Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Target AUDIENCE etc

The artificial, colourful 80s genre of my music video is different from the mainstream music videos we are seeing today. However, after doing my research, I have realised that I have elements in my music video that are not dissimilar to some modern and popular music videos.

Popular artists such as N-Dubz and JLS have tended to use more naturalistic colours in their music videos. However, I have found in some of their videos; the mise en scene is very surreal and unnatural and not dissimilar to the effect I am trying to achieve in my music video.

For example in JLS’ music video, Eyes Wide Shut, the group sing and dance in a heaven-like world. They are upon what seems to be a platform high up in the sky with many clouds in the background. There is a light brown/red filter on the camera giving the mise-en-scene a warm, comforting feel.
Screen shot from JLS' Eyes Wide Shut music video
I think music videos like this, which represent difference and a sense of ‘escaping the natural world’ gain more interest from audiences. Although I do not have the skills to create the amazing surreal world of Eyes Wide Shut, I am taking a similar approach with the use of the ‘threshold’ effect and bright colours to create an unnatural world in my video.

The use of the fantasy-like environment in Eyes Wide Shut is significantly symbolic and appropriate to the song. However, the colour effects I am using in my music video have really no symbolic elements, but they are relevant to the 80s genre and both visually powerful and entertaining. 

N Dubz’ music video for the song Took It All Away uses the popular Playstation 3 game, Little Big Planet (LBP) as their environment throughout the whole song. Each band member has their own LBP avatar created to resemble their real life appearance. The video is like a 3D cartoon animation.
Screen shot from N-Dubz' Took It All Away music video
I am considering adding elements of cartoon animation in my music video (originally inspired by the 80s music video Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul), because I think it is a creative and imaginative way of entering an unnatural world.

The reason I have looked at music videos by JLS and N-Dubz is that they have been considered as the modern ‘New Jack Swing.’  The New Jack Swing was the new black music genre of the late 80s/early 90s. Before its time, RnB and Hip Hop music were considered as two separate genres and songs would fit either in one or the other. However, the New Jack Swing combined these two genres, so songs would begin to have heavy hip hop beats with RnB/Soul vocals over the top. Some New Jack Swing songs had rapping in as well. 

My music video has got the typical colourful 80s appearance to it, however there are heavy influences of the New Jack Swing in it as well, such as the dancing (inspired by Bobby Brown ‘The King of New Jack Swing) and the costumes (partly inspired by New Jack Swing artists, MC Hammer and Guy). Also the track of ‘Summer Love’ is very typical of the New Jack Swing genre.
The people who like the urban artists of today (such as N-Dubz and JLS who combine RnB and Hip Hop together in their music) are likely to be part of my target audience. These people will most probably be young black males aged 15-25. Young black females of around the same age are likely to appreciate similar music, but they will probably be more attracted to the ‘boy bands’ such as JLS. The ‘boy band’ image is something that is not apparent in my music video.

People who appreciated the music of the New Jack Swing era will also be part of my target audience. These are likely to be black youths (both male and female) of the time who are now aged around 30-40.
Popular New Jack Swing artists

Because of the 80s influences, as well as the New Jack Swing influences, in my music video, people who appreciated the synthesizing, manufactured sound of the 80s are also likely to be part of my target audience. The track ‘Summer Love’ is very much in the New Jack Swing style and there are clear 80s influences apparent in the song.

People who like the music of Rick Astley, Paula Abdul, Madonna and Queen (although they were more ‘pop rock,’ their worldwide successful song in 1984, Radio Gaga was mimicking the 80s sound), are also likely to be part of my target audience. These artists’ style was very pop-like and because of the genre, the music probably appealed more to a white audience. Michael Jackson was one of the few black artists of the 80s who really entered the pop genre in his music; however he still attracted largely a white audience. This group of people are likely to have been teens in the 80s, therefore are probably now aged around 35-45. However, I think this particular group of people will be more female dominated, as a lot of women were head over heels in love with both Rick Astley and Michael Jackson and also a lot of them were heavily influenced by the style of Paula Abdul and Madonna.

Queen's Radio Gaga
Finally, people who are now in their teenage years and appreciate ‘retro’ music (like myself) are also going to be part of my target audience. I discovered a lot of 80s and New Jack Swing hits from the incredibly popular Playstation 2 games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (GTAVC) and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTASA).

GTA: Vice City fictional Radio Presenters
GTAVC is set in early 80s Miami. Nearly all the vehicles you can drive in the game have a radio, and the player can choose from nine radio stations to listen to. The music of course is all hits of the early 80s, from artists such as Queen, Michael Jackson, Kool and the Gang etc. From various forums on the Internet, I have discovered that a lot of young people in my age range have grown fond of 80s music due to GTAVC.

I also grew fond of the New Jack Swing from GTASA. The fictional radio station, CSR 103.2 on the game is dedicated to the New Jack Swing, and plays songs from artists such as Bobby Brown, Guy and Boyz II Men. This too will have undoubtedly had some influence on the music tastes of the young people playing this game.

GTA: San Andreas' fictional Radio Stations


  1. Sally, this is a great blog post that incorporates a wide variety of music styles as well as incorporating the popularity of gaming culture in relation to your target audience. The illustrative examples that you provide are balanced with thoguthful insight into the justification of these.

    You mentioned about incorporating animation into your music video - do you seriously have the time to do this? I personally feel that your production has the balance right, the vibrant colours alongside bold fonts.

    Furthermore in relation to this post, this is very good as you are commenting on real media texts and this is what the examiners will be looking for.

  2. Have just remembered something: do you think that your music video has been inspired by the pop art of Andy Warhol? What I am thinking of is his Marilyn Monroe stuff