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Media Evaluation


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Media Evaluation

  1. 1. Media A2 Coursework Evaluation
  2. 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?Overall I believe that my adverts are highly conventional, each featuring conventional themes and ideas that would likely be associated with existing alcohol adverts, particularly advertisements for ‘alcopops’. I decided to keep my adverts fairly conventional as I felt I wanted my product to give a particular message which meant using a ‘slice of life’ style in each of my adverts, which is arguably the most common style of modern adverts. In order to discover what the conventions were for advertising alcohol I watched many different alcohol adverts and picked out the main themes and ideas in each of the adverts; I also watched some adverts for non-alcoholic drinks so that I could see the difference between the two kind of adverts. Due to the strict regulations that come with advertising alcohol, I made sure I learned all of the rules that come with these types of adverts, so that my adverts would be suitable for the target audience. Adverts: One of the first things I decided to research was the average length of a main television advert; from my research I discovered that the average advert was in-between 20-30 seconds, however this time does vary depending on each advert. My first advert came to a total of 23 seconds and the second at 30 seconds. I was pleased that both of my adverts were within the average time as it allows the adverts to be both concise yet still long enough to present the important information. Sound: Similarly to most alcohol adverts, I chose to include one piece of music that features in every advert in order to make my product more memorable. The music that I chose is at times both diagetic and non diagetic, for example: in my two main adverts and my sponsorship sequence the music actually plays in the end as the actors dance to the music, however in my radio advert the music is played at the end of the advert whilst the voice-over speaks over the music. Although it is conventional to have a piece of music that is played in each advert, using the same piece of music as diagetic and non diagetic is unconventional. However, I felt that this music should be played in each advert to allow the adverts to be clearly linked. Additionally, in my radio advert and my sponsorship sequence I have juxtaposed two pieces of music in order to show ‘Waikiki’ to be powerful and give the message that it releases fun and energy. I believe that I have achieved this through the music, with the beginning of both sponsorships and the radio featuring mellow Hawaiian music, which is then instantly replaced by upbeat, party music once the drink has been opened. I believe that I have challenged advertising conventions through doing this as it would be unusual to hear two contrasting pieces of music that doesn’t fit together directly next to each other. However, challenging this convention has made my adverts more successful and I think that contrasting the two pieces of sound actually works very well for my adverts.
  3. 3. Narrative: The narrative of each of my adverts followed a very conventional style, typical for most adverts, my adverts were based on real life situations with a beginning, middle and end. Each of my adverts presents the message that ‘Waikiki’ will make you happy and bring you pleasure/enjoyment. This is an idea that’s featured in many of the adverts I researched; with most adverts following the narrative that the product improves a persons life or brings them happiness. I believe that the narrative of my adverts strongly followed conventions and meant that all of my adverts were very clearly linked. Each advert begins with the protagonist or protagonists looking bored or not enjoying themselves, the middle of the advert is the introduction of ‘Waikiki’, this is either by the drink being introduced by an outsider, like in my first main advert and my radio advert, or the drink being found by the protagonist, like in my second advert and sponsorships. The ending of each advert is signified by the protagonist taking a sip of ‘Waikiki’, which triggers music, then ending with people having fun and enjoying themselves after discovering ‘Waikiki’. I believe that following this conventional narrative has made my adverts very strong and links them together successfully, if I hadn’t had the same narrative for each advert I don’t think the adverts would be linked very clearly due to the fact that the product is fairly small and the label can’t be distinguished easily unless it’s filmed at a close up. One way I have challenged conventions of alcohol adverts is through the locations of my adverts. Typically, an alcohol advert would be located at either a pub or a bar/club, however due to my target audience being 18+ I decided to base each of my adverts at in houses at parties or gatherings as typically this is where people in this age group would be. Due to the fact that my drink is low priced, it means it would appeal to students who may not have much money, therefore setting my adverts at home implies ‘Waikiki’ isn’t expensive and therefore targeted at people in their late teens/early twenties. Although I believe the settings of my adverts works because of this, I did have worries that it may not be clear that ‘Waikiki’ was alcoholic because it wasn’t set at a place associated with alcohol, however it would have been too hard to try and organise to film my adverts at a pub or bar and also would have meant my adverts may not have been clearly linked, therefore I think that challenging these conventions was a successful idea. ‘WKD’ advert set in a pub. Beginning of advert, people are bored. Middle. Waikiki is introduced. End, everyone is happy once they have Waikiki.
  4. 4. Mise en scene: As I have mentioned previously, I chose to set my adverts at houses, mainly in the kitchens. For my two main adverts I used an average sized kitchen/dining room to film in; the reason I chose kitchens was because this is the main area people spend time in at parties/gatherings and I think this location makes it clear that the setting is at a group gathering. In adverts or TV shows set at a party, the kitchen is usually the main area we are shown, therefore following this convention meant the location was clear and the activity was clear. Furthermore, my second main advert is set in a girls bedroom in the beginning. I chose to use a stereotypical girls bedroom, with fairly plain dull colours used to reinforce the idea that the protagonist was bored in her room. Using a bedroom for an alcohol advert goes against the conventions as I didn’t come across any other alcohol adverts set briefly in a bedroom, however I think that this shot was necessary as it allows a contrast between the protagonist bored and lonely in her room, to being transported to a fun party with her friends. For the clothing I decided to dress all of my actors in bright clothing in each of the adverts. I think that this looks good because it matches the drinks; using bright colours such as yellow, pink, white, orange and green for the dresses and skirts which links to the pink, yellow and orange colours of the drink. In addition, the actors are all dressed in clothes that would typically be worn to a party, dresses, skirts and smart tops; allowing it to be clear where they are and what they’re doing in the adverts. I wouldn’t say that this choice of clothing challenges conventions, however in most of the alcohol adverts I watched the actors were wearing similar clothes such as dresses and skirts, (and smart outfits for men) however the clothes weren’t particularly bright or eye-catching, which may have been so they didn’t defer attention from the drink. Therefore it could be suggested that I have challenged these conventions by using bright clothing, however I believe that the bright colours signify happiness and joy, which comes from the drink, therefore in the ending of the adverts the drink also connotes these ideas. ‘Carling’ advert, fairly plain, dull clothing Main advert set in kitchen Bright, colourful clothing in my advert.
  5. 5. Editing: I found the editing of my adverts much simpler than I did when we created our Thriller film last year; the editing in adverts is usually very simple, mainly only using jump cuts. I think that the editing of my advert did strictly follow the conventions of alcohol adverts, the fact that I had a simple narrative and a storyline to each of my adverts meant that I only needed to use simple cuts in between each shot. Camera: When I began my research I discovered that most adverts mainly use close ups and mid shots, I found this especially true for alcohol and all drinks adverts as it allows more focus to be placed on the bottle/drink itself, rather than the actors and surroundings. I decided that I would follow this convention as I believe it’s important that the bottle of ‘Waikiki’ should be the main focus in each of the adverts, however when it came to creating my storyboard I realised that some long shots were necessary. For example, in my first advert I decided to have the opening shot as a long shot in order to establish the setting, making it clear that the girls were at a party or gathering. Furthermore, in my second advert I used some long shots for the same reason, to depict that girls dancing and having fun, showing them together as a group. I think that challenging this convention slightly meant that I could achieve that look that I wanted in my adverts and makes it easier for people to see what exactly is happening. Additionally, following the conventions throughout most of my advert allowed the bottle to be a main focus, also displaying the actors facial expressions; looks of shock, happiness etc., when they first drink ‘Waikiki’. I think that the large range of shots I used makes the adverts more aesthetically pleasing as it keeps the adverts interesting and gripping, rather than repeating the same angles and shots throughout the advert. Mid shot allows focus on the drink (main advert) ‘Smirnoff Ice’ advert, mid shot allowing more focus on the bottle
  6. 6. How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts?From my knowledge of advertising campaigns I knew that all of the adverts had to clearly link together in some way, I found out that there were a numbers of ways this can be achieved; for example, using the same locations, the same actors, the same music and using the same types of idea or narrative in each advert. After discovering this, I kept this idea in my mind when I began coming up with ideas for each advert, remembering that they all had to link in some way. I believe that the main link between my adverts is through the narrative and the structure of each advert. Each advert begins with the protagonist looking for something to do, usually bored and haven’t yet discovered ‘Waikiki’, the advert then continues to see them finding ‘Waikiki’, which originally brings them excitement. However, I believe the main concept that links my adverts together is the idea that ‘Waikiki’ brings with it some sort of magic, for example- in my sponsorships, drinking ‘Waikiki’ triggers music and flashing lights, and in my second advert, drinking ‘Waikiki’ transports the protagonist to a party. Although this idea is present in these three adverts, my radio advert and my first advert don’t include the idea that ‘Waikiki’ is magic, which is something I would perhaps change if I were to re create my adverts. However, they do both present the idea that ‘Waikiki’ brings joy and happiness, which I believe links in with the other adverts successfully. Furthermore, as I have previously mentioned, I decided to use the same piece of music in each advert, allowing the audience to recognise this music which is played at the end of every advert, and associate it with ‘Waikiki’. I think that having the same music in every advert is one of the most successful ways of combining each of the texts as music is often the one thing that people enjoy and remember from adverts. I wanted to make sure that there were different ways of having clear synergy between each advert, and felt that music was one of the most successful ways to make sure of this. Like most sponsorship adverts, my second sponsorship continues on directly from the first. I chose to follow this conventional style as it meant that I was able to have a short narrative in between the adverts. It also allowed the audience to link the adverts together, recognising that each advert was for the same product, therefore making both the adverts and the product more memorable.
  7. 7. Furthermore, in each of my adverts I decided to use very similar shots of the girls’ facial expressions once they have either seen or tasted ‘Waikiki’. For example, in my main advert I have used a mid/long shot of all of the girls smiling and cheering once they have seen ‘Waikiki’, which is very similar to my sponsorships, as the facial expression of my protagonist rapidly changes from looking sad and bored to happy and excited. This is also very similar to my other main advert, as the protagonist also directly changes from appearing bored, to excited. The contrast between the sad and bored emotions of the characters before they see Waikiki, and the look of happiness and excitement once they see it, is present in each of my adverts, excluding my radio advert. I think that this creates synergy between the adverts as this idea that Waikiki brings joy and happiness is created through the narrative of each advert. I felt that this idea made the adverts much more memorable due to the similar narrative of each advert. Juxtaposed facial expressions shown through close ups of protagonists’ before and after they have Waikiki. Before After
  8. 8. I also decided that I would use the same actors in my two main adverts. Although at first I worried this may suggest that the target audience wasn’t very diverse, I decided I would use the same actors for two different reasons. The first reason being that I had to re film these adverts twice, which meant filming them finally on the same day, however I also realised that this would come to work in my advantage as it meant the audience were able to relate these particular actors with the product. Furthermore, from my research I discovered that many products have a ‘face’, one person or a group of people who featured in most adverts from there campaign. I then realised that I could think of many actors from adverts that I would associate with the product, such as the protagonist from the ‘Go Compare adverts’. Therefore, I felt I had made the right decision to use the same actors in each ad, as it meant they would be more recognisable and easier to associate with the brand. Same actors used in both main adverts Previous spokesman for ‘Go Compare’
  9. 9. What have you learned from your audience feedback? When creating the survey for my audience feedback I decided that I should get some ideas of which questions would be appropriate to ask. I looked on some of the past students blogs and looked at the questions they had asked. Although each survey is different due to the different products being advertised, it was good to get a general idea. I also looked back at the questionnaire I created during my planning stages, after I had come up with some basic ideas. This reminded me of the target audience and what people’s thoughts were about the ideas I had come up with so far. The first question I asked was ‘what is your gender?’ Out of everyone who answered my survey, 60% were female, and 50% were male. Although this isn’t equal, I had expected that the majority of people answering my survey would be female as I used social networking sites to publicise the survey, therefore most of the people who answered they survey would have been people I know. However, the results are still fairly balanced with only a 20% difference, therefore I believe I should still get a good understanding of responses from both genders. How old are you? In response to the question, ‘How old are you?’ I wasn’t able to receive responses from a wide range of ages; this is due to the fact that my questionnaire was posted on social networking sites such as ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’. This is the reason that 60% of people who answered my survey were aged between 18-24, as this is the main age group who would have seen my posts. This suggests that my results may not be as accurate as they could be as more than half of the people who answered the survey were my target audience. Furthermore, this means I will not have many opinions on my adverts from older generations, as I didn’t receive any responses from anyone over the age of 45. If I was to do this questionnaire again I would make sure it was available to people of all ages, rather than only my age group; reflecting back on this it’s clear that I could have asked for help from people much older than myself, or even printed out some of the surveys and handed them out in public areas, rather than relying on the internet for answers. However, the benefit of having 60% of my questions answered by the target audience is that I will be able to see if they believed the product was targeted towards them, and if they thought my adverts were a success.
  10. 10. Do you think my adverts would be targeted at your age group? In response to the question, ‘Do you think my adverts would be targeted at your age group?’, 87% of people answered ‘yes’. As 60% of people who answered my survey were my target audience, this tells me that the majority of these people recognised that my adverts were targeted at them. Additionally, another 33% of people who answered were in between the ages of 25-31, which suggests that these people also felt that my adverts were being targeted at them. This information isn’t what I was expecting, as the fact that all of my actors were aged 18-19, and were all female, I didn’t expect anyone over 24 to believe that my adverts were targeted at their age group. The 13% of people who said no to this question were most likely in the 7% of people who were over the age of 32, and within the age of 25-31, as these people weren’t my target audience, and therefore it’s most likely they didn’t associate themselves with the product or the adverts themselves. In addition to this question, I followed up with a question asking people to explain their answer, therefore helping me understand what it was exactly that made people believe the adverts were targeted at their age group.
  11. 11. ‘people my age, at gatherings/house parties, prefer quite a light drink, not heavy so would be aimed at a younger audience’ ‘I think they are because alcopops are mainly targeted towards people my age as they aren't very strong and are flavoured fruity’ ‘I think that the adverts were suited towards a variety of age groups and genders as the product sends the message that its just a bit of fun, which anyone can relate to.’ ’ I don’t think people my age would be interested in drinking an alcopop, the bright colours and the young actors make me feel as though the product isn't for me and the drink does not look appealing to myself.’ I followed up the previous question, with the additional question- If yes, or no, please explain why? These are some of the answers I received: These answers suggest that the main reason people believed their age group was the target audience is because they identified with the actors, and with the setting and activity within the adverts. As the actors in the adverts reflect the target audience, it meant that viewers identified with these people. Furthermore, one person stated that younger people ‘prefer a light drink’, which implies the product itself is the reason they believe the target audience is aged between 18-24. This is similar to another answer, as a different person stated they believe they were the target audience because ‘Waikiki’ isn’t ‘strong’ and ‘flavoured fruity’, therefore associating my product with other alcopops such as ‘WKD’ and ‘Caribbean Twist’, which have the same target audience as ‘Waikiki’. Therefore, these responses suggest that both the product and the adverts themselves allow the audience to recognise who the product is targeted towards, this is the same for those who didn’t think the drink was targeted towards them, as one person stated, ;the bright colours and the young actors made me feel as though the product isn’t for me’. Therefore, aspects such as the mise en scene (clothing), actors, and the image of the drink itself, were all successful in addressing the target audience.
  12. 12. Did you find the logo and slogan memorable? The next subject I decided to ask about was my logo and slogan. During my planning process I was never too sure about my slogan as I didn’t know if people would associate it with my product. My research told me that the products name was usually somewhere in the slogan, however I decided not to do this as I was unable to think of any slogans with ‘Waikiki’ included. Therefore I decided to ask this question to see if I had created a memorable slogan and logo, making my product more memorable itself. However, 87% of people did find my slogan and logo memorable, therefore I’m very happy that I made the decisions I did. I think that the main reason people found the slogan memorable was because it was spoken at the end of each of my adverts, meaning it was the last thing people would remember from my adverts. Additionally, the logo was a bright image on the front of every ‘Waikiki’ bottle, therefore would be memorable as I used many close ups and mid shots of the bottle. From my research and previous knowledge of adverts, I knew that the slogan and logo were both highly important as, along with the name, these are the main things people will associate with the product. Both slogans and logos rarely change, therefore I wanted to make sure mine were a success. As I received 87% positive feedback, I believe mine were used effectively, and therefore were successful.
  13. 13. I decided to see which of my adverts people preferred in order to see if there was one standout advert which people enjoyed. This information may have been the reason people liked my product or identified with the target audience, therefore I felt it was a good question to ask. Although my second advert and my sponsorship sequence both received 33%, the answers were fairly similar amounts. Therefore I don’t believe that there’s one advert in particular which was more successful, and it was more down to peoples personal preferences. Furthermore, the average of 20% per answer suggests that each advert was very similar, which is why everyone had a different preference. I believe that each advert was different and had many different ideas, however the concept of each advert was the same and had very similar themes, therefore all of my adverts had equal success. Although I am happy that the audience enjoyed all of my adverts, I believe my adverts may have been more successful if there was one stand out advert, which people remembered. I feel as though this would have been effective as advertising campaigns often have one memorable advert, which is then followed by adverts with very similar ideas. However, I am pleased that all of my adverts received positive feeback, therefore I believe that each advert was a success. Which advert did you find most enjoyable to watch or listen to?
  14. 14. How did you use new media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? I started the process by beginning to research into all advertising; I used Google to search some of the main facts about advertising campaigns such as the length of adverts and some of the basic rules of advertising. Once I had decided on the product I wanted to advertise I went on ‘YouTube’ to watch previous adverts, some for alcohol and then I watched some other adverts for different products to see the difference. One I had watched an ad on ‘YouTube’ I then went on to Blogspot to analyse the advert and what I had taken away from watching it. This process allowed me to fully understand the codes and conventions of advertising, however, as I was advertising alcohol I then had to research all of the rules of advertising alcohol using Google again. As well as watching videos on YouTube, I additionally went on the previous media students blogs on Blogspot to take a look at their research and which type of adverts they had been watching and how this research helped them create their final adverts.
  15. 15. One of the first pieces of equipment I used this year was the Roland voice recorder; I decided to use this recorder when I created my animatics as I added in some non diagetic sound at the end of the adverts. I had used this recorder briefly last year so I already knew how it worked. I found using this recorder really useful throughout the construction of my adverts as it was really quick and easy to use and then upload the recordings. I used this recorder for all of my adverts, recording all of the diagetic sound for my radio adverts using this equipment. I decided to record the ending voiceover which is in each of my adverts using this recorder; I found this really useful as I was able to have the volume really loud, which was a problem as I originally recorded some of the dialogue on my iPhone, however this wasn’t suitable as the sound wasn’t loud enough, which is where the recorder came to be very useful for me. Something that I really struggled with last year was editing using Adobe Premiere Pro. Although I did learn a few basics last year, I was never very confident using this software therefore when it came to working alone this year the thing I was most worried about was editing my footage. However, creating my animatics really helped me gain more confidence with using Premiere; I used YouTube to watch some tutorials on how to do some basic editing, along with being taught more skills by other students. When it came to editing my adverts I had a lot more knowledge on how to edit using Premiere and didn’t find it as daunting as I had before starting my animatics. Although the editing this year was a lot more basic and simple, as editing usually is for adverts, I still believe the editing made my adverts much more successful, using this technology to change the lighting in my sponsorships, and learning how to cut down the footage and add in music. I imported the footage that I had from each filming session and then went through eat clip, deciding which one I should use; I then cut them down and separated them using the razor tool; I found this method worked really well as I was able to watch two similar clips and then decide which one worked better. Although it wasn’t recommended, I chose to create my radio advert in Premiere, mainly due to the fact that this helped my practice using this technology and I didn’t think that I needed to create it anywhere else as Premiere provided everything I needed to create this advert in. I believe I used this technology effectively as, although editing my adverts may have been more basic than editing my Thriller for AS, I was still able to learn how to use new tools such as the razor tool in order to cut down and separate clips, something which I hadn’t learned until this year. Although my skills have significantly developed since I began A2, I still believe I could have developed my knowledge and skills further. As editing adverts required only very basic editing skills such as importing clips, cutting them down and changing audio levels, I believe learning some more complex skills such as changing lighting or adding in transitions. Therefore, if I had developed my skills further I may have been able to change my adverts slightly, either making them more aesthetically pleasing or more entertaining. If I had to create my adverts again I would make sure I spent more time learning new skills, either by trialling features I hadn’t used before on Premiere Pro, or watching more tutorial videos on YouTube. Razor tool.
  16. 16. Over the construction process, one of the main issues I had was using the video camera. Although I had used this camera many times last year, this time I some small mistakes with the camera and tripod. However, I found this camera very easy to use as it has simple instructions; my adverts were fairly easy to film as the camera didn’t move and I didn’t use any zooms in or out, which meant the camera was always still. The main issue I had was mistaking when the camera had stopped and when it started; for a whole session of filming I had been pressing for the camera to start, when in fact it was actually stopping and I didn’t realise, which meant I had to re film a whole advert. I think that this was a problem for me as I didn’t pay much attention to the camera and was more focused on directing the actors are looking at the storyboard; however as I progressed I learned not to make this mistake again and didn’t have any other problems with the camera again. I believe that working independently developed my skills as I was able to make my own decisions about which camera angles to use and which shots looked best which gave me more confidence. I continued to use digital technologies when it came to my evaluation. Once I had exported my adverts I uploaded them to YouTube, which I then posted on my Blogspot blog. I then used Google Documents to create a questionnaire to help me with my audience research, attaching the links from YouTube to the survey so that people were able to watch my videos. In order to get answers on my survey I posted it on various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in hope of getting as many responses as possible. I found Google Docs really helpful as I was able to create charts and graphs which showed me the ratio and percentage of people that answered each question on the survey and then used that to see how successful my adverts were. As a whole I believe I have effectively developed my technical skills. When I began the A2 course I wasn’t at all confident in using digital technologies such as Premiere Pro, however the fact that I worked independently this year meant that it was essential I gained a better understanding of how to use the tools I have been given effectively. Tools such as YouTube tutorials and researching online meant that I was able to work independently, applying the new knowledge I had gained from my research and planning to my work. I believe that becoming independent and learning how to use digital technologies meant that I was able to successfully research, plan, produce and edit my work, producing my work to the best of my ability.