IMOGEN HAYMAN (4079)
A promotion package for the release of an album, to include:
- a music video (major task)
- a social media page (minor task)
- a digipak (minor task)
How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of ‘branding’?
How did your research inform your products and the way they use or challenge conventions?
How do your products represent social groups or issues?
How do your products engage with the audience?
A brand needs to be easily recognisable by an audience so a producer must work hard to create a cohesive and blended campaign – the products need to belong to the same ‘family’.
Our mission statement was “Eve is this centuries rising star. Mixing the flows of both indie and pop, Eve’s sunny sound, joyous tone and quirky performance style, combines the best of sunshine and rain, as she develops as an artist and spreads positivity , giving her fans a visual and auditory heaven.” These elements were brought cohesively together in the Social Media Page (SMP) where it was clear to see the elements that helped create that overall sense of branding.
For example some of the star image that my target audience would expect to see was that overarching idea of her sunny and joyous nature as a pop/folk star. This was evident in all of the products – a fast paced edit to represent change and echo filter in the music video conveyed a continuity and original energy. As proposed by Dyer the paradox of the star with her both being ordinary and extraordinary are clear to see in the branding. The semic codes of the thoughtful expression and the cultural code of the setting are all examples of what Barthes would term the narrative code. They represent the star image and branding of how you want the star to be perceived. Our audience should be able to decode the idea that whilst she is an extraordinary character with extreme thought process and urge for change, she is also a quiet and thoughtful soul.
These two products were heavily promoted on the SMP where the fan base would expect to be teased and tempted to follow her exploits and also feel involved in the promotion of his album and music video. Having an overall thought track that she was ‘rain and sunshine’ really helped me design the overall brand which was represented with a conventionally pastel colour palette, signifying a conventional metanarrative of a unique soul but dedicated to her positivity and hope.
We researched professional indie folk music videos and understood quite quickly that they were largely an equal balance of performance and narrative, with smooth edited footage and also used conventional mise-en-scene (MES) of nude, back and white clothing, flowers, pastels. In particular we watched Conan Grey’s music video “Heather”. There we managed to note out all of the technical conventions and elements we needed to look for and include, for example a symbolic storyline. We also looked at the MES like the high key lighting to connote a bright and joyful feel along with in sync movements and the accessories showing the controlling and repetitive, boring nature. All of these elements are what Lacey would call the repertoire of elements. Those elements are what our target audience looks for and would expect to see. Altman would argue that this is the blueprint for a successful and conventionally recognisable indie folk music video.
However, in our production I wanted to challenge and adapt these conventions. We had an unconventional storyline and we had dancing in our music video which wasn’t conventional to the genre but it was conventional to our influential artist. While this wasn’t originally part of the blueprint which the audience would expect we feel like we made a balanced narrative. We used a narrative showing a pastel perfect society and a young girl trapped in it. The girl does not fit in to the expectations of this society and broke out of the repetitive chain by changing her mind set and wearing the clothes she enjoyed and dancing the way she wanted to dance. Showing her audience that they can all be individual and awesome. However she gets caught and sufferers the consequences for trying to be different. It was filmed using a dance choreography to show the repetitiveness and the boring, perfect lifestyle. We filmed from so many different angles including a birds eye view with getting close ups and extreme closeups of the dancing and the mood changes in the music video of bored facial expressions.. This style of filming fitted with the generic conventions of the indie folk/pop genre that is breaking out from the crowd, being original and becoming your own person.
We wanted to represent the star in an authentic way, this was essential for creating a successful star image especially on the digipak. Our star is known for their sunny and quirky character and as such their metanarrative is one that exposes her positive and flourishing nature and she clearly evidences the extraordinary aspect of Dyer’s paradox of the star, as she clearly displays extreme personalities. For example, one minute going on tour and going on television to talk with TV hosts and the next another person would would see in a blm protest or a charity event. These are all then evidenced in the social media page.
I wanted to represent her on the digipack as an open and unique character, so I developed the conventions of her representation. I photographed her in the white studio so it was well lit with balanced lighting coming at her from either side with the ceiling lights off. This gave us a good background to be able to cut her out and paste our star on another background. In the shoot we put her in dutch braids. We also put safety pins in the hair to connote to the audience that she feels trapped and that it’s okay to branch out and be yourself. This implied a more ordinary side of his star image. It was also a symbolic code as Barthes would say. Barthes would argue that using this representation through semic codes of a colourful background and multiple pictures of the star faded and overlapped may not infer what you want it to. The use of these cultural codes may infer that she isn’t just a star and that there are many different sides and personalities she has inside bursting to come out.
I wanted to engage the audience as my main aim of marketing, advertising campaign as without the audience buying the album and supporting the sales, the success of any products being released would be minimalised.
My Social Media Page (SMP) is full of opportunities to get fans to engage the fans of EVE. As Hall describes encoding any media or text with the expected signs and symbols is imperative in order to get the target audience to decode it and ‘get’ a desired reading of the text. If the repertoire of elements is not right the the audience could not understand or reject the text by getting a confused reading from it.
As a result of this, I made sure that the SMP was full of what Blumler and Katz would argue are essential elements to engage all your target audience in media text. An example of this is, there were opportunities to socially interact with other fans and the star herself by the inclusion of Instagram comments. There was also a link to a website I created which supplied merch to enable the fans to feel a part of the ‘group’ and in particular wear the fashion associated with the star.
This was essential to have personal identity for the fans. It was also important that the page had all the relevant information and entertainment for fans to feel included and satisfied. This means I included tour dates on the Instagram page and the website. I also included teasers for the music video release and a behind the scenes of one of the photoshoots. All of these examples in the SMP were crafted directly and produced to maximise hits, clicks, likes, reviews and comments by the target audience. Our SMP was also full of photographs, captions, tags, comments all in the way we believe our star would have presented themselves to the public. This was both in literal and visual terms to encourage a preferred reading experience. For example, we didn’t capital letters as we wanted the audience to think of the star laid back and easy to talk to. We also responded to the fans through the comments section meaning the star would become more appealing to the audience.