Friday, 30 April 2010


As Evaluation

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

I have created a music magazine titled ‘Beat’ which has a target audience of 16 – 24. I had to analyse a range of music magazines including ‘Top of the Pops’ and ‘NME’ in order to give me a good idea of what types of things were included in existing media products, and so that I could produce a product of the same standard which would be challenging to see which product had the most sales. It seemed that they all used similar conventions in which I had to use in my product. One of the main conventions I found was to have the model on the cover looking out into the audience, which helps to grab the readers attention and as a result could increase sales. This also links to the theory of Naomi Wolf (1991), as she believes that if there is a sexually attractive female on the cover the product will sell more. The reason being that it will appeal to both genders, as men will fancy the model, however women will look up to her and want to be like her. Another finding was that the model often overlaps the title, which shows that the product is well known, as people can recognise the name of the magazine without seeing the full title, I decided to do the same to suggest that my magazine is more popular. If you look at my product, you can see how the style models have influenced my ideas when deciding how to construct it. I liked the blue and black colour scheme from the magazine ‘blender’, so I decided to use it on my cover, however make it my own by adding grey to the scheme.

The genre of my magazine was decided to be ‘pop’, which is why I looked at magazines such as ‘top of the pops’ to find out what I would be competing against. To live up to the real media products, I used only four colours which were blue, black, grey and white which I feel really work well together, and is something different to other magazines. I also kept these colours for my contents page, as it made me feel as though my product was tight. The layout of my cover was kept quite simple, using an image of a model in the centre of the page, with the features coming down the sides. After analysing ‘NME’, I noticed that columns were a common convention for features on a cover, so in order to keep my features in columns; I used the gird tool to ensure they were directly underneath each other. I also used a large, bold font quoting ‘Natalia Ellison’, and my aim was to draw the readers’ attention by having a famous face and name in bold. In addition I included a barcode, which was to make my product seem professional as if it could be sold in the shops. The layout of my contents page is also quite simple, as the pages are split into different sections; each page is given a brief description on what there is to read. Again, I used this technique in order to gain the readers attention, hoping they would want to read further after seeing this. I also included a letter from the editor, as I found it very common in other magazines I had analysed. I used only a few font styles on my cover, which I established was a common convention of most magazines, whether they are fashion or music. However, the layout and colour scheme of my article are different to the cover and contents pages. My article has a colour scheme of black and pink, which I felt worked well with the interview, as the focus is on a girl. It is also quite girly in that she talks about love and heartbreak, hence choosing the colour pink. The cost of my magazine decided by my audience was to be between 50p - £1.00, so I chose to price it at 80p, which is very cheap for a monthly magazine. Although many of the magazines I would be competing with are priced higher, I felt like more people would buy it if it was cheaper.

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?

I used a young female model on the cover. It soon becomes inspirational for people looking at my product as they will aspire to look like the model, and feel as though if they buy the magazine, they will be able to. I also kept the theme of my magazine by using headlines that included ‘boy bands’, which again appeal to a younger audience, especially the females. The social group my product is aimed at is upper working class, which is why my magazine is priced at only 80p so it is affordable. It shows this class in a positive light, giving them hope of being as successful as the artist on the cover and in the article, coming from the same background.
My model on the cover appeals to my niche market which is pop, as that is the style of music she writes and performs. However, my product includes other genres such as ‘R&B’ and ‘Dance’, which gives it an advantage of appealing to a wider audience, who enjoy a range different music.

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

After looking at Bauer’ Media group distributing ‘Q’, I don’t feel as though my product would be published through this as it has totally different ambitions in what the reader would like to see. On the other hand, if Bauer did distribute my product, I would open up a new audience for them to exploit and profit from. For example, Q often focuses on things from the past such as ‘100 greatest albums of all time’ and are well known for generating lists as such. However, the niche market I have chosen would not a appreciate this and wouldn’t enjoy reading it. I also believe that my magazine cannot compete with this kind of magazine as they are totally different genres so therefore will have different audiences. Nevertheless, I feel there are different types of markets in the industry to be a part of and believe ‘Alfie Lewis publishing’, would be interested in my product and after comparing it to ‘Top of the Pops’, I see that there is a similarity between the two. This is due to the fact that we have the same target audience, and include things such as gigs.

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

The audience of my product ranges from men to women, and should appeal to them between the ages of 16 – 24. I tried to create a sense of originality in that most pop magazine aim to only target females. The layout of my product is different, as I haven’t aimed to appeal to just females as most pop magazines do. To try and appeal to males, I used an image of a pretty model on my cover, so they will purchase my product because they fancy her, and I have also included the ‘top 40 singles of the week’ which will again interest men. However, by interrelating storied and combining them with the music, I believe that will increase my audience range, as many people (especially women) enjoy reading about things such as ‘who’s getting with who’. I also included concert reviews and dates to upcoming gigs, as it would make sense if the audience enjoyed reading about music, that they would enjoy feeling it live by paying to go to concerts.
Although my aim was to create an equal range of men and women buying my product, I feel as thought the percentage of female purchasing will be higher than men, which is common with ‘pop’ magazines. My main feature article is a well known singer, who talks about her recent break up, which will therefore bring more females into reading, as the are known to be more affectionate I situations like this. This is similar to the celebrity gossip magazines which are very popular amongst young female readers.

5. How you attract/address the audience?

By using a well known artist on my cover, I immediately attract the readers’ attention as my quotations state ‘Recent split with Jamie T’ on the cover. The audience become interested as they are both very popular artists and they wanted to find out the ‘gossip’. I also used images that will shock the audience, for example an image of a crossed out tattoo, with quotations as ‘my tattoo means nothing to me’. I also included language that will become personal to the audience. On my cover I used language such as ‘Exclusive’, which makes the reader feel special, as if they are the only ones to know about the new music or gossip.
Analysing the style models wasn’t the only influence on my product. I first started by constructing 100 questionnaires, my aim to come up with a result of what my audience want to see. I asked questions such as how much my audience would be willing to pay, what kind of genre they would prefer and even decided on the title of my magazine. After looking through my results, I found that my target audience would be between the age ranges 16 – 24, which meant I had to keep the theme of my product quite young in order to appeal to them. They also decided that they would like to see a young female on my cover, and I decided to have her looking straight into the camera, again referring the theory of Naomi Wolf.
The colours on my cover weren’t intended to appeal to a particular gender, as I feel they are quite plain. However the colour blue has the connotations of male and darker colours are known as ‘boy colours’, which means that it might appeal now to more males. To try and make it more feminine, I used ‘Alba’ font for my title as it is curvy and soft whereas normally they tent to be sharp and in your face
The model on my cover also refers to the theory of Marjorie Ferguson (1980) in that she has the ‘Super-smiler’. We know this as she has her eyes wide open with a toothy smile and the effects appeals to both men and women as her point is to get everyone to look at her. Again referring to the theory of Naomi Wolf (1991), that sexually attractive women are used to appeal to females because society has conditioned them into thinking that they should look like that, so they buy the stuff in a sense of feeling they can be like that. The model is looking straight out into the audience, therefore inviting them to read, and revealing that if they buy the product they will be able to look just like her. Many young people don’t know who they want to be, so by having a role model as such, they get inspiration. They theory of uses and gratifications is also reflected in that the lifestyle of the model has influence on the audience, and because the artist is so young, they feel they can be like her, even if it is just wishful thinking. Also, by using colloquial language on my cover, it lets the audience relate to the magazine so there’s more chance of them buying it, as younger people use more slang nowadays and will feel as though people understand them and as though it is addressed to them.
I have shown my product to a number of people within my target audience and the response has been positive;
Sophia Appleby, who is 17 and likes to spend her time at the cinema and music concerts, told me ‘It looks just like a real product; I would buy it from a shop’.
Another girl, Nicola Graham, told me, ‘It makes me want to read on about Natalia’s split, as if it was a real celebrity.

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Throughout the process of constructing this product, my technology skills have progressed massively. I have learnt new skills such as how to work a digital camera and the importance of a tripod, and also how to work all of the components of Photoshop. As you can see from the model on my cover, I first cut out the image, and then saturated it to make the model look sharper. I also colour manipulated her hair to make it stand out more, as it looked dull and boring before. To ensure the image was cut out to satisfaction, I zoomed in a number of times and used the magic eraser and rubber tool to make sure there were no jagged edges.

For the texts, I used effects such as ‘outer and inner glows’, ’emboss’ and ‘drop shadow’. This makes the texts stand out more, as I felt they were just blending into the background. The curved edges also added to giving a ‘pop’ feel to my magazine.

When using the digital camera, I learnt that it is important not to let your finger slip over the lens, as it blurs the image, and it is also vital to keep the camera on the tripod so that the image stays straight, and how to create long shot, close up, or medium shot images.
Also by creating a blog which is a media artefact in itself, I have turned from a media consumer to a media producer into a media consumer, with an audience of millions over the net.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Looking back at my first plans of my product, and the ideas I had, you can see that there has been a huge improvement. Analysing covers and real products has really helped me in the process of this construction, giving me a real idea of what will sell in the industry today. The conventions are one of the major things that have helped me whilst creating my product, as I knew what was required. Also, the fact that I produced a questionnaire gave me a real insight into what the audience would like to see, which was different to what I had originally thought.
Also my technology skills which I previously mentioned, were also a help to me in that I could edit images to make them more effective, and then my product would be able to compete with other magazines, as I now realise that all images have to be edited. I have also become more confident with desktop publishing skills and image manipulation.
I now feel my product would have a good chance in competing with other products whilst on the shelf such as ‘top of the pops’, as my genre ‘pop’, has been combined with other lifestyle articles in order to create an original magazine which I feel is going to sell.

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