Our Music Video

Our Digipak Cover - back & front

Our Digipak Cover - back & front

Our Digipak Cover - inside

Our Digipak Cover - inside

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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Music Video:
In our music video we used the conventions of both music videos and the dance genre, while challenging some stereotypes of music video form and conventions. Our video contains both performance and narrative, with the narrative based upon concept.

We took great influence from Andrew Goodwin's theory of the codes and conventions of a music video. These codes and conventions are what make the music video an individual media form.

According to Goodwin, music videos create a relationship between the music and visuals, as well as the lyrics and visuals, in the sense that they either create illustration, amplification or disjuncture.
We have used illustration and amplification.
Amplification; repeated shot adding new meaning to lyric 'infinity'
Illustration; physically 'coming in like a wrecking ball'

The following Coggle shows how we applied Goowdwin's theory of the relationship between music, lyrics and visuals to our own music video:
(Drag the screen to the left to read, and then to the right)

We closely followed genre characteristics, taking elements from other dance music videos with regards to style, editing, mise-en-scene and also artist identity. Our music video uses key dance genre conventions, including:
Dance music videos usually contain lots of dancing, especially in crowds of people:
Katy B - Broken Record
Redlight - 9TS Baby

Route 94 - My Love
Zhu - Faded
We felt that this was an important convention of the genre and so felt it necessary to include this in our music video. Audiences of dance music are generally interested in these types of lifestyle, such as dancing at clubs, and so we wanted to adhere to their gratifications. We challenged the convention of having this inside a club, as we wanted to make it more dreamlike and lacking reality. It was also practically difficult for us to create a club-like atmosphere and so we didn't want to create this with an amateur appearance. Therefore, we used the convention by dedicating a whole set-up to dancing, but filmed it within the studio with a party-like atmosphere:

Dance music videos are often narrative and/or conceptual based, with a lack of performance. We have followed the narrative convention by making our video largely narrative based. However, we have also challenged the convention by including performance. We did this in order to widen the appeal to more mainstream fans of dance music, due to its recent chart success. The following presentation explains this choice. (Turn on Autoplay) [click here if it doesn't load]
We have also used editing effects, which is incredibly typical of the dance music genre. They are usually used in order to fit with the often jumpy and pace-changing music that is of the genre. We followed this convention, however we did not use as much as some dance videos do because we didn't want to distract from the busy narrative. This video shows the effects that we did use:

Our performance scenes are incredibly conventional of the genre. 
The following table shows some of the conventions that we focused on (click to enlarge)
In addition to these, we have also used lots of camera movement. Not only is this stereotypical of the dance genre, often due to music being fast paced and up beat, it is also incredibly conventional of performance videos.
In this clip, the camera moves in time with the lyric 'hey'. This is conventional according to Carol Vernallis' editing theory.
We found that it was important to include a wide range of shots, especially in the performance sequence, due to the audience's needs and gratifications; the video needs to be interesting with a range of shots in order to maintain the audience's interest and attention.
Andrew Goodwin says that the demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close-ups of the artist, including 'money shots' which are close ups of the star's face. They create 'visual hooks' to maintain the audience's interest.
Katy B money shot
AlunaGeorge money shot
Ellie Goulding money shot
We have used this convention in both the performance and narrative, in order to create a star image for our lead singer, Naomi:

Goodwin also states that there is often voyeuristic treatment of the female body. We chose to challenge this convention as we did not want to sexualise our female lead singer. This was partially due to genre choice, as the females we took influence from are not sexualised, nor is the body treated with voyeurism.
This collage shows some of the female artists we took influence from, including Aluna Francis from AlunaGeorge, Grace Chatto from Clean Bandit, Ellie Goulding, Katy B and Jess Glynne. (Hover mouse over images to enlarge)

The following mind-map demonstrates how we created our female's identity:

For our narrative we have used intertextuality. This is typical of music videos, with post-modernism and reference to popular culture commonly used. They can be used in order to demonstrate the contextual influences of the time, to use a contemporary influence to highlight a message, or in our case to relate and appeal to the target audience.
Here are some examples of intertextuality used in music videos:

We have used Alice in Wonderland as we felt that this would not only convey the 'wonderland' of the 'jungle' in her head, it also links to the audience. The primary target audience of 16-24 year olds would remember Alice in Wonderland as a nostalgic childhood film, and so this would create interest in the audience.

Moodboard showing our references from 1951 film
The following Padlet shows all the ways in which we used Alice in Wonderland references in our music video:

We have also used and challenged Carol Vernallis' theory from 'The Kindest Cut - Functions of Music Video Editing 2001'. This explains how we used and developed the conventions of Narrative and Camera Movement and Framing:

'Editing may match the musical phrases or the beat'
Our whole music video is cut in time with the beat of the music. This makes it easier for the audience to watch and engage in as it moves according to the audience's expectations. We have also changed the pace of cuts in order to increase the pace of the visuals according to the music. This strengthens the relationship between the music, lyrics and visuals.

This video shows some examples of our editing in time with the music:

Vernallis suggests that music videos often break the rules of continuity editing; this is a convention of music video editing. We used this convention, for example by placing clips together that are from the same scene but at a different point in time. We also broke the continuity rules by using the same set-up with different events happening. 
For example, we introduced a piƱata in the balloon set-up and then returned to the previous set-up:

However, we did have some continuity in places in which the narrative would not make sense otherwise, for example this match-on-action:
Since the digipak's purpose being to sell the music, it was an incredibly important artefact in the construction of our artist. 
We looked into other albums of the genre along with their conventions:

We found that it is common to have interesting effects on the album cover and so we applied this to our video by using overlaying to create a blurring effect. Dance music albums usually have a focal image of the artist, but it is not usually an over stylised image for example with pop music where the artist's appearance would be incredibly important. Therefore, we dressed our band in plain white T-shirts so that the blurring effect would create maximum impact. this is similar to the AlunaGeorge album displayed above.
As dance albums differ a lot in order to allow for creativity and individual expression, we followed this convention by creating a whole new look.
Albums of the genre do not usually have a photo on the back cover. They are usually incredibly minimalistic, with white bold writing to list the tracks. We have followed this convention:
Our back cover

AlunaGeorge & Disclosure back covers

We followed all of the basic forms and conventions of album covers in general. This is displayed in comparison with Disclosure's debut album 'Settle':
We have followed the conventions of artist websites closely in order to create a website that adheres to the audiences' needs and expectations. With two of the main functions of websites being interactivity and purchasing opportunities, we looked into how other music websites provide this for the audience and then followed these conventions.

This video takes you through a tour of our website, pointing out the interactive and purchasing opportunities for the audience. Please turn on annotations.

In addition to this, we have generally followed the basic conventions of an artist website, with some exceptions. For example, the type of content and pages that we have included. I have compared our website with that of dance act Chase & Status.


It is typical to use a large image as the website banner that will connote the artist identity. There is also often use of the band logo. We have followed this convention by having a large powder paint image at the top including the band logo.

Chase & Status banner
Our banner
Menu Bar
The menu bar is conventionally below the banner, and lists all of the pages available on the website. We have followed this convention. 

Chase & Status menu bar
Our menu bar
The pages on the menu bar are very similar for most music websites. There are conventional pages that the audience expects to see, for example 'Home, News, Gigs/Live, Photos/Gallery, About & Contact'. We have followed this convention. However, dance acts often have another page titled 'Videos' in which they display all of their videos. We challenged this convention as we had displayed all of our videos on different places on the website in which we felt they fit better with the style of our website. We also didn't want to overwhelm the audience with as many pages as the Chase & Status website.

Gigs/Live Page
The live page will list upcoming tour and show dates and allow for the opportunity to purchase tickets. We have followed this convention.

Chase & Status Gigs page
Our Tour page
About Page
It is typical of artists to have a section where they provide the audience with further information about themselves as people. We have followed this convention.
Chase & Status About page

One of our About pages
We have followed the convention of having a page of images of the band. Like Chase & Status, ours is divided into different albums to select from.

Chase & Status photos
Our photos 
Social Media Links
Social media is incredibly important in the construction of an artist. Therefore, it is conventional to have a set of social media links available on every page of the website. We have followed this convention, placing them in the same place on every page in order to make them easy to find.

Chase & Status social media
Our social media

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

The purpose of the three products working together was to create a successful marketing campaign. The ultimate goal of a marketing campaign is to appeal to the target audience and successfully encourage them to purchase the music.
Initially we had to look at what it was that we wanted to promote in order to sell the product. Therefore, we had to really decide on the type of image we wanted to create with our band. This image displays some of the key factors we wanted to come across with our branding. (hover over words to enlarge)

We knew that in order to create a consistent branding and successfully promote and create interest in our product, we would have to make each media product work together.
A key part of successful marketing is creating synergistic branding across all products. We looked at the ways in which successful real media products do this.

This works effectively for Disclosure as it:
  • Creates a constant branding and memorable image for the band
  • Makes their album easily recognisable, making it easier and more likely for fans to purchase - key purpose of marketing
  • Gives the band their own stylised identity, for example with the face graphics
  • Gives the fan something to recognise them by and so feel a part of a 'fandom'
From looking at real media texts, we applied this to our product. Here are some of the ways that we created an effective combination of our products:

Colour Scheme
Disclosure use a brown/grey and white colour scheme. This makes them appear quite serious, wanting to appeal to real music fans rather than those interested in the 'star' that has been created. It also gives them a neutral gender appeal, not skewing their audience towards males or females. 

We chose the colour scheme of light pink, blue and white in order to appeal to the target audience. With the primary audience being 16-24 year old females, it was important to apply some femininity hence the use of the colour pink. However, due to our emphasis on breaking gender stereotype, as typical of the genre, we have included lots of blue across all of our products. In addition, the blue also broadens our appeal to our secondary audience of 16-24 year old males. We felt that these colours would connote our artist image appropriately; we wanted to create a fun and likeable look while still being able to be taken seriously. The following slideshow demonstrates our use of synergistic colour scheme.

Disclosure have used the same font throughout their media products. This font again furthers their serious image, while giving them a sense of modesty due to its simplistic design. Therefore, this demonstrates how typography is important in the branding of an artist.
We have used the same two fonts on both the album cover and the website. However, we didn't use this in the music video as it is unconventional of the dance genre to use text in the video. We searched for a font that would fit with our powder paint theme, as we felt this was a strong part of our branding. Therefore we chose an arty font which looks as if it is drawn by hand. This also brings out the authenticity of our band as it makes them seem more personal. We used this font across all platforms as well as on smaller items such as merchandising on the website. 

Iconography - Powder Paint

It is typical of artists to use an artistic look that goes across all platforms, being identifiable of the artist and individual to them. 

Disclosure's use of face graphics

Disclosure have used the face graphic throughout their products and their marketing campaign, for example on their promo shots as well. This exaggerates the band's sense of modesty and not wanting to be stars by hiding their faces.

As well as Disclosure, Wilkinson is a good example of this. Across all of his media texts he has used imagery of different coloured lights/lasers. With the title of his album being 'Lazers Not Included', this is incredibly fitting and works well to create a brand, thus selling the product effectively:
Powder Paint Fight at SGP festival 2014
The use of laser iconography in Wilkinson's imagery also connotes the genre as well as a emphasising the artist image of being very much about live music and performance in places such as clubs.

We used iconography in a similar way, not only to create synergy and cross platform convergence, but also due to the connotations of powder paint being related to festivals. Due to our audience being particularly interested in live music consumption at festivals such as Outlook and Secret Garden Party where powder paint fights are common, we felt that this would relate well to the audience, while also bringing them a sense of happiness and looking forward to festival season. 

This is how we used powder paint across our media texts:

In addition to this, we looked into artists of the genre and found that weird and cool effects are incredibly conventional of dance music. They represent the often pace changing and jumpy music that is of the genre. Therefore we included the blurring effect on both our album cover and music video, and felt that this was a subtle yet coherent link between the different artefacts.

However, in order to improve the effectiveness of using these effects, perhaps we could have used this more in the promo shots on our website, as in comparison they were incredibly cleanly edited. This would have increased cross-platform synergy and thus strengthened branding.

Another way in which we kept the identity strong throughout the three products was through by using symbolic and iconographic imagery. For example, we tried to keep with the festival theme throughout. We did this not only through the use of powder paint and the fight in the video which is stereotypical of festivals, but also through styling. In the balloon scenes we styled the band and the extras in festival style clothing; bright colours including tie dye and Aztec prints and patterns. 
On the website we have included a huge emphasis on festivals and even included a competition specifically dedicated to photographs of festivals, with tickets being the prize. This immerses the audience in the festival fanatic world, while giving them the opportunity to win something back and feel personally linked to the band.
cross-media convergence
I think this was particularly effective as it really brings out the emphasis on our band's current and youthful image, giving fans familiarity and a sense of fandom, therefore increasing their likelihood to purchase the music. The only place in which this was lacking was the album cover. In he-insight, perhaps it would've strengthened the synergy if we had styled the band in festival style clothing on the album artwork.

Due to the purpose of marketing being to sell the product, in our case being the music, we knew that we had to include lots of purchasing opportunities
The website was possibly the most important media text with regards to combining and converging all of our products. By having the ability to watch the music video on the website via Youtube, as well as listen to the music via Soundcloud, we have maximised the use of cross-media convergence.
This shows Disclosure's use of purchasing opportunities on their website:

Our band website has the presence of all our media texts and worked as a hub for selling the music. 
There was a heavy presence of the album cover throughout the website, with purchasing opportunities available on multiple pages taking the audience directly to the store. We also had alternative purchasing opportunities such as iTunes and Amazon available on the landing site in order to maximise possibilities.
This shows all of our opportunities to buy the album on our website:
We also used symbiosis on our website in order to link our band to well-known institutions. For example, the types of venues our band are playing at include Fabric; incredibly popular London club among young people. This would not only increase the credibility of the band, it would appeal to all of our audience, in particular the tertiary audience of 16-24 year old dance music fans and club-goers. This symbiosis has been used in order to further portray our artist identity in order to sell the product, the main purpose of a marketing campaign.
We used social media extensively in order to bring our products together and successfully promote the artist to the audience. By including social media on the artist website, the hub for the band, we are creating an instant link. With the proliferation in use of social media in contemporary society, we felt it was a hugely necessary part of the marketing campaign. It also allows us to become closer with the fans, strengthening the 'real' and 'authentic' artist we have tried to create according to Richard Dyer's star theory.
How we used social media:

Overall, I feel that the combination of our main product and ancillary texts created a very synergistic advertising campaign. This meant that the branding of our band was strong and coherent throughout all of our media products. Therefore, I feel that we would successfully sell our music to the audience.