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, 13 April 2016


CIE Q2: How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of branding?

This is very similar to the UK OCR Q2, which considers how well the 3 components work as an overall package.

Research existing examples: look at some examples of a single act/artist's website/album cover/video and assess how tightly integrated (in mood/tone, not just direct visuals) they are or aren't. You could discuss how likely it is that videos especially would be directly linked to digipak or website design (usually multiple videos for any album, often from different directors...).
Create a grid with 3 columns: video, digipak, website/online (you could split online [social media] into a 4th).
Start with video and note any feature which is replicated or similar in 1 or both of the other 2 (include branding for YouTube, Twitter etc profiles with website). Take screenshots as you go for use in answer.
Work through digipak and online content too, check if there's anything you missed (there may be some links just between these 2 but not video).
Think again: consider the mode of address, maybe in/formal, humble/brash, accessible/distant ... what MOOD have you created? (the visual links may not be so direct, so you may not have considered branding like this)
Review your notes - can you see themes/issues you can link together? Can you see opportunities to apply theories (eg web 2.0, intertextuality, postmodernism more widely)?
Organise your response into clear sections/themes.
You could also seek audience feedback: question a sample, ask them to describe the brand image.
Provide a short summary: this should include your thoughts on how you might have improved on this!

Discuss, with examples, how typical or not it is to tightly integrate 3 distinct media formats (you'll find examples that do and examples that don't!) - do websites especially tend to change to reflect new releases (yes!).
Brief outline of the artist's existing brand and likely audience.
Brief outline of the brand and likely audience you were aiming for. If it helps, what product (or other existing artist) would you compare this brand to?!
For creative content, consider what brands/products this artist might agree to advertise, which company would pay them to be a 'brand spokesperson' (and create an ad!). Interview with (or promo package by) a design agency and their creative team.
Outline the links between your texts, taking 1 clear theme at a time, and thoroughly illustrating how these link across 2 or more of your texts. As you do, be very clear if you have taken separate photographic images for print work (a good thing!) rather than just use video screenshots.
Provide a summary, including assessment of any changes you now think you should have made

  • define your primary and secondary target audiences (who the branding is aimed at!!!)
  • sum up the existing branding for the artist - is the existing audience the same as yours?
  • are you changing the brand image? if so, how/why?
  • how zeitgeisty (or perhaps retro - Retromania?) is your branding?
  • what role did social media play in binding together the video, digipak and website branding?
  • did you brand the YouTube and social media profiles? (consider the branding across the websites and social media observed in my exemplar case studies)
  • be clear and specific not just on the detailed links between your texts but any differences within these (e.g. the singer in the video setting/costume, but a unique photographic pose)
  • it can be very helpful to ask yourself (as many artists and their managers will): if an existing brand was to sponsor your artist, which would it be and why?

Amber: Lady Gaga

Conal (Amber's group partner): Lady Gaga

Kate: Girls Aloud (pop '00s girlband)
Clear, well illustrated vodcast, and Kate also made clear links within other Eval Qs - a good idea!

Curtis: dance act Faithless
Detailed and largely well illustrated, he closely followed my suggested structure. Curtis also embedded a range of videos from earlier in the blog in this post -
it is a smart move to very clearly link/demonstrate the range of research you are APPLYING through this answer, with playlists/embeds/screenshots (of posts, links lists), list of links, tags etc!


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