Creative Media Practice

Lucy Higgins Level 6

WEEK NINE: Viral Marketing

Distribution – Could viral marketing be the key?

Read the articles relating to viral marketing. Would it be appropriate for your new launch? Explain your reasons in 250 words. 

‘We’re all obsessed with ideas, because ideas, not products, are the engine of our new economy.’

In Seth Goden’s book, Unleashing the Ideavirus, he discusses the many reasons as to why ideaviruses have taken the marketing world by storm, and how the viral marketing technique has proved to be a success when promoting a brand or idea. When comparing idea viruses to the traditional word of mouth promoting technique, Goden reinforces the concept that this method is unbeatable. ‘Idea viruses are easier to launch and more effective.’ He then goes on to explain, ‘Ideavirsues are critical because they’re fast, and speed wins and speed kills-brands and products just don’t have the time to develop the old way. Ideaviruses give us increasing returns-word of mouth dies out, but ideavirsues get bigger.’

Image of Ideavirus idea replicating and spreading.

IDEA VIRUS

For a launch of an independent fashion magazine using ideaviruses could create an advantage to promoting features and advertisement ideas that would feature in the magazine. By using ideaviruses of snippets that feature in the monthly magazine, it could potentially promote Urban Outfitters and other brands and concessions that are associated with the store, increasing numbers of the stores profits. ‘By aggregating mass audiences to themselves companies like Netscape and Hotmail are able to realise huge profits seemingly overnight, and they do it by spreading ideaviruses.’ It would be appropriate to consider spreading ideavirsues for the in-store supplement as ideas could be promoted on different media platforms, e.g. the Urban Outfitters website. ‘The profit from creating and owning an ideavirus is huge.’

Referencing:

Seth Godin. (2000) Why Ideas Matter. In: Unleashing The Ideavirus. Marina del Rey: Do You Zoom. p15.

Seth Godin. (2000) Why Ideas Matter. In: Unleashing The Ideavirus. Marina del Rey: Do You Zoom. p17.

Seth Godin. (2000) Why Ideas Matter. In: Unleashing The Ideavirus. Marina del Rey: Do You Zoom. p21.

Image screenshot from University powerpoint.

WEEK EIGHT: Media Kits – How viable is the brand?

Having read the Whittaker chapter, consider your new launch. Analyse a media kit, and create a suitable media kit in InDesign for your own publication. 

Jason Whittaker’s book, Magazine Production, gives a clear insight of the importance of marketing and promotion, and how these factors hugely benefit expanding your brand. ‘For the vast majority of magazines, advertising is the key to financial success.[1]

Magazine companies often use Media Kits to promote their brand, giving readers and other companies an understanding of what their brand is about, including facts and figures. Media kits have been proven to be a great selling technique, as they are distributed online and shared repeatedly across the internet. In Magazine production, Whittaker states that media packs are ‘Designed to help strengthen a magazine as a brand, positioning it in the market and indicating such things as the typical reader and audience’.[2]

Alternative arts, culture and news topics magazine VICE have created a media kit appropriate for their demographic. The first page of VICE magazines media kit includes a main image of hip-hop artist, Snoop Dogg, this would not be appropriate to include in a media kit for a female fashion magazine (e.g. Vogue) but is appropriate for the readers of this brand. VICE magazine have also included quotes from different social media platforms such as Twitter and other important companies that fit their brand, the founder of MTV, Tom Freston. By displaying pie charts of the number and sex of their readers, it gives other companies a clear understanding of the target audiences VICE are aiming towards. In Magazine Production, Whittaker also states, ‘One of the principal functions of a media pack is to provide information on advertising costs, which will normally be provided in the form of a rate card’. [3] When creating media kits for a new launch it is important to sell and honestly portray the style of your brand, taking into consideration important facts and figures.

Vice magazine media kit:

(Screenshot from http://socials.uk.vice.com/documents/media-kit/Vice_Media_Kit_2013.pdf)

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Below is a Media kit I created on InDesign for the launch of my magazine, BOLT.

http://issuu.com/lucyhiggins111/docs/media_kit_complete_2%5B/embed

 

Referencing:

[1] Jason Whittaker. (2008). The Business of Magazines. In: – Magazine Production . -: Routledge Ltd. 34.

[2] Jason Whittaker . (2008). The Business of Magazines. In: – Magazine Production . -: Routledge Ltd. 43.

[3] Jason Whittaker . (2008). Attracting Interest and Circulation. In: –Magazine Production . -: Routledge Ltd. 64 .

WEEK SEVEN: Essay

Discuss methods used for creative thinking and how they have inspired you. Explain how they have influenced your project.

Known as the ‘father’ of brainstorming, Alex Osborn once quoted, “It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.”[1] This quote demonstrates that in order to be as artistically creative as you possibly can be you must not restrict thoughts that could seem out of the ordinary. This is important to take into consideration when making the decision of what style of journalistic text and imagery you aim to produce.

When applied to fashion journalism projects, it is vital to have an understanding and interest of what style brand would appeal to your demographic, in order to show your creative skills in Photoshop and InDesign to your best ability. Quite often although my preference would be to base my work round journalism rather than photography, I made the conscious decision to base my creative media project to highlight both my journalistic and photographic skills, as this allowed me to challenge myself and move away from my comfort zone. For this creative project I decided to create a sister magazine for the Urban Outfitters, free of charge in-store supplement. My starting point was very much a “blank canvas” as I was not clear which direction my publication would take, or how it would be structured. This is where the various techniques for developing creative thinking were of great assistance.

One method often used to encourage creative thinking is to spend time outdoors rather than be confined in a certain space, this has the affect of freeing up the mind. Psychology professor at Santa Clara University, Marily Oppezzo, held an experiment which resulted in finding out, the more you walk outdoors the more creative you will become. “Our study shows everybody’s creativity improved when they were walking compared to themselves when they were sitting.”[2] I adopted this technique in the early stage of designing my publication and explored locations which may have similar publications. Whilst walking through the city centre, I began reading the Urban Outfitters in-house magazine, and became inspired by the artistic fashion/landscape images and contemporary music features.

The study undertaken by Stanford researchers continued to support the theory that the more time spent being exposed to the outdoors, the more likely you would be to conceive fresh thoughts. The Stanford research concluded that, ‘A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60% when walking.’[3] A popular quote ‘travel broadens the mind’ is also relevant to this study, as the more experiences you encounter, the more material you have to draw on to develop new ideas.

The magazine supplement gave me a basic idea of the style, brand and demographic that my project should appeal to. Further in my research I continued to visit fashion stores and music venues in Leeds city centre, that would attract a similar cliental to the readers of Urban Outfitters magazine and my target audience. Belgrave Music Hall, a venue that hosts music/food/film and art events also appeared to appeal to the likely readers of my magazine, and coincidentally also distributed a monthly publication, free of charge containing similar features with the same minimalistic house style.

The first stage of beginning to find ideas to feature in my fashion magazine proved to be the most difficult, I found myself contemplating several ideas to include in editorial features, but slowly excluded ideas that I soon realised would not appeal to the demographic. An example of this would be the initial idea of interviewing the creative director of the female fashion brand Illustrated People, before deciding that this feature would not be appropriate to appeal to a male audience. Alex Osborn the creator of the thinking technique, ‘Brainstorming’ influenced the start of my working process. The traditional creative thinking method enabled me to figure out a start point, in which I used three different sections (fashion/art/music) to divide into categories of different features. From this I began to develop ideas that related to each section, an example being in the music and art section, what genre of music I would focus on, musicians I would interview and how to make contact. Using this technique also allowed me to eliminate ideas that may not have been appropriate for my feature.

Regarded as the father of literal thinking and the creator of the ‘Six thinking hats’ method, Edward de Bono uses metaphorical different coloured hats in order to show different directions of thoughts.[4] The Six Thinking Hats method was used to determine my thought process. When developing the layout and look of my sister magazine supplement, I had to consider the decisions I would make when choosing models, landscapes and interesting locations to photograph. When organising my magazine, I felt it was important that I had an overview of what was going to happen and how I would control each design aspect making sure each page remained in the continuous minimalistic house style. This thinking method allowed to me gather and channel my creative thoughts in a controlled method, lead by the ‘blue’ thinking hat. Throughout this exercise I adopted the slightly more pessimistic, judgemental ‘black’ hat approach. When organising photo shoot locations and contemplating what edits would be appropriate for each image, it became apparent that I began questioning how realistic my ideas were, and the obstacles (e.g. If for some reason my model didn’t turn up to the shoot), I might face.

In order to encourage thinking outside the box, it is important to recognize the value of creativity to broaden the mind. TEDTalks speech by Educationalist speaker Sir Ken Robinson discussed how educational platforms are driving people away from creativity and how being academic as oppose to showing creativity is classed as more important. Robinson believes that people don’t grow into creativity, they get educated out of it. He continues his speech by quoting Pablo Picasso; ‘All children are born artists’. Robinson supports Picasso’s quote by saying, ‘children are not scared have a wrong answer, as we grow up we have become scared to be wrong.’[5] Ken Robinson’s speech inspired me to allow my thoughts to be as bizarre and tenuous as they seem, making brainstorming ideas for my project exciting and unrestricted. In brainstorming sessions it is recognised that there are no wrong suggestions. Robinson’s quote, ‘If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original’[6] was motivating when creating designs for my magazine, and gave me a boost of confidence when deciding what would be appropriate for my feature. It is a well known saying that, ‘A man who never made a mistake never did anything’, this supports Robinsons view that creativity and pushing boundaries leads to new ideas and innovation.

In conclusion Edward de Bono’s critical creative thinking methods such as the Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking techniques contributed in stimulating and developing my creative thought process. The Six Thinking Hats method give me an insight as to each element of my thought process, urging me to think about the facts that will be discussed in my features, emotions that could be linked to my feature, the logic behind my decisions, how well I am controlling my decisions, and most importantly; if the direction of my thinking was heading towards a creative route. Researching different methods of creative thinking became both enlightening and significant to me, as it has contributed immensely in improving the standard of my work and creativity.

 

Referencing:

[1] Sky mark Writers. (-). Alex F. Osborn: Father of the Brainstorm. Available: http://www.skymark.com/resources/leaders/osborne.asp. Last accessed 25th November 2014.

[2] Deborah Netburn . (April 26th 2014). In a creative slump? Take a walk..  Available: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-creative-walking-study-20140425-story.html. Last accessed 25 November 2014.

[3] May Wong. (April 24th 2014). Stanford study finds walking improves creativity. Available: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/april/walking-vs-sitting-042414.html. Last accessed 25 November 2014.

[4] SEO Content Marketing . (16th July 2013). Eight Awesome Creative Thinking Techniques (Plus Tools). Available: http://www.koozai.com/blog/search-marketing/content-marketing-seo/eight-awesome-creative-thinking-techniques-plus-tools/. Last accessed 25 November 2014.

[5] & [6] TedTalks video . (2007?). Video – Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY. Last accessed 25 November 2014.

WEEK SEVEN: Planning Essay Question

The work journal must include a 1200-word essay. The essay can be submitted on to MyBeckett when you submit the link for your journal. This should explore a creative or technical theme that is relevant to their chosen project. Essay questions include, but are not limited to:

  1. CREATIVE: Select three methods used for creative thinking. Critically analyse how they have shaped your project.
  2. CREATIVE: ‘All the good ideas have been taken.’ Discuss.
  3. TECHNICAL – DESIGN: Choose a publication that is similar to your own. Critically analyse its design elements on all relevant platforms.
  4. TECHNICAL – PHOTOGRAPHY: To discuss with photography tutor.

I have made the decision of choosing the first creative option to base my essay on, but slightly editing the question to focus more about how different methods have inspired my project, ‘Discuss methods used for creative thinking and how they have inspired you. Explain how they have influenced your project.’  The essay question, appeals to me as throughout each of the modules this semester I have found myself drawn to the creative aspects of journalism. I will research and discuss different methods used for creative thinking, and talk in great detail how these methods have affected my work methods and contributed in designing my project.

WEEK SIX: Flatplanning and Production

Sixth mini assignment for work journal:

Create a flatplan for the launch issue of your magazine. Upload the flatplan and explain your choices of page placement. In addition, give an indication of your production schedule – with specified deadlines for the remaining 10 weeks.

Below is the link to my flatplan I created on flatplanapp.com and a screenshot image of my flatplan.

creative-media-project-flatplan (2) (1)

flatplan

When designing the layout of my magazine, I have taken inspiration from independent paper articles that I have found in Urban Outfitters, Belgrave Music Hall magazine, and others. My first page will obviously be the front cover of my magazine. This will have one image spread across the front with a headline, cover line and small snippets of text that indicate that will be in the magazine, to attract readers. Page 2 will consist of 1 image, and I perhaps I will use this image as an advertisement for a brand or musician. Page 3 will be the introduction of my first feature, and will be an image of the person/artist/model/musician I will be writing a feature on. It will have a short cover line and a small paragraph introducing the person, giving the reader that might not know who the feature is on, a brief piece of information about them. Pages 4 and 5 will consist of my first feature. This will include 2 more images and 500 words of text that will include the article and interviews.

Pages 6,7,8 and 9 will each have 1 individual image, these images will be from photo-shoots that I have organised and will show different ways I have manipulated and editing skills I have used in InDesign & Photoshop. Pages 10 and 11 will cover my second feature, which will be on a different topic to the first feature, and will make up the project word count adding 500 more words making the word count of my feature 1000 words. I felt creating 2 features each 500 word would be appropriate for my demographic and style of magazine, as oppose to one big 1000 word text article which might loose interest of my readers. Pages 12 and 13 will conclude my magazine with two individual images, again showing images from photo-shoots I have organised and will display my InDesign and Photoshop skills. This production schedule may be subject to change, adding more pages to my feature, depending on the quality and number of images taken throughout the next 4 weeks.

Production schedule

Throughout week 7 to week 9 I am going to concentrate on completing my workshop blog for Creative Media Practice, as the deadline is getting closer. I will make sure each weekly tasks are completed, and show more research and development of my idea for my journalism project feature. From weeks 10 to 12 and throughout the christmas break I will be organising photoshoots for my fashion images and getting together a portfolio of the images I will use in my feature. During these 6/7 weeks I will be writing out my articles for the feature and deciding what images will be appropriate to use. In the final weeks from January 1st – the deadline date January 18th I will be putting together my magazine on InDesign, ready to hand in on the 18th.

Front Cover Ideas For My Magazine

(Images below are not my own.)
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Below is a front cover design I created on InDesign which I feel would appeal to my demographic. It remains in a minimalistic style, with neutral colours and thin text as my house style.

Photography by me.

Model: Indigo Freya Chorley

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Journalism Project Planning – Fashion Journalism

Fashion Journalism

text2mindmap

To gather inspiration and thoughts I created an online spider diagram.

-Inspired by Urban Outfitters magazine.

-Range of fashion images and art.

-Use film & digital.

-Stick to a theme.

-Look at ASOS, Topshop, VICE, iD magazines for inspiration.

-Set up photo shoots, think about models/location/hair & makeup artists/edits for images.

None of the images below belong to me.

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Sharon Kavjian by Jamie Hawkesworth (Material Girl - Asos October 2011)
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I went around the city centre of Leeds looking for paper magazine supplements similar to the Urban Outfitters magazine. A similar style and layout to these features is what I am aiming towards with my magazine.

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