For Project Brief 4, I was teamed with Annie Goldring and Jenny Pham Vo to undergo an analysis on media ‘texts’. At first we found the project brief a little difficult to tackle as the area of media texts is one that is quite large. We had to narrow it down and look at a particular area (and one that intrigued us all). From this, we chose that looking at advertisements was the best choice as we are bombarded with these texts every single day whether it be on social media or whilst waiting for a tram at the tram stop. We originally set out to create a bombardment video along with a short mock youtube clip at the beginning and pop up ads, however as a group, decided that our assignment needed to be more analytical to fit in with the task description. From this we decided to create an eBook where we could explore the three different media advertising platforms in which we were most interested in (print publication, radio and video/television). However the idea that “media is everywhere” remained a key point when creating our own case studies and at this point, this is when we decided to look deeper into the formulas of these advertisements.
Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the group work as it enabled me to gather a deeper understanding of media texts, with the use of three minds. Our annotated bibliographies were incredibly vital to the project as we all went away and did research that gathered theories and case studies from past researchers who were interested in the study of media texts. Moreover, the case studies often mentioned audiences and the ways in which advertisers attempt to persuade an audience. From this, we decided to consider the formulas in which are used to advertise a particular product. These annotated bibliographies created a basis for the idea of the eBook, in which we have included many case studies looking at a handful of advertisements that we are bombarded with in our everyday lives. The idea of the eBook enabled our group to show in depth, each of our case studies as well as inform readers with a general overview of what we believed media ‘texts’ were.
Unfortunately at times I found the idea of group work difficult. Whilst also having other assignments, we all have busy lives and it is very hard to come together outside of class time (however we did manage to catch up at least 4 times outside of class which resulted in quite productive work where we were sharing ideas and helping each other out with our own case studies). This project has definitely taught me to in future create some sort of schedule that enables the group to come together at the beginning to decide when we were all free and to save dates. Another problem we faced was the numerous last minute meetings that often had to be cut short because of other distractions.
In terms of being a media practitioner, this project has taught me that it is important to stay on top of the work and to communicate with your group members as often as possible. Communication within the group is something I would like to work on in the next media group project as without it, it is impossible to understand where your team members are at and what work they are doing. I would also like to stick to the group rules set out at the beginning (do work when required etc.) as within the group, we had lost track of each other’s work and I became concerned that perhaps we were all at different stages within the project. Although, I am incredibly happy with the work we are submitting as I believe it provides a deep insight and shows the depth we went into, to fully understand media texts.
After completing the work, I feel I have gathered a sound understanding of media texts. It was interesting to note the similarities between many of the advertisements we compared within our case studies. The use of formulas like slogans, colours and even monotone voices in advertisements, enables each advertisement to target a specific audience (sometimes even a wide demographic), to ‘sell’ an idea or product. The process of research and analysing specific advertisements allowed me to form a deeper understanding of the way in which the media attempts to bombard us with messages. Overall, the project has made me more aware of the bombardment of texts within our everyday lives which almost makes me feel as if I am not just another ‘audience member’ to these advertisers as I now understand the ways in which advertisers try and sell me a product or idea.