Author Archives: Roxi Albescu

105MC Seminar- Narrative

Hi guys,

After we had a summing up of last weeks genre discussion and we analyzed our weekly task. Some groups have chosen as their genre example horror movies and games, while others based their task on soap-operas. I presenter our task – 3D Animation Movies and Cleaning Product Ads. It seems that it got Will pretty impressed and I am glad to say we did a good job!

Then we talked about “narrative”. While some of you may know what narrative stands for, having previous studies connected to it, there are a few, as myself for which the term was quite new.

We discussed Propp’s theory and if it can be found nowadays, in movies, ads etc. Some of us agreed that some elements can be found it today’s media, and that, in which concerns soap-operas it’s harder to connect them to it. Afterwords, Joseph Campbell’s “Te hero with a thousand faces” was related to Propp, having many things in common (eg. the way the character is constructed). C. G. Jung’s theory of the destruction of the mind followed, which was very interesting, learning about “archetypes” – “universal prototypes for ideas that may be used to interpret observations”.



1. Look at three different media objects: one print-based, two TV/film/web-based and with a mixture of factual and fictional. Examine them to see how far Todorov’s linear narrative structure and Propp’s notion of character functions and narrative units apply to the different texts.

Write a brief description of how each of these character functions and narrative units move the narrative forward through the different stages. Can you isolate other character functions and/or narrative stages in your media objects that Todorov and Propp did not isolate?

2. See if you can find a media object that does not conform to Todorov’s linear narrative structure and/or does not contain Propp’s narrative functions. If so, is that related to their form (for example, that it is a web-based, more interactive media object)? In what way is it different and why? What are the possible effects on the audience’s reading of the object: does it make the meaning clear?

Post your findings up on your individual blogs!

Group tasks

1. Compare your findings for the individual activity above.

  • Are there any common threads to your findings?
  • What does your research tell you about the concept of narrative?

2. See if you can do the individual activities above for the media object that you produced for your 72 Hour Challenge. How does it conform to/diverge from Todorov and Propp’s notions of narrative structure and why?

Now to get to something very important! The 2000-2500 words essay we have to do! Check the (I hope i got it right) for Steve’s post on how it has to be done. Be very careful about the Harvard Referencing System -check Coventry Uni’s site for more on how to use the correct references.

After you do your part on your individual blogs, we shall meet and discuss the group task:)




105MC- Genre

Our weekly task was to choose a genre in any two of the following areas:

. TV shows
. Films
. Advertisements
. electronic games
. magazine articles
. social networking –  and to list the defining characteristics of it.

Write a brief outline description of a new object within that genre thinking of a way to change it and subverting the genre conventions and outlining effects on the audience. At the end, we must write down what we learnt from the exercise and name some genre objects we currently consume, saying how do we think differently about them now.

After meeting and understanding what “genre” stands for, we agreed upon Films and Advertisements, the genre chosen being a 3D Animated Cartoon Movie and a Cleaning Products Ad.

3D Animated Cartoon Movies:

-feature some sort of story or plot

-the majority represent the fight between Good and Evil, with the Good always wining

-high details

Cleaning Products TV Ad:

-always start with a dirty kitchen/bathroom

-there is a woman doing the cleaning

-ends up with an amazing shiny house

For the 3D Animation Movie we’ve chosen “Finding Nemo” as a start in our own story:

[…] After escaping from the tank and getting back into the sea, Nemo finds himself enjoying the adventure to the point of becoming a “pirate” and thinks of a way to take over the mainland. He will gather some of the most unworthy animals he can find and he will build weapons in order to exterminate the human race. In the meantime finds new ways to breath. Due to his ingenious plans, he wins all the fights and becomes one of the most feared creature and ends up having the human under his complete control for eternity.

Our story would definitely make parents think twice before taking their kids to see the animation at the cinema, because of its violent character and astonishing ending. It’s not a regular 3D animation movie, not having the expected happy ending, and the happy clown fish turning out to be the bad character.

Cleaning Products TV ad:

The ad begins with a dirty kitchen. The father and his 10 year-old son just finished their first cooked meal, which was a disaster, when the mother walks in to find the mess. The two boys put on a huge smile, and run outside to play football leaving on the table a bottle of X Cleaning Spray and the still-amazed mom. The camera moves to the front yard scene, where the little boy and his dad were playing football. 3 seconds later you see a pot flying out the kitchen window right on dad’s head and the mom saying with a superior smile: “It seems that the X Cleaning Spray works on its own!”.

Our ad destroys the myth of the obedient woman who always cleans up after her family without complaining. The audience will judging it to be absurd even intriguing, mainly men, considering cleaning to be a woman’s duty. The feminine audience may take it as funny.

We found the experience of “playing” with genre to be fun and inspiring, making us think more about how it affects people, and how we would react as an audience, at the sight of our own animation and ad.

Take care,


Group D- I think I love you

After some laughs and many hours of work we finally did it! Great job everyone!


Week 4- 105MC Seminar notes


In this week session we had a discussion on the method of communication or how messages travel.

The Shannon Weaver model

This diagram by Shanna Weaver shows you how a message is transcend, transmitted, then received at its desired destination.  This method is used in everyday communication.

Messages that are sent face to face are through the following method:

Human = (source) sends the information through their; Mouth = Transmit to the channel, decoding noise to the ears = Destination. The message has then been received then interpreted preferable. Both sender and receiver are important parts of the process of creation and meaning.

We, then continued with an interesting discussion about the way media affects the audience. From the beginning of time, people have blamed different types of media for corrupting them (started with the “attack” on novels and continued with the radio and TV).

The question asked was:

Can you control what the media provides?

Do we actually control the way media influences us? It turns out that we can’t. We do not have complete freedom, even if we like to believe that sometimes. It does have an impact on us, trying to change our behaviour, or the way we think.

e.g. – music videos- it can influence our mood or our way of dressing                         – music in shops or taxies (we can’t control what we listen – it can stimulate us on buying more or relax us)

An example of freedom of choice:

-TV where you can choose what you want to watch aside from an ad for instant, you have no control over it as it can pop up anytime…                                              -Radio you also can have control as if you don’t like, you can easily change the station.

People try, all the time to understand the meaning of a message they receive but, if Jacques Derrida is right, then it seems that every time a message is transmitted a new meaning is created. (e.g. Every time we read a book, we generate our own new meaning).

Hypodermic needle model

This theory suggests that the consumers are strongly affected by media and have  and have no say in how the media influences them. The phrasing hypodermic needle is meant to give an mental image of the direct,strategic and planned infusion of a message into an individual,the emotive imagery that suggests that media messages are injected straight into a passive audience which is immediately ifluenced by the message. This view was expressed that the media is a dangerous means of communicating an idea beacuse the reciever of the audience is powerless to resist the impact of the message.There is no escape of the message in this model. This idea of the hypodermic needle/magic bullets were firstly seen in the mass media in the 1940′s/1950′s and were percieved as a powerful influence in behaviour change. The public can not escape form the media influences and therefore are considered as ‘sitting ducks’ (Croteau Hoynes 1997) .

We also shared our research with the other groups, where we found out more on demographic classification as in our group we were a bit confused, under what category should we put students as most of them still depend on their parents.

D1 I hate Big Brother! Do you? – reality TV show… only mention that people rate the show less because it’s changed from being an experiment to entertainment.

D2 (us) did a research on Starbucks. It appears that the majority of people do not hate it, and that those who do, actually do it because of the high prices and the “not so special” taste of the coffee.

D3 was on: do you like reading gossip magazine… (Not 100% sure) they mention that the majority of women did not like reading the magazine because they don’t like the way in which the media portray women- as fake.

D4 research was on Justin Bieber . They mentioned that the majority of people who answered their survey did not like him because he is a superficial pop star and the contents of his music is too mature for his age.

The task for next week is:

The individual task: Pick an item from your Cabinet of Curiosities and say how it can influence the mind of the vulnerable audience and how does that affects them.

Group task:  Meet up and compare the ideas on each one’s individual blogs- what ideas come individually and what do we have in common.  We need to produce a short debate and summarize it for next week’s seminar.

Take care!

“I hate Starbucks! Do you?”

Hello again!

We asked 23 people the same question:  ”We hate Starbucks! Do you?”. We came up with the following results:

Who answered  YES:   – 3 men
-5 women

Melissa- 35, female, youth worker- I hate Starbucks! comments: “It’s overpriced and has no individual feel.”

Who said NO:    -8 men
-7 women

James – 17, male, school student/skateboarder – I love Starbucks! comments: “The frappucinos are awesome! I get one when I take a break from skateboarding in town.”

Mark- 45, male, manager- I love Starbucks! comments: “Love going to get a coffee and sit and read the paper.”

The age of the people we questioned can be placed between <18,  18-25, 26-35 and 36-45.

In what concerns ethnicity,  we came across different backgrounds:

The chart above reveals the following:   10 White British
7 Other white background
3 Black Caribbean
2 Black British
1 Mixed white British and Japanese

Asking them about their occupation gave us an idea on what occupational group each of them belongs:

As you can see, the majority can be categorised as class E, represented by students (18), then we have the C1 (3) and B (2) class.

Don’t forget to write on your own blogs the analysis concerning the results above!

Have a sunny day:)

Insure just to be sure!

During our last Media and Communication seminar, we were asked to pick a media item and answer some questions about it.

We chosen an ad from Centraal Beheer: “Acupuncture”, probably because of the way its creativity managed to make us smile without being of bad taste.

Centraal Beheer: “Acupuncture” (2007)

“Centraal Beheer Achmea, an insurance company based in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, is part of Achmea, the largest insurance company in the country. It is usually referred to as “Apeldoorn”. Won a Bronze Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2007 with ‘Acupuncture’ (Accupunctuur), part of “Let’s Call Apeldoorn” campaign. The fifteen-year-long campaign, developed at DDB Amsterdam, has produced a number of award-winning commercials. Centraal Beheer Achmea currently hosts 44 television advertisements from the last fifteen years.” (Wikipedia)

The Centraal Beheer Acupuncture ad was developed at DDB Amsterdam by creatives Dylan De Backer, Joris Kuijpers, Andre Dammers, agency producer Vanessa Janssen, account supervisor Herberth Samsom.

Agency: DDB/Amsterdam

Production Company: CZAR/Amsterdam
Director: Bart Timmer
DP: Patrick Duroux
Producer: Sybrig Stork

Creatives: Dylan De Backer, Joris Kuijpers, Andre Dammers
Agency Producer: Vanessa Janssen
Editor: Marc Bechtold
Post/Effects: Nozon/Brussels
Online: James Vanderhaeghen
Music: Massive Music/Amsterdam
Sound Design: Earforce/Amsterdam
Shoot Location: Bangkok

The Achmea company:

Industry: Insurance

Type : Privately Held

Status: Operating

Company size: 22,000 employees

Founded: 1811

Gross Written Premiums: €17.9 billion (2008)

Other Centraal Beheer commercial: