A Day in the Life of Media Usage: Shaun
The advertising that is directed at 20-year-old males right now is all along the same lines and mainly appeals to dream lifestyles or ambitions. They will use things that are funny, sleek, fast, exciting, elite, and tough to attract the attention of middle to upper class young males who want for little. From video games to movies to music, the advertising is geared to give the viewer images of a fast and young lifestyle. I examined four different mediums of media through the eyes of Shaun, a white/ Hispanic, 20-year-old, upper to middle class male, who has an intact home life and goes to school full time. The advertising made sense and seemed to be in the right place for the right audience.
The first medium that I examined was the music of Kanye West. West is an extremely wealthy African American hip-hop/rap artist who has been extraordinarily influential over the last decade in the music industry. In the particular selections of music I listened to, I heard common messages about a rich lifestyle, traveling abroad, owning extremely expensive things such as professional sports teams, and being the envy of your peers. Common themes that I heard throughout the music came in the form of nice cars, designer clothing such as Gucci, money, women, and alcohol/drugs. I think these images would appeal to any young man although I don’t think Shaun exactly idolizes all of them based on his current lifestyle. I think he would be interested in the girls, clothes, cars, and alcohol/drugs because most young men want that regardless of their privilege in life. I think that the lyrics in his music appeal to young men with ease, regardless of socioeconomic class and could cause most of them try and attain these items.
The next medium I examined was the advertising within film. I selected the film Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal as an extremely eccentric, intelligent and sociopathic videographer who records events at night with a camera and then sales his video to news stations. The films protagonist demonstrates a lifestyle that could be considered desirable by some. It is extremely fast paced, electric, spontaneous, and dangerous. The tools of his lifestyle come in the form of a Dodge Challenger, Sony cameras, and New Balance shoes as well as stylish clothes. Although the character is flawed, he could be considered cool by some viewers because he is smart, ambitious, and ruthless in pursuit of success. These images are powerful in developing a desire in the viewer for the items on the screen. I think our subject, Shaun, would find most of these things something he would want. The fast car, the nice clothes, and the technology all ring true with his demographic. Especially since the items are all used on screen by a young man similar to himself in some ways. I think Shaun would identify with this character more than he would identify with Kanye West’s imagery, but some of the ideas are the same. They both talk about stylish clothes, nice cars, and exciting lifestyles, but based strictly on the life of Shaun, I think he would see Nightcrawler as a closer and more realistic representation of himself.
The next medium I engaged in was the realm that all 20-year-old males take part in at some point: video games. I played multiple versions of the popular blockbuster game Call of Duty. This has been the most unique of the advertising realms I have experienced thus far. It advertises to the user in two ways. One of them is direct and the other is indirect. The direct advertising takes place in the multiplayer game lobbies. They flash advertisements for expansion and map packs on the screen and try and entice the gamer to buy more for the game they already have, but the other way is within the gameplay itself. Brands such as Oakley, Remington, Colt, and EoTech made frequent appearances on the characters throughout the game. The lifestyles demonstrated in the game were