Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Artist Case Study

However far from the existing image (brand) of your artist your own ideas are, you do need to evidence your awareness of this, and the research steps taken to inform yourself. You need to consider and provide info on such aspects as:
  1. are they signed to an Indie or major record label?
  2. considered a global artist or just UK or US success?
  3. what record, if any, of chart success?
  4. are they associated with any particular eras (eg the 80s)?
  5. what genre/s do they work in?
  6. who would be their core target audience, and consider any possible secondary audience/s?
  7. are there 'leitmotifs' (common themes, symbols) in their videos, and perhaps lyrics?
  8. provide a synopsis of their career
  9. are there particular directors they work with? do these bring their own styles?
  10. research some reviews of their videos, including YT user comments
  11. comment on the media language and editing used
  12. do they have any social media presence (consider how significant; the branding etc)?
  13. can you find UGC (fan art, fan-made videos, lyric videos etc)?
What you can find will obviously vary depending on the status and longevity of your act. You should consider the longer list above, but here are core elements you should evidence research into and consideration of - you could split this into multiple posts with a main summary post:

Major releases, successes, landmark dates - don't copy/paste huge reams from Wikis. Do hyperlink/credit all sources.
Overlapping with research into target audience, sum up their media profile: what sort of media do they appear in? do they get a favourable response? does this vary by media type/audience? Make sure you suitably illustrate such points.

(This ties directly into the next point on aud interaction)
You should thoroughly analyse both (in separate posts if you want to keep all website work clearly labelled). Consider the branding, and note evidence of any audience interaction. Can you find fan forums/groups? You should try seeking feedback on several of these, as well as through official social media. If yours is a new artist, you might also/instead look for genre forums/groups.
What, if any, UGC can you find inspired by this act? Lyric videos, fan art, fan covers etc?
Overall, sum up the brand.

Building on the above, have you found any evidence of audience interaction? (Have a look through my various audience tags to widen the point...)
Carefully consider what element of audience interaction YOU will incorporate. You should consider ideas which will help to explicitly link together the video, digipak and website as a coherent package. You could read Elberse's chapters on music promo campaigns.
A clear idea on this will also be extremely helpful in giving you material to work with in the first half of your exam.

You don't need to analyse all in detail, but do:
create or find a comprehensive playlist
hyperlink each one + make at least 1 point on each
sum up the traits (or leitmotifs) you find. Consider representations especially carefully
clearly note any elements of the existing image/branding/media language you will seek to maintain (simulacra...) or any possible intertextuality with prior videos
Vines/gifs, perhaps a short vodcast, would be useful here. Illustrate with clear (audio-)visual examples frequently. look ahead to your Evaluation and you'll see how this can be useful again later in the processs.

Provide a clear analysis of the lyrics: what do you (using any research you can) think the track is about (the preferred reading)?
To what extent (be very specific) have you reflected lyrical content and themes in your plans?
THEORY: Can you apply any points using Frith, Goodwin or Vernallis here? [see M. LANG section of MANGeR pack]

Provide a clear summary of how your work reflects and/or challenges (seeks to shift) the existing branding and audience of your artist, taking in points from all of the above. Be succinct/pithy (keep any writing short; a list is best) but clear, and provide specific illustrations.

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