Monthly Archives: May 2013

Media theories, debates and audience responses

Three audience effects theories:

Cultivation: Cultivation theory is a social theory which examines long term effects of television. It states that the more time people watch TV the more likely they will start to believe the social reality portrayed on TV. Cultivation leaves people who are affected more to have a misperception of what is reality and what isn’t.

Social action theory: Social action theory is used to get a better understanding of actions behind human behaviour such as traditional, affective or rational behaviours. The perspective of the theory is to examine how and why particular individuals and groups are  defined by their behaviour which doesn’t follow normal behaviour of a particular social group.

Media dependence theory: This theory attempts to describe how the media affects the lives of individuals. There is a considerable variation in this theory which shows or tells how much people depend on media and what types of media are most influential to them.

Three effects debates:

Why do we have media regulation? We have media regulations so different types of media can be controlled and monitored. Some media is regulated by the government which the media type/s can be controlled by laws set in parliament.

There is then self – regulations which is voluntarily controlled over a sector of the media industries, which is usually made out of fear that statutory control would be more severe.


Why do we have classification? We have classification so media content if inappropriate for a certain age can be restricted under that age. E.g. An 18 certificate on any media product i.e. video game or movie is only suitable for an audience of that age or older.

The BBFC is responsible for the classification of all media products released in cinemas or in other formats such as DVD’s, they also classify some video games.

Why do we have censorship? We have censorship so authority figures can control what groups or individuals can or cannot see, hear or read in media products. E.g. The TV show Two and half men censor out swear words on during the day as all ages would be able to hear what is. But after the water shed the company uncensors the bad language.

Three different ways an audience can respond to a given product: The audience reactions which is probably first shown when responding to a product this then combined with emotions depending on the product and its content such as sadness or happiness. Then the audience would giver their opinion on what they thought about the product such as if they enjoyed it and why. This can then start a debate with the other viewers who have different opinions on the product, the product may also influence the audience opening up other ideas, thoughts and opinions.






To ensure that a product stays with its target audience, products will usually state what can be used for kids, family and adults. some prove this by age ratings, key symbols, warning labels and parental notes.

Some products will have  a label saying parental advisory explicit content on them saying that the content on the media production saying that there are things that young audiences should not see or hear should they learn to pick some things up. There are Age ratings to films and games to show who the recommended people to watch and play those games depending on what the content is in those things whether its from the BBFC or PEGI. With so many electronic based sites and consoles able to get access to just about anything, parental controls are made to limit what children would look at and see depending how high or low the controls are set, this gives the parents to restrict what children go on and what they are allowed to play on allowing parents to ensure that children under certain ages does not play games that are to violent for them to play on like a lot of 18 rated games as they will be most violent.

I will now mention 3 products to explain and discribe what they are and my knowledge about them. The first being on DVD’s where they have logo’s with PG, U, 12, 15 and 18, that is the explination on what the films content will be either appropriate or unapproprite for certain aged people, this would help parents know what their kids would be watching or know the kids would be in good hands if their kids watch the films of those certain age ratings.
The second is on video games where a rating called the PEGI rating tends to be shown which like movies explain what the contents of the games will be appropriate for certain audiences, some games however also have symbols of  the contents in the game like a fist for violence, dice for gambeling, an angry dialouge balloon for bad language and just about many others to show the contents of games and what there would be in them, it should also be noted that game shops would have to ask for photo ID for someone buying an 18 rated game unless with an adult to buy it for you, should you not have ID when buying an 18 game they will refuse to let you have the game, games under 12 you can buy without hassell since those games would be more for younger players though parents should also be aware of the ratings should the content of the games be too violent or the like. the third and final product would be Television during certain time’s like 9:00pm which would be watershed productions, TV on early times like mornings through lunchtime would be for kids since a lot of children’s TV tends to be on at those times however by 5:00pm a lot more dramatic shows with real life events go on which do tend to be more PG/12 based shows through to 8:00pm but by 9:00pm where most kids would already have gone to bed then the watershed based shows would start showing in where they would be very violent and have things like blood, languege, real life events, murder, drugs, nasty moments and things that would make kids upset or scared or make them learn things they shouldn’t.
In the USA there are TV ratings that show logos like TV-PG, TV-14, TV-MA and the like explaining what shows would be for certain people, watershed productions would always show those symbols since a lot of american TV networks know what shows would be shown at late times. some countrys use the same thing with their TV but some may also use diffrent symbols or colours to show the rating, the UK however doesn’t always have a TV ratings system.

Producers will try anything to reach their target audience and will try and do what they can to do what is right for that audience. They would plan what they would do, what content would be in what they have in mind and who would more want to see what they would hope to have. Producers would often do the first hand research since it would be vital to know the market research seeing what audience’s find popular and using ad’s won’t always work unless serous research has been done. They would also have to figure out who in the audience they would sell to, people who aren’t into certain subjects but willing to try new things or people who are already fans of something but want more that what they had before. Producers would have to focus on the primary market and identify the ideal consumer then advertising might be more effective.

From Dusk Till Dawn Continued . . .


When the film came to being released it was first released on VHS then when DVD’s came about it was released on there, so back then the only ways to watch the film would be to purchase a copy, or to go to the cinema, or to wait for many years until it became suitable enough to be shown on T.V. But now with all the latest technology audiences can watch it through DVD/Blu-Rays and on their personal devices (phones, laptops, tablets, IPods etc) that links to the Internet, i.e. with sites such as Netflix and Love Film. Sites likes these allows the audience to pay a monthly charge so they can watch as many films they like that range within that package deal, but just for a tester they also allow the audience to have one month free.

This film is based on a multi strand narrative, this is when the film is focusing on more than one character opposed to a single strand narrative where this only focuses on one character i.e. Spiderman. This film focuses on both the brothers and how they get to Mexico, so even though they take a family hostage they are still the main characters as it’s based on them, (getting to Mexico and surviving).

A stranger comes to town’ this is used a lot within films/shows (equilibrium) for example in ‘The Strangers’, ‘Chocolat’ etc. This is when people would come into the certain location i.e. in ‘Chocolat’ Johnny Depp comes into the town where people are not happy about the occurrence.

Uncanny Valley is when the content i.e. people closely look like humans but are not they are created through animation i.e. with ‘The Polar Express’ the contents are closely animated so they look close to real.

Stereotyping: This happens a lot within films and shows and life in general, i.e. for films like Adulthood they are stereotypical about the youth of London, showing them as gangsters, wearing baggy clothes, carrying weapons etc. But for this film the two main characters are shown to be the typical small time gangster on the run, who needs a hostage in order to get away from the law, with possession of a gun.

From Dusk Till Dawn, Genre


This film was created for thrill seekers who like varied genres, basing around horror (with the vampires and the gore), the crime, (the men are bad men) and the action (the family and the men fight to try to stay alive, with all the shooting and stunts). In a lot of horror based films women within the story are always made to be weak and unable to fight but in this one, the female is taking the lead and defending herself and her family from the dangers, if she fell down she wouldn’t cry and moan and struggle to get up, she got back up and fought. The film had the typical action package, with the amount of fire then the petrol station blowing up as they walk away towards the camera. With the crime they use the typical hostage situation, but turns it around so instead of the bad guys just needed them to smuggle them out, the family needs them just as much when they are facing death.


Within this film there are many camera angles used that influence the shots for instance in the store when George is talking to the clerk the shots get closer as his voice gets more deeper, but smoother “you be cool”, then again as the camera pans with the officer going into the toilet it still keeps panning which then reveals George is in the same location. When they are in the bar the colour of the theme suits really well, as bars tend to be dark and musky, and it’s the same with this one, however this one was dark for a reason.


This is based on the shots used, and angles and the ways it’s edited, for example when the trailer was created it used fast paced cuts to match with the music, same with a lot of horror type films. The shots and angles all match the theme, so if there was something happening, i.e. when the son threw the water bottle at his father you see his reaction before you saw the fathers face, showing the audience that his father may look distraught or scary.


This is when there would be meaning within the shot, so when all the action was brought in within the bar fights; there was blood all over the place (red meaning danger). Also with the character and their expressions, which then determines whether the audience likes that person or not, i.e. with Quentin’s character he’s seems quite shy and very quiet (lost), so this could make the audience want to believe his character is not all bad.


This is based on what should and shouldn’t be included i.e. with the horror genre, there’s an increases with all the gore and blood that added to films, for example the Evil Dead remake, as there are a lot of gory bloody aspects. Again with women in horror, crime or action films they used be known for being weak and easy targets, to not fight back, but there are more female strong characters who are easily defendable and can do as much damage as men, i.e. Buffy: she is a strong character who defends the world of vampires, Planet Terror: when the women loses her leg she fights back and in From Dusk Till Dawn the daughter is defending herself and her family.

From Dusk Till Dawn

This film was created in 1996, by Robert Rodriguez with screenplay by Quentin Tarantino (who also stared in the film). This film was created for crime, horror and action seekers, with all the action packed crime, with the two brothers seeking a way out, whilst robbing banks, using hostages, then gore with the overpowering load of vampires taking over the a bar. This film has a rating of 7.2 (according to IMDB) where viewers who have watched the film placed their opinion in a statistical manner (Quantitative). Also looking at the stats, more men were appealed to this film, as the votes for males reached 93,182 views mostly ranging from the ages of 18-44 but only 12,300 women voted from the same age group. This is then proving that the film is more aimed at men from a wide age group. Again looking through Facebook statistics I have found that more men from the same age group liked the film more than women with 30,200 likes from men and only 19,980 likes from women.

The actors and characters used can appeal to different audiences, i.e. some women could be watching so they can see George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino and again men could be watching to see Juliette Lewis or Salma Hayek. Or the audience could be watching to see their idols, which can be a number of people as there is a fair few actors in this film.

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uncanny valley

The uncanny valley is the region of negative emotional response towards robots and animations or any CGI that seem like real life.


How a product addresses an audience

Different products address different audiences by having there own unique style, layout, colour, font and font size, who or what is on the front cover etc. an example of three different magazines for three different audiences.

Audience one: Magazines aimed for teenagers (16-19) would mainly have someone famous on the front cover or the latest technology product, big bold brightly coloured letters maybe resembling the colour of the product or having the most important bit coloured red as the producers want their audience to see that first, having the famous person wearing similar style of clothes. Very little writing would be used, three word sentences or just one word that stands out from the rest. There may also be a small box that mentions prizes can be won which would appeal to the young audience. Inside would be topics on latest technology such as phones and Ipods, they may also be information about certain famous people who attract a young audience and entering contests that will appeal to the young audience.

Audience two: Magazines aimed for adults in business (30-45) would have just one or two people on the front wearing suits with their arms crossed showing authority and an image that shows he/she is successful. The font would be bold, either coloured red or white to show the seriousness of a topic such as money. The background may also be related to a topic and the magazine such as buildings, computers or pie and bar charts. Text will be in small font as small paragraphs describe one or more topics of interest placed just below a sub heading. Inside there would be plenty of in depth articles about certain products such as phones and computers, there may also be information that include pie charts or bar graphs for a visual view of certain complex topics. The advertisement would include expensive clothes like suits and smart shoes or expensive accessories like watches and latest technology such as phones, laptops or even hands free products.

Audience three: Magazines aimed at an elderly audience (50-70) would consist of being more hobby based and may show a pair or group of elderly people doing something easy and practical which is hobby based like gardening, sewing or making jewellery. There may be famous people on the front cover in the same age group as the audience that tell bits of their life or hobbies they enjoy for example Alan Titchmarsh who is not only in magazines but also has a TV show which is primarily aimed at an older audience as it consists of similar topics that the older audience are interested in such painting and gardening. Inside the magazine would be information about other elderly peoples lives, likes and interests. There may also be articles or stories about pets and their owners.

Producers know when they are reaching a specific audience by receiving feedback from customers letters or email explaining how good or bad the magazine has been. If the product is selling well this will be a more accurate indicator of finding out how well the type of magazine is selling, the higher the profits the more successful the product is and this demonstrates that the content is correct and targeted at the right audience.

Spotify – How a product addresses the audience.

spotify-cutSpotify is a music streaming service that can be downloaded as an app onto smart phones. It appeals to a younger age group; teenagers, and people who use their phone a lot,  as it is easy to use and it can be linked to Facebook profiles so people can share what they are listening to. The logo in itself appeals to the target audience as it is bright, fun and catches your eye. The app is well thought out, and its simplicity in design makes it  a popular app. It features a most popular track list, amongst others, which is relevant to its target audience, as they often keep track of whats new, and whats popular.

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Game of Thrones – How the product addresses the audience.

game-of-thrones-posterGame of Thrones is an adult fantasy television show that is adapted from a series of books. The target audience for this show would be males, aged from 18-30. I’ve come to this conclusion because the content is mainly about war and medieval type fantasy. Many elements, such as lighting, colours, editing, acting, music, sound and modes of address all are crafted to appeal to the audience of the show. The modes of address in the show, not only range from informal to formal (slang etc.) but the accents are similar to English ones, with northern English accents for those who live in the north of the country, and southern accents similar to those who live in the south of England. Those who live across the sea from the main country are often heard speaking with a foreign accent.

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Pans Labyrinth – How the product addresses the audience.

pans-labyrinth-posterPans Labyrinth is a film that targets adults, even though it has a fantasy element, which is usually associated with childrens films, but it is included as it is sending a message that people of any age can experience and enjoy fantasy, but the film also features adult elements such as war, family issues and sacrifice, to balance out the content. All of the films elements, such as the colour, images, music, sound, editing and camera work create a film that brings fantasy and happiness to a time when fear and sadness were the emotions that were felt by everyone.


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