Monday, 6 May 2013

Evaluation - "How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?"

As you're aware, over the course of the year I've worked on three separate materials for my artist: a music video, a digipak album design, and a promotional poster. Ideally, they should all work together to promote the artist's music and increase sales. Let's see how this has worked out...

Over the course of production, I've made a point of developing recurring motifs across the three pieces. What am I on about? I've put together a little presentation to show you. (Using Google Drive this time as I don't have PowerPoint on my computer at home; it's slightly more annoying than PowerPoint as fewer things are assigned to keyboard shortcuts, but at least its output is a bit prettier).

So "why is this important?" is the question indeed. The answer comes now, as I feel the need:
  • Star Image
  • Branding
Star Image

Star images are a kind of ideal. To quote Richard Dyer -
"A star is an image, not a real person, that is constructed out of a range of materials"
Ideals sell. Therefore it makes sense to reinforce this ideal star image whenever the chance is there, through the use of recurring motifs. The "range of materials" in this case refers to the three works - the video, digipak and poster. All three of them are working together to construct the image.

This ideological star image is hugely marketable, as audiences create a demand for fantasy images. This relates to one of Dyer's other theories, the utopia theory. This theory suggests that audiences look for the pieces of 'fiction' portrayed by the artist as an escape from their bland or unfavourable reality. Whilst my artist's imagery doesn't meet the Disneyficated happy-go-lucky utopia most people would associate with the theory upon looking into it for the first time, it -does- conform to an extent as Dark Flame's imagery is angsty, thus cool - something which many teenagers desire. This means that Dark Flame's star image has been successfully developed to appeal to an audience.


I think I'll also explain this from a slightly different approach. I'm going to be explaining this part using my own logic, rather than referencing a theorist. Let's see how this turns out...

Artists need to create their own recognisable brand, in the same manner as companies who produce goods. Here is an analogy for the sake of example:

Let's say we have a guy called... erm... let's call him Metal Overlord 3000. As well as having the world's coolest parents, Metal Overlord 3000 quite enjoys Cadbury's chocolate. Due to the consistent motifs which reoccur across both the packaging of Cadbury's chocolate bars, and the Cadbury print and  television adverts, Metal Overlord 3000 is now hugely familiar with the Cadbury logo and the purple colour scheme. Whenever he walks into a shop, the Cadbury chocolate bars will jump out to him, because they are something which he instantly recognises - which will make him consider buying them. This effect will also reoccur if Cadbury launch a new chocolate bar which again reuses these motifs on its packaging.

Now, back to the music industry. Let's say that Metal Overlord 3000 sees and enjoys Dark Flame's I Am... All of Me music video online. Let's say he also sees the poster in his local record shop. He will become familiar with the greyscale presence, Dark Flame's face and the logo. Because of this, upon passing the shelf with the album on it, this familiarity will kick in which will prompt him to check it out and hopefully buy it.

I personally think that thanks to the recurring motifs I've employed throughout my productions, I have been successful in producing a brand for my artist which would be recognisable.


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