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How do media producers target audiences for their products?

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Sce Bri

on 2 November 2013

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Transcript of How do media producers target audiences for their products?

Why do media producers target audiences for their products?

It is important that media producers identify and target their audience correctly in order to understand how to approach them, and generate the publicity that they want.

One of the ways in which media producers will do this is by profiling their audience-in other words they will categorize their audience into their demographics and psychographics.
Demographics take in the age, gender, ethnicity, location,
working status and educational status of the audience.
The socio-economic table is used to identify the class which
the audience fit into, each class separable on the basis of occupation, income and education.
Demographics take in the age, gender, ethnicity, location,
working status and educational status of the audience.
The socio-economic table is used to identify the class which
the audience fit into, each class separable on the basis of occupation, income and education.
We will link back to these two tables to understand how the media producers of three different films targeted their audience.
Juno is based on a quirky 16 year old's emotional journey, as an outcome of facing the fact that she is pregnant. Incorporating elements of drama with comedy, this Oscar winning independent was able to bring humour to the controversial theme of teenage pregnancy-dispersing witty quotes and phrases through unique characters.
Studio, Distributor, Classification
Studio: The Bridge Studios-used for a variety of different genre films including thriller, horror, and crime and comedy. Films include The Company You Keep, The Possession, Horns, Night At The Museum, John Tucker Must Die and Dr Dolittle 4 and 5.
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures-an independent branch of Twentieth Century Fox, released over 100 independent films including 500 days of Summer, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Ruby Sparks and Slumdog Millionaire.
Classification: 12A, for a moderate amount of sex-based references and some explicit language-although both were used for comical use.
The main demographic for Juno is an audience between the ages of 15 and 25 years, attracting more females than males-this is probably due to the themes on teenage pregnancy and romance, making it "romcom" (romantic comedy) material. The ages show that the socioeconomic class ranges in C, D and E, since the plot is based on a teenager from a working class family who has to face the consequences of pregnancy. However, to be more specific the socioeconomic extends out more towards the D and E range, since the events are focused on a teenager and those in the D and E demographic may be able to relate, since they are mainly youngsters. In this poll taken from a movie website, we will see that overall younger females appeal mostly to Juno, since those under 18 to 29 years old had voted Juno higher than those of an older age.
Juno's Psychographics
The focused psychographics for Juno's audience would probably be the "Explorer" type-mainly youngsters fill up this type of psychographic.
Juno would appeal to the "Explorers" due to its unique style of comedy and general feel for a film; it gives of an arty and light-hearted atmosphere while maintaining little messages to the audience about growth and maturity as a being.
Product Placement
Tic Tacs (orange flavour) -> Something which might appeal to the 'Explorer' psychographic due to its individuality as a breath mint product with a hint of orange. Tic Tacs are advertised for social classes C, D and E-the adverts are usually comical and light hearted, depicting the product as a handy product to carry on the go.
First response pregnancy test -> For those who may either be expecting or are curious as to whether they are pregnant; ties in with the theme of pregnancy in Juno and since its demographic is mainly girls in the C, D and E socioeconomic, it can reach out to teenagers and younger women who are sexually active-as they are easy to use and reasonably priced, suitable for the working class.
Coca Cola -> aimed at all ages, "the coke side of life" defines the much happier side of life, their adverts have always depicted unity, pleasure and positivity. Its largest consumers are 12-29 year olds, the major age range of the 'Explorer' psychographic; as well as the main age demographic of Juno. Since Coca Cola is a product known to be enjoyable worldwide, it also meets the sensational element which Explorers like to find in their products. Coca Cola is also bought in general by social classes C, D and E due to the taste, affordability and general reputation of it being a drink that can be consumed for any occasion or purpose.
Sunny D (Orange juice drink) -> adverts have depicted the product as a drink for mothers to buy for their children with a less harmful formulation than before, due to complaints by the UK's health association years ago. 'Explorers' may be intrigued to buy it as it is often considered to be a '90s children's drink,'' providing a nostalgic experience for young adults and teenagers who remember drinking it as a child. This soft drink will also appeal to the film's socio economic due to the fact that a large amount of working class people have families.
Product placement allows films to be financed by presenting and promoting products to the audience.
Juno included the following:
I also made a survey to gather people's opinions. Those who answered were females and males in the age range of 13-25, with the comedy being the most favourable aspect of the film, the plot and romance coming after. Here are three statements:
Juno was declared as the most successful independent movie since "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," released in 2002. It relied on a "slow release," a strategy used with many independent films:
First, the film is released in a limited amount of cinemas, although these cinemas tend to be in more prominent areas
Once word of mouth takes its toll, the amount of cinemas which the film is released to will increase
When the prices of tickets increase, the film may then release worldwide
By following this more timed structure of releasing the film, Juno was able to save money through less need of advertisement focus.
Overall is the film mainstream, niche or alternative?
Juno is an alternative film. Since it is an independent film, it can't be mainstream as it has not been distributed under a major studio-the target audience is made up of female teenagers and young adults who enjoy romantic comedies-which doesn't make the audience a small and specific one as with niche films, therefore leading us to say it's alternative. The way that it is set out in seasons with a cartoonish style provides it with an art house atmosphere, and the quirkiness of the comedy and the main character shows that it is for a particular audience. Had it have been aimed for a mainstream audience, it would have had a bigger budget for advertisement and would have then been able to have been distributed in many cinemas, without the need to follow the 'slow release' strategy. There may have also been less product placement as financing the film would not be as big a problem, or different types of product placement to try and target a different psychographic group such as the "mainstreamers" (who are one of the largest psychographic groups.)
Next we will look at THE HEAT-a comical action film.
THE HEAT is based on an agent and a police officer who have to collaborate to hunt a drug Lord down. It combines comedy, crime and action, with well known actors such as Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy who usually star in studio films.

The media producers for this film would work differently in comparison to Juno's-since it is a studio film, with a bigger budget and different target audience.
Studio(s): Chernin Entertainment (associated with "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "Oblivion)" and Dune Entertainment (associated with "X-Men: The Last Stand," "The Devil Wears Prada," and "Life of Pi")-both in connection with the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, a major film studio.
Distributor: 20th Century Fox -> The Film Studio has distributed many successful films such as "X-men," "Titanic" and "Avatar"-and is a renowned corporation as a result.
Classification: Rated 15 due to strong language, sexual references and violent content.
THE HEAT is a "buddy-cop" film-although instead of obtaining male leads which has always been tradition, they have been replaced with females, with two main actresses who are known for starring in female comedies.
This makes the main demographic for THE HEAT to be women in the age range of 15 years to late 20s, due to the fact that the film is focused on two main female characters, with patches of comedy which women may be able to comprehend more comically than men (stereotypically.) Since the humour is crude, the film appeals more to a younger audience-as many comedy films nowadays express a more vulgar form of humour, and it has become more acceptable with the present generation.
(For example, 'The Inbetweeners' and 'Ted)' Social classes include C, D and E as this audience can appreciate the aspects which are made fun of throughout the film. and the working class characters who are involved. The humour and plot may not appeal to those in classes A and B as overall, the film may lack sophistication.
Here is a poll taken from a movie website. Here we can see that mainly females under 18 to late 20s favoured this movie.
Since THE HEAT is a studio film, it was able to be worked on with a higher budget. Unlike Juno, it didn't have to rely on word of mouth so much since the actors were already well known; which allowed this movie to receive more than its budget in profit without any particular risks. The media producers focused on targeting their audience by establishing the fact that Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullocks were involved in the film-and that the director, was Paul Feig, who who had previously worked on a film called "Bridesmaids," a female comedy favourite.
THE HEAT Psychographics
'Mainstreamers' will be attracted to a movie if there are particularly famous actors, directors or producers involved,. This psychographic group would be influenced by THE HEAT due to the famous actors and the director.
'Explorers' will be intrigued by a movie which seems like it could potentially offer them a different cinematic experience, and they are not as materialistic as the 'mainstreamer' group. They would acknowledge THE HEAT for its aim to create a female centric film in a movie formula which is typically used with main male roles-differentiating from a 'romcom' or 'chick flick' which are considered to be favoured film genres for women.
Product Placement
Sprite: A soft drink which is advertised to re-energize or bring the consumer to life. Another popular soft drink along with Coca Cola which is targeted towards and bought by the C, D and E social classes. The 'mainstreamer' psychographic group would purchase these drinks due to their reputation as 'family' drinks, or drinks to be shared on occasions. The taste would appeal to the 'Explorers' due to their attraction to products with instant effect and indulgence.

Apple's iPhone: The iPhone is a phone device which has
taken the world afar with it's personal social applications
and easy use. It has reached the socioeconomic classes from
E to A, and because of this it has become one of the current
most fashionable phones to have. 'Mainstreamers' would purchase it due to the widespread notoriety of it, and the 'explorer's would buy it as it was known to be one of the first touch screen phones to offer a large variety of entertaining, communicative and helpful applications.
So is it mainstream, niche or alternative?
THE HEAT is a mainstream film-it was distributed and produced under a major US Film company, 20th Century Fox-and media producers played on how it involved certain actors, with a director of a successful comedy film; this is because the combination of genres was not original (comedy and action) and 'mainstreamers' would be more driven towards who is in a film rather than the genre of the film or the originality of the plot. However, since the film involves two main female roles rather than two males (which is popular for the type of storyline it offers,) the explorer psychographic would be attracted towards it. This lengthens the range of demographic for the film and therefore, makes it seem more structured as a mainstream film; since if this film was a niche film, there would be a mix of sub genres and the target audience would be more specific. The product placement with casual soft drinks and popular technlology also establishes the film is aimed at a more general audience than a niche oriented one.
Lastly we will look at the movie 'Ted.'
Ted is based on a man who made a wish
as a child for his toy bear to be able to speak.
His wish comes true, and the movie brings us
to the future when his girlfriend wants the bear, '
Ted' to move out.
Ted is a movie of comedy entwined with fantasy, with humour which a majority of the time is crude. It was classified as a 15 due to the sexual and explicit content, with mature language and portrayal of drug usage. The director, co-producer and writer is Seth McFarlane, who is also involved in 'Family Guy.' The demographic for family guy is mainly young males, in social classes C, D and E due to the explicit and rather risqué content which may not suit the tastes of those in social classes A and B. This demographic was also targeted for Ted.
Ted's demographic reached out to more males than females, with a huge percentage of the male viewers being aged under 30.
Studio(s): The studios which Ted was involved in were:
Media Rights Capital
Fuzzy Door Productions
Bluegrass Films
Smart Entertainment
Many studio were involved in the making of Ted, 'Media Rights Capital' being an independent Production company and 'Fuzzy Door Productions' being Seth MacFarlane's own Production company. Smart entertainment has been involved with films such as 'Blades of Glory' and 'The Ringer,' and Bluegrass Films produced 'Battleship' and 'Safe House.' The target audience for these films seem to be males as they are built on the genres of action, crime and sci-fi.
Distributor: Universal Studios-a major movie studio which has distributed many successful films including 'Despicable me,' (animated,) 'Jaws,' 'E.T',' and 'Fast and Furious.' It mainly releases films of comedy and action, targeting a range of ages, although the majority of their films are either family films or male targeted.
Here is a poll from a movie website where users rated the movie. Mainly young males rated it highly.
Ted's Psychographics
Ted's psychographic group is composed of the 'mainstreamers'-this group will watch this film for the actors, and the fact that the director is the creator of family guy, a highly popular animated television series. Mainstreamers are also a major psychographic group for mainstream films.
Ted had a budget of $50 million, and it broke the record of profit earned from a movie in the opening weekend. It gained a high amount of views on 'Youtube,' potentially due to word-of-mouth, since there is a large increase of views in the beginning of its release.
Product Placement
'Axe hair shampoo' seems to be targeted at young males (teens to late twenties) in the C, D and E classes; their adverts usually depict women being drawn in by any man who wears the shampoo, and they can often come across as sexually comical. It is a popular technique to target a younger male audience by showing that the product will attract females, as stereotypically the opposite sex is what young boys are interested n. 'Mainstreamers' may appeal to this product as a majority of Ted's audience are young men, the target consumer of the product.
Budweiser: Budweiser is nicknamed the 'King of Beers,' since it is the highest selling beer in the world-which also makes it a popular product for 'mainstreamers.'
Their target audience consists of young males in their
early twenties to thirties, social classes C, D and E due to its affordability, and light style of advertisement.
So is it mainstream, alternative or niche?
Ted is a mainstream film-it had a high budget, and was involved with multiple studios; and it was distributed by Universal Studios, a renowned film company. Media producers played on the fact that
it was produced by the creator of Family Guy, establishing the fact that Ted would earn more than it's budget in profit. Ted's target audience is made up of
young males, in the socio economic classes C, D and E.
The product placement was also suited to the socioeconomic and psychographics of the film's audience, both of which are large groups among human population (middle and working class people, unemployed; the mainstreamer psychographic group.)

Had 'Ted' have been an alternative or niche film, it would have had a lower budget, and a smaller, more specific target audience. There would have been
a different range of genre including sub genres, and product placement to be aimed towards a more specific audience.

I also made a survey asking people about the film.
Here are some results:
I made a survey to gather people's opinions
on the film. Here are some of the results:
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