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  1. 1. Beyoncé: Cross Media Case Study By Kerry Costello
  2. 2. Beyoncé: Destiny’s Child Beyoncé first came to prominence in R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, a band that formed after Beyoncé and childhood friend Kelly Rowland met LaTavia Roberson during an audition for a girl band in the fall of 1990. Originally called Girls Tyme, the band had several failed appearances on talent shows and a failed record deal with Atlanta Records before being signed to Columbia Records. After renaming themselves Destiny’s Child in 1993, the band established themselves in the music industry in 1998 with a self-titled album however wouldn’t find real success until recording a song for the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack (Independent Woman Part 1). During this time, the band went through several different group re-arrangements however Beyoncé remained one of the original band members and was generally considered to be the lead singer. Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams are mostly considered to be the fundamental line-up for Destiny’s Child. Destiny’s Child followed their best-charting single with their third album Survivor which earned them a Grammy however announced their hiatus in 2001, where Beyoncé would begin her solo career.
  3. 3. Beyoncé: Solo Career • Beyoncé's solo career has arguably been more successful than her time with Destiny’s Child • She has released four albums to date; • Dangerously in Love (2003) – her most successful with 11 million copies sold worldwide and 5 hit singles • B’Day (2006) – over seven million copies worldwide, her second consecutive number one album in the USA • I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008) – her third consecutive number one album in the US that earned seventeen platinum and one diamond certifications in separate worldwide markets • 4 (2011) – over 1.5 million copies sold with three singles reaching the top ten in several international charts Her career spans 15 years with 17 Grammy Awards and outstanding record sales, making her one of the best-selling artist of all time
  4. 4. Website The first thing we see on Beyoncé's website is a huge gif of her face, advertising her as a commodity and highlighting her as the main selling point (possibly opposed to her music). Her name is in the center of the screen and readable despite being visually distorted which shows that it is a recognizable symbol, emphasizing her commodity status. Her clothes and jewelry have royal connotations, furthering her status as a well known icon. The gif has been taken from an 02 advert promoting tickets for her current tour and so the welcome image of her website is an advert in itself, immediately marketing Beyoncé
  5. 5. This gif changes regularly, updating as Beyoncé's photo shoots do– again a tool for marketing The toolbar is small; Beyonce’s face remains the main image Social networking options to appeal to a younger audience; fans can connect with each other ‘Shop’ option ; there is no hiding that this website is a marketing tool, everything is attracting money/attention Fans can stay updated with new releases, interviews etc Colour scheme is dark so that Beyoncé's face is the only clear image, center of attention Links to adverts Beyoncé has appeared in for brands like Pepsi and H&M, another promotional tool
  6. 6. Website A link to Beyoncé's personal tumblr page is available and is often updated with behind the scenes photos of Beyoncé and, most notably, photos from her private/family life. This shows that, whilst Beyoncé alone as an artist is a commodity, her relationship with Jay-Z and general family life away from the stage is also a key selling point for fans
  7. 7. The majority of the pages sell Beyoncé as a commodity with her name/face being the center of attention on a basic structured page. The website is heavy in marketing however there is an element that it caters personally to the fans as opposed to just a marketing tool, e.g the fan only blog and personal photos of devoted fans at her concerts. Private photos from Beyoncé's life gives the website an intimate feeling- like the insight into her life is a reward for loyal fans but ultimately, it remains heavy in marketing
  8. 8. Album Artwork Beyoncé's face is the focus of attention for every album, with some featuring mid shots to show her upper body. This could suggest that her physical appearance is a part of her marketing, as opposed to just her music. The title of the album is always in a smaller font than her name, suggesting that Beyoncé herself (possibly due to her physical appearance) is a more successful marketing tool than her music. Through her make-up and outfits, she is appears glamorous and attractive (only one album does not feature her chest in the shot) which would appeal to men however Beyoncé generally has a female target audience.
  9. 9. The back and inside cover of each of her albums feature more photo-shoots of Beyoncé (this time in less clothes) which again emphasizes her physical appearance and uses her glamour, looks and sassy/bold alter ago Sasha Fierce as a way of marketing. It is clear that her record label have influence in her work as the artwork for each album is heavy in close-ups of Beyoncé, which helps to promote her. The back of Beyonce’s 4 album, however, does not feature her face, possibly because Beyoncé has already achieved her commodity status. It does still focus on her physical appearance however and her name is the biggest thing in shot.
  10. 10. Album Promotion In addition to the common poster and web-based adverts for album promotion, Beyoncé’s albums are also promoted through adverts that she appears in for brands such as Pepsi that feature exclusive snippets of her upcoming album tracks. Her latest album “4” was mostly marketed through a poster and advert campaign, along a tour
  11. 11. Music Video – Run The World (Girls) Run The World was the first single from Beyoncé's latest album, released prior to the album’s official release. The music video’s message appeals specifically to females (though her appearance throughout could appeal to men) and emphasizes on the reoccurring “independent woman/girl power” vibe that Beyoncé has. It is a performance video that features several dance routines and stage outfits (important genre characteristics of Beyoncé's pop/R&B genre) and arguably what Beyoncé is known for.
  12. 12. Throughout the video, Beyonce is made to look powerful and strong through low angle shots and her positioning in front of her dancers with a fierce facial expression, identifying her as their leader and they her army (their uniforms also suggest this). This makes her stand out as the centre of attention– as do her showy outfits. She acts almost aggressively to the men in the video, again portraying her as strong and continuing the independent, strong woman vibe she is known for.
  13. 13. The shots of Beyonce on top of the car (with the word revolution on it), surrounded by fire and then next to a lion continue to portray her as strong and fierce and her outfits, jewellery and make-up maintain her glamorous and sexy image. The majority of the shots in the video feature her, with several close-ups (Goodwin’s Analysis) in order to promote her.
  14. 14. Similarly to her album artwork, the video emphasizes on her physical appearance through lingering shots of her dancing in revealing outfits. As stated in Goodwin’s analysis, there is a relationship between the lyrics and visuals throughout the video; the song talks of the strength of women and how (despite men possibly thinking different) they “run the world” and the video features women in an altercation with men and winning.
  15. 15. Continuing Goodwin’s analysis, the music video follows genre characteristics. The track is of the pop/R&B genre and the music video reflects this with several dance routines, an attractive and confident artist and fast cuts.
  16. 16. In conclusion, Beyoncé's image is constructed to be strong, glamorous and sexy through several different media formats. Whilst her music itself is obviously successful, her physical appearance and general fierce disposition play a big part in her success and is often emphasized through her marketing campaigns. Her website offers a softer side (as opposed to the overly bold and attitude heavy Beyonce in Run The World) through her personal photos but ultimately maintains the glamorous, “famous” vibe. Her record label continue to have an influence throughout her representation in media as it is clear that everything is used to solely promote her, even if it is presented to be intimate and for the fans.