Media Studies Brief

I will be producing a date rape awareness advert for my independent project. The genre is informative and alerting as it is a date rape awareness advert. In any genre there are codes and conventions, which familiarise the audience with the type of text they are being invited to consume. Repetition of these codes and conventions is a key element in the way an audience understands and relates to the text. For example the iconography, which an audience may associate with this particular genre and topic, is a club scene, alcohol, teenagers etc.

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This advert has to be believable and realistic to emphasize to the danger to the audience that it is something that could happen to them. It also has to make a powerful impact on the audience so they are aware of the consequences the drug can take, and do feel slightly threatened and at risk, so consequently the advert has informed and alerted them to the dangers of date rape. Finally it must be enigmatic and gripping so the audience feel compelled to watch the whole advert as the main message will be at the end.

The characters in the advertisement are essential, as they have to assimilate with the whole advert, and the viewer must be able to relate, sympathise and learn from the characters actions. According to research I have undertaken, i. e. looking at adverts of this type that have been produced before, the protagonist/victim in date rape adverts stereotypically tends to be female. This is because conventionally females are supposedly weaker then males, vulnerable and generally easier targets.

The attacker or date raper is typically male, as males are depicted stronger and more dominant. Also, from the research I have carried out, I have found out that the identity of the attacker is usually hidden, thus being represented in a more ominous, sinister and threatening manner and the viewer then infers that date rape is something people will be completely oblivious too and will not be prepared for. This therefore creates a suspenseful atmosphere making the advert powerful and ensuring it has more of an impact and hopefully makes everyone watching more aware.

The setting is also normally in a club/pub where the date raper can easily slip the drug into the victims drink, so a bar and alcohol needs to be present in the setting, so I have followed these genetic conventions and am using these conventions in my advert. This advert will be shown on TV, in between programmes that older teenagers would stereotypically watch e. g. Hollyoaks. It will be on mainly in the early evenings as this would be the prime time for the target age group of 18-25 to be watching TV.

Just before watershed would enable younger teenagers to see the advert, so they too will be aware of the dangers before they are even legal to drink and potentially get it spiked, and it is also possible it is not late enough for the target age group to already to be out in clubs etc. If they were to watch the advert before they went out to a club as the advert will be powerful and thought provoking, they will be left with a lasting impact of how they must be careful and as they know it is to protect themselves they will be. The advert will consist of just diegetic sound, all the sound will be the club noises, i. e.

music, talking etc. I thought it would be more realistic and therefore show how real the situation is and how it could happen to anyone. I also thought as I intend to uses the sound of traffic and outdoor noise in the last scene it will give the advert a more eerie, raw appeal and contribute to the realism which is the most daunting aspect of the awareness advert. Noises from inside toilets in the clubs etc will also add enigma to the advert as the audience will be acting as the voyeurs. They will also feel like they are getting a valuable first hand view, and it will be beneficial as they can learn from another person’s situation.

The club music that will be predominant throughout will also be symbolic, as the beating; loud rhythm will mirror the victim’s feelings; dazed, confused and out of control. The target audience will range from an A, B, C1, C2, D or E audience as the characters will differentiate likewise, and there are many different clubs that are all designed for certain audiences where date rape can occur. The target age for this advert is around age 18-25 and the age of the actors would appeal to the chosen demographic, as they will be roughly the same age, so the viewer can relate and identify with the characters.

It is not aimed at an older audience as it is principally used in clubs where teenagers would go and the idea of dancing and drinking until late hours is stereotypically renowned of a younger audience. Also, it would not be centrally focussed at those under 18, as they would not be legal to go into clubs, yet it is still informative and it is hoped under 18s would listen to the advert so they are aware of the dangers when they do reach the age liable to go to clubs/pubs.

The type of advert would predominantly target female. This is mainly because the advert uses a female as the victim, so females will think they are the ones vulnerable and at risk so they will take the adverts advise are become more aware. Also, our advert will use a male date raper, so females can relate and sympathise more. The advert can appeal to males as well however, yet females are the main victims of date rape in the UK which is why the adverts main focus is to alert them of the risk they potentially could be at.

The narrative structure of awareness adverts ensures the worst case scenario is always the central part of the advert, to create an impact on the audience and illustrate that it could happen to them. Then, at the end of the advert there are ways to prevent that respective scenario, and accentuates how cautious you need to be. The narrative displays how easy it is to be date raped, as from the advert even the audience will be unaware the victim has been date raped as drugs are not shown being put in the drink.

This stresses to the audience how attentive they should be with their drinks in clubs etc, thus fulfilling the adverts intentions of alerting the target audience of the dangers of date rape and hence how vigilant they have to be to avoid being in the victims situation in the advert. The ideology of this project is to show girls the importance of keeping an eye on their drinks at all times and the risk they are in if they are inattentive, which is an vital issue that needs to be addressed.

As the victim in the advert is female is implies the female vulnerability and that they cannot be ignorant. It also shows the importance of friendship, and sticking together, as at the end the victim would be left helpless if her friends were not there with her and it could have possibly been fatal. Society and the institution often play on female fears in advertisements about them not being able to cope without a male as stereotypically women can’t be without men.

So this awareness advert challenges dominant stereotypes and ideologies and shows that females cannot trust every man they meet and they are not necessarily safe in his presence just because of his masculinity. This will be a strong, interesting selling point for my film as being in the 21st century more women are independent and are fighting to not be inferior to men, so the audience should be desperate not to be caught out for date rape and prove themselves weaker then men.

The equipment I intend to use is an OV camera and ‘u lead’ editing software on the computer. I don’t think there will be may problems involved in making my advert, however as the filming will take place in an actual real-life club situation, I cannot predict exactly what the atmosphere will be like, e. g. loud, lots of people, etc. For this reason I cannot be certain the end result will be as I hoped. Also, as I will be filming in a club, people may walk past the camera etc when I don’t want them to etc.

Actors can also be temperamental and as I will have a few actors it could possibly not look as professional as I would like, but on the other hand, this is not a problem as I want to depict a real life circumstance and people in a club are not given instructions on what to do. Overall, the research I have done and the generic conventions of an awareness advert that I am following suggest that I will produce a successful advert that would if published show the dangers of date rape and the precautions needed to be taken in club situations.