Question 2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
When designing my media package, it was imperative that both my music video, and digipak and advert had a coherent house-style, and worked well together to attract audiences to my actual product. It was also vital that the two texts worked well together to provide an accurate representation of the genre, and maintained a consistent house style throughout.
To research how effective my products worked together, I had to do some target audience research. My specific target audience was teen to young adult, therefore I got feedback from this audience. However, I also asked people with less cultural capital, outside my intended target audience to give me a wider and more varied perspective of the coherence of my package. Due to this variation in Cultural Capital, this resulted in the feedback from some audience members being less specific and lack of jargon being used to describe my my package. This could be down to a number of reasons, firstly because some of my research members were not media students, or not students at all. Class could also play a part, and how much interest in music video's they have also effects the quality of feedback.
When doing my research, as I am no longer a user of Facebook, me and my partner Beth set up a forum on her Facebook to receive feedback from our media peers and other outsiders, as you can see to the right.
If I were to re-do my package, I would definitely use social networking again as it is a fantastic way of getting fast responses from a select number of audiences. I also showed my video and package to a number of people outside facebook, and saved their responses via text on my Samsung Galaxy S3.
Megan Stanley, 18, University Student
'I thought that the video was really good, and that it worked well with the album cover. Both had a simplistic house style but maintained the ability to capture an audience. I thought that the music video was good because of the close shots of the actor, and the lighting made it dramatic. I thought the pictures on the front of the cover of the album were suitable and worked well, and I also really liked the tracklisting as it was original. I liked the advert too, but did not really fit in with the other two pieces as it was quite busy and did not maintain the simplistic house style.'
From Megan's feedback, it is clear to see that she felt the simplistic housestyle suited the genre that I had aimed for. This was a key point, as I had focused a lot of my attention on trying to make sure I kept the housestyle simple, while be able to get peoples attention. The idea of using a simple housestyle had been an idea of mine since the research and planning stage, and having used this style effectively, in both my music video and ancillary text, it suggests that my package did have elements of coherence. However, Megan did comment on the lack of coherence of my advert to the rest of my piece. I realised this as an issue almost immediately afterwards, and if I could go back and edit the advert I would definitely try and maintain the simplistic housestyle that megan felt I did so well on in my other texts. A further comment from Megan was about my use of collage on the front cover. This shows that whilst being able to maintain a simple housestyle, a digipak can still look effective. I also felt that the use of the collage worked well with the folk/Nufolk genre, and Megan's comments confirm this idea. A final point Megan made was about my design of the tracklist. She stated that the idea was original, which is what I had intended when I deviated from creating the tracklist in a handwritten style on a computer. One of my genre's main aspects is originality, therefore my product can be seen as coherent with other products within my genre.
Katy Bassett, 18, College Student
'I think that both the music video and the album cover and advert worked really well together. I really liked the fact that the ending was at the start, and that made me want to watch more of it to see how that result came about. I thought that the video was a bit like a story which was also a good factor, as it allowed me to relate it to teenage life. I thought that the use of closeups was really good as well, as it allowed me to see the emotion and the feeling of the song in the acting'
Katy began her feedback by identifying that the music video and the album cover and advert worked really well together. I was surprised to hear that she thought the advert was coherent with the rest of my media package, as my adverts style is not openly recognised in this genre specifically. But it can be seen that by breaking the conventions of my genre, I was able to open up my audience, and appeal to a larger scale. Her comments about the music video and album cover working well together follows on from Megan's earlier comments about the two texts, suggesting that coherence between the two is strong, and that the two can be associated with one another. Kate also commented on how the video was 'story-like'. This can be interpreted in a number of ways, as our initial idea was to not give the audience this impression as it would break the conventions and ideas of real media texts within my genre, which are normally highly performance orientated. However it can also be seen that our video has outlined the narrative well, and her comment about being able to relate it to teenage life was a great positive to our work, as music videos in our genre are meant to inspire and have a plethora of meanings. If each one of our target audience members watches the video and is able to apply it to their own lives then we have successfully kept the to conventions of real media products. Kate also liked the idea of the ending being at the start and the video working its way backwards throughout. This was highly positive as we wanted to apply Todorovs theory but vary it slightly, as we had seen in our research and planning videos. It can be seen that this style of structure is highly effective in keeping the audience interested. Kate also commented on how she liked the use of closeups, which we felt was essential in portraying the emotion of the song. She stated that it alloerd her to see the emotion and feeling of the song in the acting which is great as it shows how we used Goodwins relationship of visuals to sound effectively.
Lucy Allen, 18, University Student
'I like the way the video is almost like a story, it makes me want to find out the ending - which is good because usually I dont pay much attention to music videos unless they are captivating. I also like the lighting as it gives it a dramatic effect and conveys the emotions they are both feeling too, which makes the video quite emotional and interesting. I also really like the way in which the end of the video linked back to the start as it made it seem quite continuous snd made it flow really well.'
Lucys feedback also commented, like Katy on the style of the music video being like a story. As stated earlier this not exactly what we had intended, but like Katy, Lucy saw it as a positive, stating it made her want tk watch the video to the end. This is highly beneficial for us as we wanted our texts to be interesting for the audience. She also felt that the lights gave the video a firm sense of emotion and feeling. When creating the video we used a number of different filters on the lights to find the perfect effect for each scene, which is good to see that the filters had the desired effect.
I knew that it was important for my media package to be coherent in aspects of the design. Some elements of coherence in my package include:
The use of colours between my digipak and advert is one aspect that can be seen as coherent. The colour ............ was used on my advert and the colour ................... was used on my digipak front cover and side. Although not directly similar, both colours have similar properties and connotations which allows them to be associated with one another, which was important in the design of my product as I needed to ensure my audience could make the link between my advert promoting the digipak. I also used the colour black on my fonts consistently throughout my package, in the fonts on my ancillary texts and in my music video. I felt this was important in maintaining a coherent house style between the three products.
The use of the handwritten feature was evident in both my tracklisting and my music video. I liked this feature, and seeing it on Jason Mraz' album cover reinforced my decision to use it within my texts. I felt that the use of this feature in my ancillary product gave my artist a closer link and more direct link with his audience, and allowed the audience to grasp a more personal and intimate relationship with the artist himself. I also used the hadnwritten feature in my music video, as can be seen to the right. I felt that this reinforced the home-made feel my video had. Within the folk/Nufolk genre, I found in my research and planning that originality was key to the production of a package like this, therefore my package also has coherence with the genre itself.
- Use of intruments
Within my ancillary product there is a continued use of instruments in the advert and digipak. As you can see, I used a part of the guitar on the in-lay behind the CD, and also used a guitar in the image that i replicated in my advert. Within my music video, there are a number of shots where the singer is accompanied by a guitar as a prop within the scene. When doing my research and planning, I found that often in packages within this genre, artists/bands often posed with their instruments, therefore I decided to replicate this idea in my own work. This element of coherence allows my audience to understand what sort of artist he is, and what genre he fits into.
Elements where my media package was not so coherent include:
Although similar, the fonts I used on my digipak and advert were not the same. On my digipak I used the font Harabara, and on my advert I used ....... and ........... Looking back on my text now, I feel that .....was far too flamboyount and outrageous to have played a part in my advert, and If i were to go back, I would change this to maintain the coherence and housestyle my package has.
After recieving feedback from my peers, it was clear to see that many of them, including myself, felt that the advert simply did not fit into the housestyle of the rest of the package, or genre. They felt that the use of symbols as a background made the advert far too busy, and dettered from the simplistic housestyle i had originally intended to maintain. Obviously this is an element of lack of coherence, but as I found in my feedback it did work well in attracting the adiences attention.
As the music video w as joint effort between ymself and my partner, and the ancillary product was individual, two different actors were used in the digipak, and only one fo them could play the part in the music video. Unfortunately my actor we felt was not suitable enough for the part, therefore played no further role in the production of the package, adding a further element of coherence.