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Media Studies – Audience Theory + Chanel Coco Campaign Audience Essay

Reception Theory (Stuart Hall)
Reception theory sees the meaning of a text in the act of its interpretation rather than the act of its creation: whatever an author intended, it is the reader who defines its meaning.
Encoding and Decoding
Hall suggested that:

•Producers of a media text encode ideas and messages within the text through representations. The aim of the producers of the text will be to communicate their ideology to the audience.

•Audiences then decode the messages and respond to them in different ways.

Preferred Reading
This is the meaning intended by the creators of a text. Hall argues that texts are structured in such a way that they contain a preferred meaning, which limits the scope for different audience interpretations.
Preferred meanings often linked to ideological hegemony
The idea of beauty and the ‘ideal’ female body shape produced in Western media. It is accepted as ‘natural’ that models in women’s magazines should look a certain way. It is the preferred reading that these women are attractive.
The variety of possible meanings and connotations of signs means that media texts are polysemic; they can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the culture of the audience.
Anchorage is the way producers try to secure (‘anchor’) the meaning of an image etc. usually through the use of text.
(In a similar way that an anchor limits the movement of a ship).
Anchorage limits the possible readings by selecting & controlling how information is decoded to direct the audience to the preferred reading.
Images without words are ‘open texts’
The connotations of the image are left to the audience and are therefore polysemic
Images with words (captions, headlines etc.) are ‘closed texts’
The decision regarding interpretation has been made for the viewer/readers and they are, therefore, less likely to challenge or consider what they see. The anchorage affects the representation and how the audience responds to it.
Hall’s 3 audience positions
Hall suggested three main ideological perspectives (or positions) involved in the way in which an audience responds to a particular text. This involves how the audience is positioned by the text and its subsequent response.

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1. Preferred reading
The audience accept the meaning encoded in the text and intended by the producer of the text. The audience which accepts the preferred meaning may be said to be complicit with the dominant hegemony. This is usually the case when the text reflects the ideas and opinions of the target audience.

2. Negotiated reading
The audience accept some of the messages encoded in the text and reject others. This may mean the way in which they are positioned in a film where they are asked to empathise with a character they do not like, yet they are enjoying the film generally. They may need to adjust their viewpoint in order to get the most out of the text.

3. Oppositional reading
The audience reject the messages encoded in the text. This may be because of a range of factors including cultural experience, age or gender.

Uses & Gratifications Theory
The suggestion is that active audiences seek out and use different media texts to gratify certain needs and to experience different pleasures. This was one of the first theories to suggest that audiences were not a mass unit and were not all passive.
Diversion & Entertainment
Texts can be used by audiences to escape (or be diverted) from everyday life into another world created by the text and to gratify their need to be entertained. As many advertisements now are high budget and almost cinematic in their production values, they offer audiences escapism and entertainment.
READ:  GCSE Media Coursework- Advertising Essay

Information & Education
Texts can be used by audiences for information or to learn about something (mediated of course). Frozen Planet gives its audience access to parts of the world they are highly unlikely to visit themselves. Some advertising campaigns will educate audiences and give them information.

Personal identity
Texts can be used by audiences to compare their own lives with the circumstances or narrative in the media text. Lifestyle magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health feature ‘real-life stories’ where audiences can identify personally with the situation described.

Social interaction
Texts can be used by audiences to allow them to socially interact by talking to others about them. The X-Factor is a good example whereby audiences discuss the program the next day – ‘water-cooler’ television.

Young & Rubicam (4Cs)
Audiences are categorised according to their:
VALs (values, attitudes and lifestyles)
4Cs: Cross-Cultural Consumer Characteristics
These group audiences through their motivational needs.
People who already have status and control and have nothing to prove. They prefer brands that are serious and reliable and believe that they deserve the best.

Want status and prefer brands that show their place in society. They are happy to live on credit and will buy items like designer labels. They are stylish and dynamic and may be persuaded by celebrity endorsement.

40% of the population. They like security, tried and trusted brands and like to think they belong to a group of like-minded people. They like value for money and are less likely to take risks.

Like to discover new things. They are attracted by brands that offer new experiences and instant results.

Defined by their self-esteem and self-fulfilment. They tend to be innovative and are less impressed by status. They are not materialistic and are socially aware. They may be more inclined to buy brands that are environmentally friendly or those that are considered healthy.

Coco Chanel – Audience
Who is the audience for the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle advertising campaign?

• A younger demographic.

• Aspirers who are aware of the Chanel brand but who may also have associated the other fragrances with an older woman.

• Fans of Keira Knightley who are persuaded by her endorsement of the product.

• Those who are attracted by the ideology of luxury, freedom and romance encoded in the adverts.

• Those who are positioned by the advertisements to feel aspirational about the lifestyle created by the campaign.

Audience response/effect theories
Audience response/effect theories are applicable to the advertising industry and specifically to a study of the Chanel campaign.
Two Step Flow
The Two Step Flow theory suggests that the opinions of other people affect how an audience may respond to a media text. Viral marketing is an effective way to access audiences and to create a marketing ‘buzz’; the two-step flow theory can be applied here.

• Chanel released teasers to Chanel and Keira Knightley fan sites prior to the launch of the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle campaign creating anticipation. If the audience values the opinion leader then they will respond well to the text and to the product.

• Keira Knightley, as a spokesperson for the brand and a high profile celebrity, acts as an opinion leader. The audience associate her with the brand and therefore may be more likely to purchase the product.

Y&R (4Cs)
Maslow – Aspirational (brand/product)
• The product is marketed to an aspirational audience who aspire to the lifestyle that is presented in the advert.

• Men and women may also aspire to be like the models or with the models (a partner of similar attractiveness), achievable in their minds by buying the product.

READ:  Reaction of the Audience Essay
The uses and gratifications theory (U&G)
The uses and gratifications theory (U&G) suggests that audiences are active and will seek out different media texts that offer specific needs and pleasures.

• Diversion & entertainment
Viral and TV adverts

• Personal identity
Viral and TV adverts. The more diverse representation attracts a wider audience with more likelihood of female audience members being able to identify with them.

• Social interaction
The viral adverts are designed to operate on a peer-to-peer basis.

Stuart Hall’s 3 audience positions
1. Preferred reading
The audience may accept the preferred reading encoded by the makers of the text and aspire to the lifestyle constructed in the advert. This will tend to be the case for women. They will therefore buy the product to access some of the world that is presented to them.

2. Negotiated reading
The audience may have a negotiated reading of the text, accepting that the world is constructed but aware that the Chanel brand suggests sophistication and has connotations attached to the wearer.

3. Oppositional reading
An audience may not agree with the ideology contained within the advert and so have an oppositional response:

• Men may have an oppositional response
They may be positioned by the narrative to feel sympathy for the man in the advert who appears to be used and rejected by the female character.

• Parents had an oppositional response to the TV ad and its placement in the schedule. Their literal, active response was to complain to the ASA.

Other responses may include:
• A literal and active response would be the actual buying of the perfume. The agency or company producing the product will monitor this actual response closely to assess whether the campaign has been a success.

• One literal, active response was to complain to the ASA about the advertising.

• Men may buy the perfume for their partners because of their attraction to Keira Knightley.

• Another literal audience response was the discussion of the campaign on fan sites like Lachanelfile.com. Here direct response was available through the site and blogs.

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Media Studies - Audience Theory + Chanel Coco Campaign Audience Essay
Reception Theory (Stuart Hall)
Reception theory sees the meaning of a text in the act of its interpretation rather than the act of its creation: whatever an author intended, it is the reader who defines its meaning.
2017-12-28 09:35:39
2018-07-19 05:39:27
Media Studies - Audience Theory + Chanel Coco Campaign Audience Essay
$ 13.900 2018-12-31
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