Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Analyzing Ads

1. What type of Media is it? (TV, Print, Direct Mail, Online, Outdoor)
 This ad is an outdoor media piece.

2. How does it try to persuade the buyer?
This ad tries to persuade the buyer by using the bandwagon and a bit of the excitement advertising strategy. It tells viewers that everyone is drinking Coca Cola now a days and that drinking Coca Cola will help you relax in life and feel cool. It tells how having fun is the "Coca Cola side of life", not stressing about everyday problems. They used bright, crisp colours in their ad.

3. Does it employ emotional appeals or is it more rational, fact-based?
I think this appeals to us emotionally more than just rational or fact-based. The advertisement makes you think that you have to drink Coca-cola in order to be like everyone else. This ad shows that everyone like Coca-cola and that if you don't drink it, you're not accepted by others. Just by looking at the advertisement, it makes me feel really thirsty. I feel like I need to go to the nearest store and buy myself an ice-cold Coca Cola.

4. Who is the ad targeting and how can you tell?
The ad is targeting mostly teenagers and young adults. I think that children would not be able to understand an advertisement like this with the ad message and the straws so this is definetly focused towards the older teens who don't usually drink Coca-cola. The clever ad tries to get people who don't drink Coca Cola to try it.

1. What type of Media is it? (TV, Print, Direct Mail, Online, Outdoor)
This is a TV piece of media.

2. How does it try to persuade the buyer?
The TV commercial tries to persuade the buyers by using the excitement and the heart strings strategy. It shows the IKEA store and what it might be like when the customers are not around. It shows the store as a mysterious and quiet place that customers never would be able to see in the day time. It also shows the cats coming out to play and having fun. You want to find out what they're doing in the store or where they're going. The commercial tells also a warming story of cats wandering around in the store, playing around, and then finally finding a comfy place to sleep. It's a scene that brings peace to your mind when you see the cats sleeping in a bed and making them feel like they're at home.

3. Does it employ emotional appeals or is it more rational, fact-based?
Yes, this employs emotional appeals rather than rational, facts. It shows the need for change, happiness, and luxury. At the end of the ad, it puts a smile to your face and makes you feel relaxed. When the cats start to play with each other after wandering around the store, they start feeling tired. Each cat almost represents a single person and their personality. The cats find their own comfortable spot like a bed, couch, or a table and finally drift to sleep. It makes you feel peaceful watching the cats relax and makes you want to go and buy the comfortable furniture.

4. Who is the ad targeting and how can you tell?
The ad is targeting mostly adults and even cat lovers. People who are fond of dogs would probably not enjoy watch cats lurk around stores. People who like cats would probably be more attracted to this commercial and would want to buy what the commercial is selling. The furniture seen in the advertisement is mostly for adults who want to move out and buy furniture for their house. Teenagers and children would probably not want to buy furniture. It's a 'sophisticated' ad for an older audience.

  • How does the ad design convey the advertisers’ message? Why do you think particular aesthetic elements (typefaces, photographs, camera angles etc.) were chosen? How do they help establish an overall mood for the ad?
The ad design conveys the advertiser's message by using cats to represent people and their different personalities. Some are energetic, some are lazy, some noisy, and so forth. I think the simple sans serif typeface is used is to keep with the simplicity of the commercial itself. They didn't use any special effects, just a lot of cat actors and lighting. The camera angles such as pans, closeups, and wide shots were used as well. They are easy to achieve an effective look to the ad. I think these aesthetic elements were chosen because they give a kind of modern look to the ad. IKEA is a big company selling quality furniture, I think they wanted to make the ad more sophisticated make it look more luxurious. These help establish an overall mood to the ad by making it look more mysterious. The elements combine well together to make it seem like the store itself is full of secrets that are hidden. The lighting also makes the ad feel like a kind of dream where everything is all hazy and relaxing.
  •  Ads tend to communicate more through images (and in the case of television, through movement and music) than words. How are images, camera angles and movements, music and other visual elements used to convey messages in the ad?
The music in the ad is soft and peaceful. It has a nice piano piece with soothing vocals at the end. The music is not hectic but calm. The lighting for the ad is soft, it's not too bright yet not too dark. They don't use a lot of key lighting but they use a lot of fill light. There is a lot of contrast in some scenes of the cat and the background. For the camera angles, they used a lot of panning and follow shots. There are some medium, wide, and closeups of the cats. The ad does some trucking shots. They also incorporate blurring the background or parts of the foreground to focus on the cats a bit more. These all are needed to convey the message in the advertisement because it makes the ad stand out from all the other store ads. It's different and creative yet simple. It coveys the message how everyone has a unique style and taste. Some prefer one thing while others something else. All those elements make it this ad different just like a single person in the world with different ideals.
  •  In the imagery, what appears in the foreground versus the background? Why do you think these choices were made?
For the imagery, most of the times, the cats are in the background with the furniture. Sometimes the cats appear in the foreground while IKEA furniture appear in the background.  I think these choices were made because the commercial is advertising its furniture not the cats that are lurking around it. 
  •  Precisely what is the product being offered for sale? What do you learn about its objective qualities? (Try to distinguish here between factual versus emotional appeals.)
The products being offered for sale are IKEA products, especially the chairs, beds, tables, and lights. I learned that the products being offered for sale are used for emotional appeals not factual. The furniture looks soft and colourful. Along with the dark lighting, it really brings out the vivid colours. The furniture looks like it comes in many shapes and styles such as the lamps and the beds. The products make me feel happy inside and it makes me want to go to IKEA and buy some of the products.
  •  Look carefully at the locale of the scene. Where does it take place? What significance is the locale likely to have for the intended audience?
The commercial takes place at a IKEA store in the United Kingdom at night when the store is closed. The significance for the locale is likely more focused on attracting the adult audience. Having the store filmed at night relates to how adults, after going to work and doing their jobs in the day, they can do anything they want. The night is a time of possibilities and fun. This also might be for older teenagers as well. The store is empty at the beginning but slowly, cats come out and they start to scatter all over the place.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Little History…

1981–1991: Music videos go mainstream

1. What was the first music video featured on MTV?
The first music video featured on MTV was called "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the British group called the Buggles.

2. What were the two key innovations in the development of music videos at this time?
The first key innovation in the development of music videos at this time is the advancement of inexpensive and easy-to-use video recording and editing equipment. The second key innovation is the development of visual effects which are achieve  by methods such as video compositing. High color quality video tape recorders and portable video cameras were introduced in the New Wave era that made creating promotional pop videos quick and cheap.

3. When did the video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” debut? What was important about this video?
The video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" debuted on December 2, 1983. The video was the most successful and influential music video at that time. Thriller set a new standard for music video production, having cost about $500,000 U.S. to film.

1992–2004: Rise of the directors

1. What new feature did MTV implement?

MTV began to list the directors along in the artist and song credits starting in December of 1992. This shows that music videos have been more of a film makers' base for their ongoing career. Some directors such as Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze started their directing career around this time. 


2. What was changing about the music videos?

Music videos were becoming more expensive as the years went by. Two of the most expensive ones were directed by Mark Romanek who directed Michael Jackson's "Scream" and Madonna's "Bedtime Story." Scream cost $7 million while Bedtime Story cost $5 million. Also during this time, music videos were being shown around the world on international channels, all launched by MTV. In 1996, M2 was launched to show more older music videos.


2 Other Interesting Facts

  • In 1991, Michael Jackson's "Black or White" music video dance segment was cut because the video showed him wrongly touching his body.

  • From 1999-2001, a  peer-to-peer file sharing service called Napster was launched. Users were able to share video files, such as music videos, with each other.

Pop Music and Music Videos

A type of music that interests me is country.

1. What is the dominant message of these videos?
The dominant message in Two is Better than One is that a person's future is important but it's meaningless without anyone to share it with. When you meet someone special and they disappear from your life, everyday feels empty and bare. Having someone to share your life with is better than being alone.

The dominant message in There Goes My Life is that people have to let go of their dreams in order find true happiness in their lives. As a person grows up and begins to raise a family, they have to put away their life's desires and move ahead. As time goes on, people start to find new hopes and dreams and feel truly blessed. When the ones closest to you goes away, it feels like your 'life' itself, the one you always cherished, is leaving.

2. What are the similarities between these videos?
The similarities between between these two videos is that they deal with growing up and being in a relationship with someone. Both videos talk about romance and how being with the person you care about is important. If they did not meet, their lives and futures would be completely different. The videos also show that they are grateful to have met each other.

3. What are the differences?
The differences in the two videos is that Two is Better Than One focuses more young teenage love and how without the person you love, life feels lonely and empty. There Goes My Life focuses more on growing up from a teenager into a parent with a family. The video talks about how as people start to grow up, they begin to find new importance in their life and how it's hard letting it go. It shows the importance of being a good parent and making the right decisions.

4. How are the following individuals depicted in the videos? 
Two is Better Than One:
  • Teenagers: In the video, the teenagers are the ones falling in love. They are the ones driving cars and living by themselves in their own house.
  • Women: The woman in this video does all the chores around the house and being the passenger on a car drive. The man sings about how he feels lonely without her.
  • Men: The male is the one singing about how his life would not be complete without the woman he loves. The video shows men are the ones who play in bands and drive cars.
There Goes My Life:
  • Teenagers: Teenagers in the video are the ones that  go off to college/university. They are the ones who decide their futures. Teenagers go to high school to attend classes and they are the ones that fall in love.
  • Women: Females are the ones getting pregnant and caring for the family. Females are wives that stay home instead of working to look after the children and family.
  • Men: Men depicted in this video are the ones who join sports team like football. They are the ones working at their jobs while the wife is at home. Men are the caring fathers in the family in the video.
  • Parents: Parents are the ones in the video that care most about the future of their children. They are the ones who look after their children when they grow up and the ones who see them off as they head onto college or university.
5. What lifestyle choices are promoted in these videos?
In Two is Better Than One, lifestyle choices promoted in these videos is that young couples should drive in new model cars and live in rural parts of towns. In There Goes My Life, the lifestyle choice promoted in this video is that teenagers should drive nice cars, teenagers should go to college/university, men should join the football team, and people should start thinking about developing a family earlier in life. Another lifestyle choice in There Goes My Life is the man sings about the girl wearing Abercrombie clothes and using Mastercards.

6. What trends in popular culture have been inspired by these videos?
Trends in popular culture that has been inspired by these videos is that Country has become more modern over the years. In the videos, especially in Two is Better Than One, people singing country music don't always now a days wear cowboy hats and cowboy boots. In There Goes My Life, the singer, Kenny Chesney wears a cowboy hat but his shirt and pants are more current with the fashion today. These videos are promoting more modern cowboys and attracting a wider audience.

7. How has this music influenced your life?
This type of music has influenced my life in a positive way. Country music makes me want to appreciate and think about what life has already offered me. It makes me want to look towards the better side of life and be thankful for who I am  and my parents who raised me. Country music has made me think more not about the past but about the future that awaits. The songs have a very deep meaning in them and almost everyone can relate to the words being sang.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Change of Tone

1. What is the original tone/mood of the video?
The original tone/mood of the video was suspenseful and intense. The movie, The Dark Knight, is an action movie about Gotham's superhero, Batman, as he faces off against the villain Joker. The video had a more serious tone where Batman was running away since he's being chased by the police. The music for the video was fast-paced with a lot of drums, trumpets, and a bit of violin in the background. The tone gave Batman a mysterious aura and made me want to find out what would happen to him after he ran away. It makes me feel like Batman is not an average kind of superhero who is always showered in praise but is always willing to help.

2.  What song/sound did you choose to the tone/mood of the video?
The song I chose for the tone/mood of the video is a more melancholic piece opposite of the fast-paced intense music. It is a slow violin piece played by Thao Nguyen called "Sad Romance."

3. How did it change the tone/mood of the video? Why did it have that effect?
The music changed the tone/mood of the video and it became more sad and forlorn. It is now a more depressing mood than it was from the intense mood before. It had that effect because the violin piece I added to the video was very slow and melancholy. Instead of an action genre, the music made the movie kind of like a romantic tragedy. With the violin music in the background, when Batman was running away, it gave it a very sad kind of tone like he was disappearing into the darkness forever. The violin piece was sad so thus making the video clip very depressing.