Wednesday, 27 February 2013

My blogger recently got hacked. I apologise for anything posted in the last week...

I say hacked, I mean I probably left it logged on the Macs.

Friday, 15 February 2013


Hello. Lately, me and Hannah have been considering intertextuality in our digipaks and music video. 

Music Video:

For our in our final narrative scene involving a confrontation with Ben, we thought it would be pretty good to include an intertextual reference to The Craft. In The Craft, there's four teenage girls who learn how to cast magical spells and become witches. We don't have witches in our music video, although that would be cool, but there are similar themes across the two. There are themes are girl power, deceit and friendship in The Craft, which can also be found in our piece. 

The scene we are going to tip our hats to really captures the girl power theme, as it's a scene where the girls are performing a ritual to a god. Obviously, we're not going to do a ritual or sacrifice Ben to the gods. However, I quite enjoy their formation in it. I'll show you a picture.

This isn't the best picture but it's the only one I can find of this scene. Just go and watch The Craft, it's a fabulous film. I thought the scene I'm thinking of was set during the day but I'm obviously wrong.  Anyway, I thought we could get rid of the candles and the chanting and just steal their basic formation and the idea of being powerful, because a) I love The Craft and b) it suits our themes.

The second intertextual reference is from The Scarlet Letter. In this, the woman has a scarlet 'A' stitched onto her clothing to declare that she has committed adultery. Whilst we may not stick an 'A' onto Ben (it may be a black heart to suit the song lyrics), something will be stuck to him to show he has been around. This paragraph wasn't as long because it's not as interesting but hey ho.


My digipak may as well be one big intertextual reference. Because the album is called Monsters, I've decided to have Hammer Horror monsters on my digipak. I've got Ben as Frankenstein's Monster and another Ben as Dracula and Jade as a mummy. I picked these because they are instantly recognisable to the target audience (I've explained this is more detail in another post).

Digipak Photography.

Today, the original photography process began. In my photographs (as explained in a previous post), I'm having three people dressed up as monsters with the 'band' in normal clothing. Only two of my three monsters were available today, so I photographed the first two pictures and also got an idea for some other things I could include (once again, thanks to the advice of Hannah). The other things I can include are going to be the 'monsters' doing every day things, like reading books etc. 

I don't want to give anything away (I say that as if it's a much anticipated event when it reality it's just my digipak and nobody will really care if I post the entire session right now), but here are some of the pictures taken today...

(It looks like I gave Jess no help with the face paint but I did, I just had to take a picture whilst she was doing it so I could post them on here!)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Filming Updates.

Right, so our latest draft is coming along nicely. We have nearly the whole narrative finished. Today we filmed Livvy's phone bit, which completes that section. Now we just need to film the final scene of narrative (which won't take long), the performance shots and we need to snap the shots of the House Of Booty. Then we will be done.

I'll post some raw footage once I've converted it!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Digipak Sketches.

This is the sketch design for my digipak. As you can see, I cannot draw, but I thought I would try regardless. Our album is called 'Monsters', so I thought I'd go along with that theme and have monsters everywhere on the digipak. I'm going to feature photography of monsters and the band, as well as cartoon drawings of monsters that I'm hopefully going to make on Photoshop (because I clearly won't be able to hand draw them).

The inside panels will feature a girl and a monster on each, doing normal, couple-y, romantic things. The pictures actually depict them swooning and screaming and stuff, but I changed my mind, on the helpful advice of Hannah. I'm going to have three different guys playing the monsters, and there'll be a mummy, Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster. I've gone with a Hammer Horror theme because they're so easily recognisable that the target audience will get it. 


This is a girl with a mummy. I'm going to cover one of my friends (probably Jade, she's volunteered. Probably as a joke but I don't care, you don't joke around me about mummies. And she's Egyptian, it's perfect) in tissue paper to get the mummy look. It's going to be fabulous. In this one, they will be sitting on a sofa, hugging or something.

This is a girl with Frankenstein's Monster. I'm going to use the Boris Karloff version of the Monster, even though it kills me not to use the actual book one, because it is instantly recognisable as the Monster. If I used the actual book Monster, the target audience wouldn't recognise it. Our target audience is younger people, who probably won't have read the book. These two will be walking along hand in hand. For this Monster, I'm going to need green face paint and bolts. I'm going to have Frankenstein's Monster wearing a suit because I like suits.

This is a girl with Dracula. For this one, I need to get a cape and some fangs, and possibly some fake blood from Poundland. I'm going to need someone to wear a fancy three-piece suit for this one and then I'll whack the cape on. I might need some white face paint to pale the person up as well. In this one, they're going to be at the breakfast table.

I've chosen to have the girls with monsters due to the title of the album. They're doing couple-y things to suit the theme of the lead single: Dirty Heart. In this, the girls are in love with a guy even though he's a "monster", so I thought these pictures would fit that theme. Also, Hannah helped me come up with that because she's fabulous-o.


(the bell has just rung so I will complete this when I get home)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Maroon 5 Marketing For 'Overexposed'.

Overexposed is Maroon 5's fourth studio album, which was released in June, 2012. Here is how they've marketed it and its singles:

This is what you see when you first go onto Maroon 5's website; it's there before you even enter the actual site. This draws attention to the fact that they have a new single out, and also encourages the user to buy it. This would be extremely useful for Maroon 5 fans who want to buy the album/song, because they wouldn't have to hunt them down. Because of the link to buy the song/album, it discourages illegal downloading, most of which occurs because it's effort to find the track.

The Twitter page for Maroon 5 features the same image as the home page, creating consistency across the marketing campaign. This consistency makes the campaign recognisable, as it is more likely that the audience will remember it if they have seen it many times in different places.

 The actual tweets also promote not only the album and the song, but other promotional events that are occurring, such as Adam Levine's appearance on Saturday Night Live. This encourages the audience to watch even more promotion for the album and song, and therefore making it more likely that they will make a purchase.

This is on the homepage of As you can see, it is consistent with the other two campaigns. Maroon 5 fans will be likely to check their Twitter and their homepage, so this bombardment of advertisement encourages sales from the target audience. 

The text used in the marketing campaign is bright and doodle-y. This matches the album cover.

The album cover is bright, it's doodle-y and it stands out. It's very different from Maroon 5's past two albums:

However, the style of artwork is somewhat similar to the band's first album, Songs About Jane:

It Won't Be Soon Before Long and Hands All Over did not receive great commercial success; however, Songs About Jane did. A return to similar artwork could suggest to fans that the band is returning to the Songs About Jane era in style (which they're not, but they might want to give that impression). It also links, for people aren't fans, this album to the first album. People who aren't die hard fans probably would have missed the 2nd and 3rd album, but they probably have heard at least one Songs About Jane single, so linking the new album to the first allows for new listeners.

The bright colours also signify a change from quite downbeat songs to upbeat, more pop-style songs. It also makes the album stand out on a shelf, so it is more likely that a person would see it and want to buy it. More importantly, this image would stand out as a thumbnail on iTunes, making the potential listener think about clicking on that one instead of another, because it's bolder and more noticeable. The brightness also appeals to the target audience, who are generally young people, and young people enjoy quirky things.

Other promotional activities included:
  •  an interview with The Sun:
  • Adam Levine hosting SNL.
  • Adam Levine being in American Horror Story (not a direct promotion, but it still works. People who watch AHS generally are the same target audience for Maroon 5 albums).
Most marketing outside the Twitter and homepage revolve around Adam Levine, not the rest of the band. Normally, I'd think that's a pretty low thing to do to the rest of the band, but look:

He clearly deserves lots of attention.

A CD Carol.

Ghost of Sales Past.

Let me take you on a journey to the 1990s. This was a time of high frivolity and high music sales. In the 1990s, there were record sales as high as 208.388 million units (1996), with 76.65% of that coming from CD sales, so the music industry was booming. The introduction of the CD greatly increased record sales, as they were easier to transport (making them easier for buying), smaller, more compact and could hold more song, making them more desirable to the music buyer.

All in all, the music world was wonderful in the past. People bought physical copies of albums, bands made more albums and ALL WAS GOOD.

Ghosts of Sales Present.

Let us now travel to present day, the last five years to be precise. This is not a time of high frivolity and high music sales. In 2009, 128.946 million units were sold, a slump of around 80 million units from 1996. 2010 and 2011 show similar stories, with sales of 119.07 million units and 113.186 million units respectively. In 2012, 100.5 million units were sold. 2013 has only just begun, but sales in January were up 11.6%

The slump in album sales has come from digital sales and, more importantly, illegal downloading. In 2010, the CD market fell to 98.5 million units; digital sales went up to 21 million units. Whilst CD sales are still important, digital sales are slowly creeping up. However, they are not creeping up enough to make up the statistics, and other types of music sale (eg. LPs etc.) aren't making it up either. It's estimated that 1.2 billion tracks were downloaded illegally in 2010, and in the first half of 2012 alone, over 40 millions tracks were downloaded illegally. From these statistics, it's clear to see that the music industry has a real problem with illegal downloads.

Ghost of Sales Future

The year is 3000. Not much has changed, but we live underwater. CDs have become obsolete. Simon Cowell has incorporated all record labels into one, and only recruits one person a year, the winner of X Factor, which is now on its 8947657863th season. The only challenger to Cowell is Globalsoft, but they only wanted digitalised, computer generated music; neither option is preferable. Worst of all, Busted never got to realise their dream of a multi-platinum 7th album.

All the statistics from the ghost of sales present point to a decline in the music industry's sales of the physical CD. Soon, not many people will  buy CDs, instead choosing to buy the tracks from iTunes or downloading them illegally. With so many ways to pirate, such as filesharing, YouTube conversion or simply getting your friend to send you songs, it's going to be much harder to tackle piracy than the music industry is prepared for.

Sources for statistics:

Friday, 1 February 2013

Star Image.

Digipak Vs. Jewel Cases.


 A digipak generally consists of 4 or 6 panels (+ spines). They contain either one of two CDs, or a mixture of CD and DVD (this is mostly for live CDs, such as The Black Parade Is Dead! - My Chemical Romance). They include all institution and band information, and most include a lyric booklet in a sleeve.

Digipaks are usually made of card and plastic, and usually have a promotional sticker on the front cover to aid sales.

Jewel Cases.
Jewel cases contain only four panels. They
generally contain one CD (with exceptions such as double albums (eg. Opposites by Biffy Clyro) or CD/DVD combinations, usually live albums. They are very basic, including only the CDs and very rarely lyric booklets. There is less space on a jewel case than a digipak, and so less design space. Jewel cases include all relevant institution information.

Jewel cases are usually made from clear, rigid plastics.

The main differences between the two are number of panels and production material. Because there are more panels and generally more extra material in a digipak, these are more expensive to make than a jewel case. Most music fans have also come to prefer the digipak, with complaints on the jewel case such as them cracking too easily or allowing the CD to fall out.
 Whilst digipaks are preferable to many music fans, they're actually more expensive to make. On, a set of 300 digipaks would cost $890, which is around £565 in actual money. However, the same amount of jewel cases would cost $789, which is around £501. For this reason, digipaks are currently a bit more expensive to buy, but there is usually only a couple of pounds in it.