How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of ‘branding’?

  1. How do the products reflect the star image & ideology of the artist?

The two target segments, both young and old prefer media that combines energy, rebellion,  humour and pragmatic drama now and then. In order to conform to this, we had to make brand image and meta narrative that appeals to the audience's idology.  

The Consurge band is energetic, rebellious and mix drama with humour. This reflected in many of the products. The title of the band has the word Consurge, the word “surge” has connotations of electricity and energy. The font of the title seems to be surging be with energy, this further fortifies that idea. This further apparent in some of the music tracks titles, such as “Tension” and “Hydraulic Action”.

The absurd and humorous star image of the band is represented not in the video but both the digipak and the website. Absurd imagery such as body art, “pet rocks” and pet rock rights protests highlight them as absurd and humorous.  This further apparent in some of the music tracks titles, such as “Sandwiches”.

Themes of rebellion are present openly and subtly in the products. The narrative of the music video revolves around an officer rebelling against the military authority.  On the digipak, a protest about the rights of pet rocks can be decoded as statement about modern day society, we can so much on a such a meaningless thing. Being present on both products paints the star as a rebellious band ready to make statements about society.

 Dyer stated that stars need to be both ordinary, so fans can connect with the star whilst also extraordinary so they look-up to the star and buy into the products the star is selling, which is often themselves and their music. The band is portrayed as ordinary through the biographies we created and posted on the website, we also created a band pet rock which reinforces how ordinary the band really are yet extraordinary, they have the humour to have a pet rock. Also the structure of the pictures which go along with these little bios present the band as extraordinary as the green in the black and white photos makes them stand-out from the rest of the page.

Another way the band is presented as ordinary is by their socially conscious nature present in their imagery and themes of the music, such as Take Aim, where the protagonist deserts the army after its non-humanitarian treatment of prisoners. The band is further presented as ordinary in their care for the world around them but the way they are going about making changes, selling biodegradable cups makes them a little more extraordinary.

  1. How are the products designed to create a coherent brand identity?

Blumler & Katz stated that media text are used for one of four reasons, social interaction, information, personal identity and entertainment. Our products were successful at fulfilling these uses for consumers of media.

 Firstly we looked at social interaction, this is where fans are able to interact through social media about a topic about a star or through the media with a star. We made sure to promote the bands social media page on our website in order to signpost the chance fans have to interact with them through the bands social media pages. Our music video fits with social interaction as it finishes with an unresolved narrative and the cliff-hanger means it is left open to interpretation about what the ending really is. Media consumers will then use social interaction in order to try to find the answer to what the ending to the video really is.

 Another reason people use media according to Blumler and Katz is for information. Once again our website was used to meet this use of media. The site does this with biographies about the members of the bands. These are useful at informing fans about who the band members are and what they like, this is important as fans will want to identify as fans of the band and this is done by sharing ideals such as being caring like our band showed through their comments in their biographies about rights for pet rocks. The website also features tour dates which informs fans about when and where they can see the band play live.  Several themes are brought to light in the music video, such as military against individualism and morality. With these themes discussed, the audience learns more about the subject, thus fulfilling the need for information.

People use and subscribe to media to create their own Personal Identity for others to see and hopefully. For example, people with energetic lifestyles would like to reflect this by being associated with bands such as Foo Fighters, in other words being a fan of an energetic band. With a distinct identity fulfilled by the imagery, attitude and themes presented in all the products, such as the rebellious, active yet cheeky vibe given off, consumers can attach the band to their personal identity.

The final use of media Blumler and Katz highlighted was for entertainment. Media consumers will access media texts in order to be entertained. We fulfilled this use for media consumers with the inclusion of music on our website, various form of entertainment on the website such as interesting biographies, and in the music video which serves the purpose of entertaining the viewer of the video. Our music video also served the purpose of entertaining as it was very dramatic, this follows our target audiences favourite form of entertainment, dramatised films and war films such as Full Metal Jacket. From this understanding of the target audience we knew our video would entertain and this fits with Blumler and Katz theory for uses of media texts. Our video also finishes with an unresolved narrative and ends on a cliffhanger, this means the video is repeatable as viewers will want to rewatch to find clues to answer the cliff-hanger they are left with. They watch the music video with new perspective, extending the entertainment value. This repeatability means the video serves the purpose to repeatedly entertain.

In the other products, the website and the digipak, the entertainment purposes are also fulfilled. Both the  digipak and the website are visually interesting to look at. The website has the many forms of entertainment, such as biographies, music, and social interaction. The biographies serve more than just one purpose, they inform consumers of the text while also entertaining them.

  In all of our products we tried to encode symbols which reflected the ideals of the band and their star image successfully. However not everyone would interpret the products in the same way as we hoped. The way a texts consumer interprets what they see is affected by their demographic, psychographic, situated culture and cultural experiences.

 In our music video we wanted a preferred reading of being in the military as negative and the idea of killing people who are more vulnerable than themselves is immoral. We wanted this to reflect the ideal of the band of standing-up for what you believe in as our protagonist ends up running away from the military, this is a theme we reflected in our Digi-pack but including rioting signs on the inside panel which fits for pet rocks rights, this was also present in our website with the promotion of biodegradable cups which reflects the bands caring side as well as their ideal of standing up for what they believe in as they are promoting their beliefs through the sale of this product. This is the prefered reading but depending on how other people decode what we have included in our products they may interpret them differently. For example they may see the protagonist as a coward for trying to run away from his problem.

Themes of rebellion, humour and humour are present in several products in order to create a coherent brand image.

  1. How does design of the digipack and website fit with the video?

 In all of our products we used a black and white filter, whether it was to highlight the flashback in our music video or to reflect the rock genre the band are part of with both our digipack and website, this consistent colour pallete meant the design of all three products fitted together.  The black and white also signifies the band are ordinary in both the website and digipack.  

 All three products feature the theme of rebellion and standing-up for what you believe in. In our music video we see our protagonist stand-up for what he believes in and rebels against the military, in our digipack there is the imagery of rebellion encoded by the protest signs on the inside panel and for our website we see the band selling rock protest signs which once again is symbolic of the bands rebellious ideals.

 We used white as a consistent colour as well. It is worn throughout and this semic code is used to highlight the innocence of the victims, We then used white as a background for our digipack and for a lot of the text. The white was used to reinforce this innocence which consumers of the product will decode as the band being in the right and a good role model.

 In all of our products we see a consistent typeface which fits in with the indie rock genre and the bands ideals. In our music video the opening is the title of the song and the typeface looks like free-hand writing which is encoded to reflect the bands laid back back approach which fits the indie rock genre. In our digipak we used a wavy typeface to once again symbolise their laid back approach and for our website we used the same typeface for the name of the band as the one we used on our digipack. This means there is a synergy between all of our products as they all communicate the same ideals of the band.

 

  1. What are the institutional/business purposes behind the 3 products?

Generally, for an artist to be financially successful, products need to be designed in order to sell to a target segment. The target segment wants its predictable pleasure to be fulfilled. Predictable pleasure is when the audience wants a form of pleasure yet does not want to spend time and effort finding it.  This is done by searching for genres that the individual personal likes. Fulfilling genre conventions means that the audience is more likely to buy into a product , but if their predictable pleasure isn’t met they are unlikely to buy the products again in the future because of this our products follows the indie rock genre conventions for websites and digipacks. One convention that is present is the range of creativity in our products. The band is presented in a weird, creative way yet not restrained to one form of creativity, this is apparent in the digipak and the website where a black and white abstract representation of body art is combined with pet rocks which is contrasted against the pragmatic representations of the military in the music video “Take Aim”.

The range of themes present in indie rock is much more broad then its mainstream counterpart, its ranges from simple to love songs (such as Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out) to more brooding criticisms of society (such as Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees). Following this convention, the themes present in the band’s music ranges from a song about sandwiches (from the music track “Sandwiches” from the back cover) to the moral struggles in the army (from the music video Take Aim).

However the band does not fully conform to the genre conventions. The convention of the band not being present or represented as something else is partially adhered to. On the digipak and the website the faces of the band is present, in order to create a better sociable image of the band.

However following the genre convention tightly does not mean it will naturally gather a large enough audience, as the unique aspect might be absent, which all audiences want. Therefore, by ignoring certain conventions it allows the brand image to to be marketed effectively to the target audience.  

The call to action, when the target segment is finally persuaded to buy products associated with the band, occurs once the consumers are convinced that the band is fulfills their predictable pleasure and supporting the band because they’re socially conscious and supporting them will benefit the world.  By having a consistent branding and marketing of the band being rebellious, energetic and humorous, this would show that the target audience that the band will fulfill their predictable pleasure and therefore convinced to buy their products. The band being shown as socially conscious thanks to selling biodegradable cups and the themes present helps to convince the target audience to buy it.