Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Market Research

For my animation I hope to target a mass audience. I hope to inform people about how and why bacteria become resistant to antibiotics because of how it can impact our daily lives in the future if antibiotics continue to be misused. I looked at a few different video games, youtube channels, infographs, and other articles and videos online to see what appeals to a mass audience.

In terms of video games, a game like Plague Inc. appeals to a large age range while teaching people about bacteria, viruses, parasites and how diseases spread. A game like Spore also appeals to a wide audience, although less 'morbid' than Plague Inc. where our goal is to kill everyone. Spore is a game that is all about evolution from a cell to more complex organisms. Spore is a friendly, silly game that shows the importance of evolution and how it shapes the creatures on our planet (or in this case, an alien planet).

The Binding of Isaac
Other video games such as Limbo, Don't Starve, The Binding of Isaac and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (brought to my attention by Jordan) have the sort of art style/direction I'm currently going for. The reason for this is that it isn't overly complex and appeals to a wide audience due to its gloomy but still beautiful, mystical and quirky. It isn't too scary and it is attractive (maybe excluding The Binding of Isaac) because it is different and mysterious looking. Various age groups play all of these games and love them for different reasons.

I've also looked at various Youtube channels such as TED-ed, It's Okay To Be Smart, SciShow, and Vsauce. These youtube channels feature informational videos that, while not childish, are presented in a way that is appealing to anyone from children to elders. Each of these channels have videos that break down information slowly so the viewer, no matter what previous experience they have, can easily understand it. They seem to often use simple, charming images/diagrams/animations to explain certain aspects as well as highlighting important terms in the videos.

Other channels such as Simon's Cat, Cyanide & Happiness, and How It Should Have Ended may not be as educational as the previous Youtube channels, but they still feature simple and charming animation and imagery that seems to attract a large range of viewers. Many of these videos appeal to everyday life, something someone may have experienced, or something they can relate to. For example, with Simon's Cat you may know the frustration of having a cat that ruins your Christmas tree. Or with How It Should Have Ended, you may have noticed multiple plot holes in your favourite films.

I've also had a look at different comics and infographs on the internet. One of my personal favourites, The Oatmeal, features a few comics aimed towards teaching the reader something while keeping it simple and entertaining. For example, The Oatmeal's "Why the Mantis Shrimp Is My New Favourite Animal" presents information about the creature that people may have not known about before. This comic stands out to me because first it introduces information about ourselves (in this case, why we see colour) then it expands on this information.
By relating the comic to the viewers first, it allows us to gain perspective and already have some sort of understanding about where the information is going. Most often people are interested in things they can relate to, such as our eyesight and why we see colour. The style of the comic is simple and the information is short and sweet. There is no complex terms or information, making both the text and the pictures easy to understand for everyone. While it is not overly serious, it is also not childish enough to repel adults...the drawings and characters are relatively basic and likable.
Other media such as TV also feature examples of how to engage a wide audience. For example, Mythbusters is a TV show that is somewhat silly but also asks questions and uses science to answer them. They often feature goofy sketches but they also explain the science behind their experiments. They also sometimes feature diagrams/animations to further explain their experiments and the outcomes. Since the myths tested are often popular beliefs/myths, suggested by viewers, or are experiences that many people have it seems to appeal to almost everyone. This is proven since it's one of Discovery Channel's oldest TV shows and also one of its most popular.

In conclusion, I hope to focus on a mass audience for my animation. Although I hope to make my animation character/story driven, I think i can appeal to a wide audience due to the type of information that is going to be presented. By introducing the topic of antibiotic resistance in a new, artistic way I hope to engage people that may not otherwise be worried or interested in such a topic. By using my art direction, I hope to draw people in due to its charm and uniqueness (hopefully!). Through the imagery and by breaking down the information, I hope that younger people can understand it even without prior knowledge while elderly people who may not be up to date with modern medicine can follow along too. By doing this, I hope people will become more interested both in my animation and in my scenario when they learn how it might impact their lives if it hasn't already.

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