This is a combination Income/Education/Occupation – defining how people think, act and like base on their environment previous and present.
Someone brought up with a low income, bad education and now in a tedious medial job will often enjoy different material to those on a high income coming from a good education. The environment we surround ourselves with will affect the way we behave and individual tastes. This will then affect the choice of language used within the feature, slang and informal language will relate to a different audiences and formal political language will appeal to others. The time of day shows are broadcast will also depend on the audience their targeted at; people with a full time job wont be back at home until late in the evening. The Apprentice is shown at 9pm as it is a business related show appealing to those in the business/finance world. Jeremy Kyle on the other hand is shown throughout the day showing out of work people presenting their problems to an audience that wont be at work at that time. This suggests that people from all walks of life like to watch features they relate to, based around the environment the live in.
This is research into people values, interests and attitudes towards different subjects. This type of information is very useful when selecting content for a television show or film, understanding common links between audiences and their desires. Facebook is great tool to discover more about audiences likes, connecting similar likes together creates a profile for that type of person. Facebook allows the user to ‘like’ people, places, films, objects and much more; this data can be filtered to create a profile of a location, age group or fans of a certain film.
When targeting a teenage audience that enjoy action films, you can filter the information to discover what other things they enjoy and common themes that arise. The majority of teens that like actions films may also like Xbox racing games so elements similar to that could be incorporated into the action film your planning to make.
This is creating an audience profile for a specific geographical location. London being a busy city with much more people and financial districts may enjoy ‘The Apprentice’ more than those living in the rural countryside. Facebook can be used in a similar way to conducting psychographic data but the variable this time would be location. You could filter through people living in London that like action films aged between 12 and 22 and see what else they like and then do the same search for Weymouth. Comparing the results may show differences between the two locations even though the two audiences like action films, different areas may have different interests. Public transport in London is regarded much higher than it is in Weymouth due to the frequency and speed and even this will affect people’s views on transport in general. So depending on the area of your target audience there may be slightly different techniques or content used to draw them in.
Gender and Age
Age to a certain extent will separate audiences more than any other variable. Products are designed to appeal to the likes and intellectual level of different ages, colours are much more vibrant and there is much more action seen in programmes aimed at younger audiences’. The running time of the feature will also vary to cope with attention spans along with the content and how focused it is.
Gender also has its part to play with the majority audience of certain shows; ‘Sex and the City’ has a majority audience of women aged 18-35. The themes and main characters tackle the issues stereotypically faced by women everyday and can be related to. This however hasn’t fazed men as there is still a large fan base of men watching the show. Chick flicks appeal to the romantic, heart-warming fairy tale where men tend to enjoy action and excitement; this can be related to primal instincts where danger would be an attraction as it’s different raising the heart rate.
The content seen on television programmes now feature diversity in sexual orientation, equality within the production is important not to offend viewers. Research may uncover that there is a large percentage of homosexual viewers, which could then sculpt story plots to suit the audience. Russell T Davies wrote ‘Queer as Folk’ with lead characters being homosexual, modern lead roles are not often portrayed as homosexual. Torchwood changed this along with Zachary Quinto being openly gay landing lead roles in action films and series over the world.
A sense of belonging and patriotism is important to many people, not only for their country but their town or city. Captain America represents the American people capable to do anything, having a hero from your home makes you proud. Batman is said to be the worlds interpretation on America, cold and dark but Superman is Americas thoughts on itself, light and powerful.
Audiences’ follow trends and identifying these can generate a successful production. Recently Marvel has produced several superhero films and all have been well received and are still in demand. A few years ago zombie and vampire films were in the public demand and by finding the next trend, shows can be generated with popular demand.
Producers may have a concept and after testing it with a focus group have found that it may appeal to a new market with a few changes. Trial runs are important and can make the idea more likely to succeed when it comes to the broadcast. The Big Bang Theory originally had a different actress playing the role of ‘Penny’, which after being shown to a focus group was swapped for Kaley Cuoco.
Some productions are aimed at a specific market and so understanding the audiences likes and dislikes is even more important. This covers all of the topics above to know the audience and feature the elements they like. Television channels tend to show similar kind of content so when trying to reach sports fans getting the content displayed on an appropriate channel (Sky Sports) can aid viewing figures.