentary as it provides relevant information such as the topic and scheduling, which was what we intended with the simple design of our print advert. He said that the way in which the same voices and music were used in both the radio advert and the documentary made it clear that they were related and also commented on how the use of a few questions and answers in the radio advert made him want to watch the documentary more as he wanted to see the rest of the interviews.
ConclusionIn conclusion, I feel that the combination of my main product with my ancillary texts was effective as all of the products were made in a professional manner with enough similarities between the three products to make it clear that they were intended to be partners. The audience feedback that I had received on the ancillary texts shows that they did the intended job of making the person want to watch the documentary without giving too much away due to their simplistic style which makes me consider the ancillary texts a success. I also feel that the ancillary texts were representative of actual radio and print adverts which makes them effective as we wanted all three of the products to follow the same style; professional and consistent.