Tag Archives: The big bang theory

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory

 

‘The Big Bang Theory’ is a popular comedy show shot in America, evolving over 7 seasons since 2007.  The show focuses on a group of highly intelligent friends and their troubles as they go through life.  The tag line ‘smart is the new sexy’ changes the view on ‘nerds’ making them the people you wouldn’t mind hanging out with.

 

There’s a saying that every story can be summed up as ‘a stranger comes to town’, this is also true for the series.  The original concept was as simple as two geeky guys suddenly find they have a new sexy neighbor.  The main characters being highly intelligent requires the language they use and their actions to reflect this.  One episode requires the group to dress up so Sheldon wears a striped suit mimicking the Doppler effect, some members of the audience may understand what this is and actually understand the physics of it and so appeals to their understanding.  However for those that don’t understand what is going on Penny acts as the audience’s voice asking what the striped suit represents.  The jokes are then fed into the way Sheldon explains the science behind it as though it were common knowledge.  This then includes the audience with the scientific side to the show making them feel intelligent for then understanding.  The language and tone of the show is family orientated keeping the rating a 12 in the UK, innuendoes are used but in a subtle way as not to be rude.  The characters within the show all have different qualities and attract different audiences for that reason, similarly to the content mixing comedy with education.  Viewers of television shows tend to have a majority of people with similar attributes to the characters so some may watch to see Penny’s view on the ‘geeks’ she hangs out with finding their antics amusing.  Alternatively people may view to follow the ‘geeks’ and see what they get up to out of enjoyment for their activities.  The characters are based around stereotypes, which usually have a negative view on the individual, however the show has embraced these qualities and used them to show a different society.  Instead of finishing work and heading out to the bar the group of scientists will meet up at a comic book store to spend their time there before playing videogames as their social activity.  This would be looked on as a dull way to spend an evening however this is the element where the characters become the alpha males.  These activities also tie in with the audience relating to their personal interests, the majority of viewers are aged 18 – 29 making them student age or recently left education.  The scientists work at the university and experience similar situations to those found in reality.  Cultivation theory suggests that those that watch television programmes for an extended period of time often find themselves coming across situations like those in their favorite show because it has shaped their perception on life.  This is not always negative as the show promotes working hard to achieve and so seeing characters you enjoy watching in a similar environment it can often inspire despite the fact its not real.  Students are the primary market for video games where comic books may be a little less common.  Recently Marvel have released a chain of superhero films brining these characters into the public eye in a popular way, The Big Bang Theory characters discuss the heroes in their comic books but now the general audience can understand more about them as they can relate it to the films making the ‘geeks’ less geeky for liking the characters.  This once again refers to the shows tag line ‘Smart is the new sexy’.  That being said the scientists are still seen as the nerds that enjoy subjects not associated with being ‘cool’ and the Penny characters is seen to be the pretty, dumb blond.  This stereotype of Penny is furthered in an episode when she needs to erect a TV stand and seduces the guys to help her out, as she doesn’t know what she’s doing.  To mix up the characters social groups female scientist characters are introduced, the idea that ‘nerds’ struggle to talk to women and find it awkward is then put into play.  Raj is a character that suffers from select mutism and physically can’t speak to women.  Other issues like social anxiety and autism are also dealt with in the show tastefully adding humor to the situations they face.  Other common issues do to with relationships between friends, spouses and parents also arise.  There have been a few episodes based around dating, the group test bizarre theories for dating hoping to succeed, but often don’t.  This appeals to the audience as they can relate to the situation in some way, research suggests that people imagine what they would do in that situation should it be real responding to the content on screen.  Relating back to cultivation theory some may believe that these pick-up lines may work in real life as they did for the characters and so copy what they saw.

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Trials and Tests – Audience Feedback

Audience Feedback

 

Trials and Tests

Before a product is distributed to the mass market it can be tested on a group to determine its success.  ‘The Big Bang Theory’ like many shows produced an unaired pilot; this is the first episode of the show, which is then shown to a focus group for feedback.

This could be done before the show has been granted full funding and so with a good response the entire series could get commissioned.  Another reason is to test what works, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ producers originally cast Amanda Walsh to play the neighbor character ‘Katie’.  This role and character were changed slightly; recasting then took place introducing Kaley Cuoco as the new neighbor.  As a result of the initial test screening a new pilot episode was made and ‘The Big Bang Theory’ has become a popular show around the globe.

the big bang theory

Apps

Trialing mobile applications is even more important as the team designing it will of course know how to work it, but will the audience?  A diverse group of people will use the application while being observed to see if any elements were confusing or hard to use.  The way the users instinctively navigate the app will also be watched closely and then with all this data any alterations can be made before distribution.  The group that tested the application will then be asked for feedback, this could be in the form of a questionnaire to see what they really thought about the app and any improvements they would like to see.


Audiences For Media Products

Audiences For Media Products

 

24

 

This is television series that follows the life of Jack Bauer, a C.T.U agent racing against the clock to save the nation from terrorist schemes.

 

The series has an age certificate of 15 in the UK but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is the intended target audience.  As the series spanned television channels from 2001 – 2010 it picked up audiences along the way not necessarily being followers from the beginning.

The show features scenes of torture and violence along with technical terms and subject terminology being used throughout.  The themes and ethical issues faced within the show are also advanced for a young audience and unsuitable hence the age restriction.

 

Being an action series with a strong male lead role stereotypically this would appeal to men more than women; this is further backed up using demographic statistics found on IMDB and Facebook.  IMDB shows the number of people that have either commented or given a rating for the show – women = 9376 and men = 59384 showing a considerable diversity.  The largest number of votes came from males aged 18 – 29, which coincidently is the same age range for the largest number of female voters.  The show is very active using modern technology, which will appeal to this age group.  This data however isn’t conclusive proof that 18-29 year olds are the target market as older members may decide simply not to vote.

Using Facebook as the marketing tool it really is you can identify the number fans in the UK – Male = 288, 060 and Female = 172,90 and so this backs up the number of votes seen on IMDB.  The age group is also very similar to the stats seen – 59,200 males and 26,620 female fans.  The themes appealing to young adult males has reached its audience as seen from the votes taken in the IMDB website.  Reviews from fans and viewers can be posted on the 24 Facebook page and gives direct feedback from those having seen the show and can influence the creative decisions knowing what worked and what didn’t.

 

 

 

 

The Big Bang Theory

 

This is a popular comedy show about a group of nerdy scientists and their attractive neighbour.  The show addresses the audience from two perspectives giving a humorous effect.  Some watch the show looking at the nerds from the neighbour; Penny’s point of view and others enjoy the nerdy, science orientation.  This therefore appeals to a wider market not needing to enjoy comic books and science experiments to find the jokes funny.

The language used is technical and complicated for the audience to understand and so Penny acts for the audience asking the questions the audience needs to know to understand, this juxtaposition of the nerds thinking they were already speaking in a simple way.  Each character is different giving a diversity of characters to be related to, their likes and position in life all vary and when combined create an unusual experience for the viewer.  As the show uses standard and technical language it appeals to a wide target audience, IMDB demographic figures indicate that the age group from 18 – 44 in males all enjoy the show and females aging in the 18-29 age bracket.  Characters have expanded and more female scientist now appears on the show to entice more female viewers and it has worked well.

The demographic aimed at will often be featured in the show as they can then relate to the characters so many people with a keen interest in science and fantasy will relate to the scientist characters, those that embrace life in others ways can relate to Penny’s characters.  The juxtaposition creates humour between the characters.  The characters also work at the university and bring up common topics around the institute brining in university student viewers, learning about topics seen in the show and in the same environment.

 

IMDB allows users to rate the show from 1 – 10; users are placed into age categories and are separated by geographic location either within the US or outside.  The ratings can then be monitored to see the audience response to an episode to see if it worked well reaching the target.  To go further in depth, social networking sites allow users to leave comments so producers can see exactly which elements worked and should be incorporated again.  Producers can then constantly include more of what works and less of what doesn’t building on the audience’s response.  Websites like BARB used in different countries give an indication to the number of viewers for the show.  If the viewing figures drop the producers can use all of the other audience information to determine why.

 

 

Instagram

 

This is a mobile application designed to make any photo look professional.  It appeals to the student market using their phones as camera but like capturing shots that look great.  It is very simple to get to grips with and quick to use.  The app uses simple language so anyone can use it but are mostly image based icons displaying what the function does.  Sharing photos on social networking sites is a very common thing now and so the app allows users to sync their photos directly to their own page.  Expanding on this idea Instagram has its own online site for sharing photos amongst other users as a database for amateur photographers.

Instagram has its own Facebook page, which shows how many people have ‘liked’ the application – 4,114,960.  The app has proven to be most popular in London, England and being used most by 18-24 year olds.