The target audience for Royal Blood are males between 15 and 25 years old. A lot of their songs relate to youth and rebellion, establishing the band with this audience.
It was important to test our concept to an audience in pre-production to make sure our ideas were heading in the right direction, and to identify any weaknesses in our concept. We carried this out by creating a questionnaire on Survey Monkey, and also by completing a pitch to our class.
The results of the survey showed us that our target audience agreed with our ideas regarding location, colour, lighting and narrative ideas. Our pitch was more useful however as it was carried out to our media class, who were more understanding, and consequently analytical with our ideas. They thought our themes were appropriate to the song, and in general liked our concept, however identified that we needed to plan our video shot for shot, as it was unclear at the time what the narrative chapter would be doing in his room. This is something that was later resolved, and can be seen in our animatic.
We were also told to "ensure an explosion of emotion is shown". This informed our development through a series of discussions, where we started started storyboarding our shot ideas, but also drafting up ways in which we could convey a conniving 'emotion explosion'. In the final product this can be seen by the use of overlaying footage and fading from one shot to the next. The repetition of shots is also helpful to connote the protagonists's mentality, of him thinking about the past and the passing of time. To test the finished pieces to an audience we held a focus group where we showed them our printwork followed by our video, and asked them a series of short questions to try and gain their insight and understanding of our media products. Keith Negus states that music videos are often consumed at low quality in external locations and are 'constructed and understood as a series of semiotic particles'. To try and make sure our viewing was ambient as to avoid a focused and over analysed result, we made sure the viewing environment was casual and relaxed. We used people we know who were all friendly together, which resulted in some casual talking and jokes during the session. This is the environment we were after, in the hope that the audience would pick out key parts of the print and video, as opposed to an over focused viewing. With regards to Stuart Hall's theory on the coding of a text, we encoded the video to show the male protagonist turning to drink and drugs after the female leaves him for another man. From our focus group it is clear that the majority of the audience decoded our preferred reading when asked about the meaning of the video, using phrases such as "relationship troubles" and "self destructive youth". We were then presented with a new negotiated reading for the video, in that the protagonist has never been involved with the girl due to his drink and drug problems, and his lust for her further increases his weak mentality for substance abuse. With the printwork we set out to create a cohesive band image and promote the band and EP in the most efficient way. Because of this, the preferred reading for the digipak and advertisements is that Royal Blood are a noise rock band who can relate to their target audience.
The focus group identified the genre reasonably well, varying from prog rock, to alternative, but with the majority agreeing on a strong rock output. One of the candidates commented on the 'distinct style' put across by our campaign, and pinpointed how the lack of colour connoted the 'bleak nature' of the video. The printwork was decoded by the audience to give our preferred reading in a lot of cases, and when asked what the magazine adverts say about the artists, one person answered, "The artists want to be taken seriously as a stereotypical rock boy band". Another answered with, "The artists are creative and have an emotional/personal connection to their work." The second of the two quotes especially, shows how the audience could connect with the band, and how it is easy to relate with them.
Overall, it is clear that with our audience feedback throughout the stages of the course, we have been on track and in line with the expectations of our target audience. The audience has regularly identified and decoded our preferred readings, and has given us useful information to elaborate and add to our ideas, especially in the planning stage.