Ask students to draw up a grid and then study either the posters or the trailers and suggest who were the films' target audiences. Answers should be justified with features included in the poster and/or the trailers. [This activity begins to prepare students to understand that marketing campaigns are constructed to appeal to specific audiences before more in-depth study of how trailers and posters, the topic areas, do this.] Reasons for appeal might include:
TFIOS = recognisable Divergent stars, female character voice-over [identification], emotional appeal of the drama, romance and relationships, based on well-known/read book, company acts as a quality marker, social media presence.
Tammy = fans of Melissa McCarthy ‒ featured strongly, well-known for previous films [Heat, Identity Thief], comedic scenes throughout ‒ genre foregrounded, fans of Susan Sarandon ‒ featured in trailer.
Boyhood = unusual concept, an independent film [IFC independent company owned by AMC] – offers something different outside the usual genre formulas, features stars – Patricia Arquette/Ethan Hawke, positive critics' comments, director might be recognised for previous work.
More than one audience might be suggested for each film but students are encouraged to make the links between industry>film>audience and to support their suggestions which at this stage should be beginning to be informed by knowledge and understanding of the industry.
Study copies of the posters and/or watch the trailers for the following films and suggest potential audiences for each one.
- teenage girls
- adults 35+
- mainstream audience
- niche audience
- teenage girls and boys
- women 25-35
- older couples
- fans of…
- British Audiences
- American Audiences
- International Audiences
- pre-sold audience of…