BCM240- Reflective Analysis

BCM240- Reflective Analysis

Creating a digital story project was changeling but also an awarding experience within this subject of BCM240, media, audience and place. The process of choosing a topic was long and tedious; though I knew I wanted to make sure that in order to meet all the essential criteria, I was choosing the right topic, and platforms available. Growing up in a generation so reliant on technology, particularly smart phones have always caught my interest. This modern technology has given us endless access to multiple platforms and various new skills. Everywhere you go, whether that be waiting on the bus or queuing in a line at a café and even in a classroom, people are addicted to the idea of using their smart phone. This has always caught my attention, particularly with the concern on what these smart phones may be doing to our society and within us. This led me choosing the subject FOMO, also known as, the fear of missing out. Framing my research question around the subject, Is FOMO Fueling your social media addiction?                                                                                                                                          


I chose to conduct my research by interviewing one person, in order to gain knowledge and insight in how a person can be affected by FOMO in their daily lives. The main objective of this project was to create a common connection between the interviewee and the viewer, particularly when watching the video through the chosen platform of iMovie. I found this method to be suitable for this topic, considering it is based on the idea of modern technology. The main objective of using this method was to make sure the viewer could understand the content of the video by including relevant sources.

Learning development /Challenges:

Through this assessment it become clear to me of Torsten Hagerstrand theory of restriction. Particularly when I found myself thinking, can I finish this project in time? , Can my interviewee make it on this day? , Will I have enough time to learn a new media platform with approaching deadlines? These were all concerns and challenges that surfaced within this project. Having an influence in the way in which I chose to conduct my digital story , making decisions in order to meet the project deadline.

During this assignment I have learnt a great deal about the platform iMovie in order to create a video, to be featured on my WordPress site. I knew I would have to challenge myself, in order to use the right platform for this project, one that would benefit my digital story. It is for that reason why I chose to challenge myself to gain new skills through IMovie. Allowing my project to be easily sharable and easy to access for followers found on my blog and for my interviewee to gain access to the final project, creating a sense of connectivity. This was illustrated through positive feedback and encouragement from my teachers and fellow class members. Using this platform has led me to discover that I have a key interest in filming, making this a platform in which I will choose to pursue in the future, as I find this process enjoyable.

However, I learnt when creating a digital project it’s a good idea to create a time schedule; this allowed me not to rush my project , having more time to learn the essential skills of IMovie and video making, this was proven to be difficult and long process. This showed my weakness of video editing, however this weakness enabled myself to establish problem-solving skills. If I was allowed more time and we weren’t restricted by a word count or time frame, I would like to peruse this project in the future with the notion of using more then one person for the interview. This would be interesting to see the different opinions on the matter of FOMO and social media, gaining different perspective on the topic, making it useful for future practices.

Usefulness to media industries:

Ethnography research is relevant to media studies and media industries. As stated by Ganti (2014) ethnography isn’t just about interviewing people, it’s about paying attention to the everyday life, to make an observation (Ganti, 2014). Its important to conduct an ethnographic approach to media production, it enables you to understand your audience and their culture making this an important and useful factor in media industries, a technique I ensured to use in my project. Focusing on the youth culture and how they viewed and watch content on social media. As Ganti (2014) illustrates, “Ethnography grounds the study of media in a specific time and space and offers insights into the process, possibilities, and constraints of media production”

 What I took away from completing this project:

The two most significant things that I took away from this project is understanding the importance of conducting relevant research and time management for a project this size. Researching and establishing questions before the interview, made the process of creating a story line easy to develop, which in return made the interviewee feel more relaxed. This enabled the film process to go smoother and quicker, which in return respects their time and wellbeing. Overall this project and subject, has taught me about the importance of media, audience and place, while also giving me the confidence to go and learn new skills that may be required within this degree or for future jobs in this field.


*Briefly I would like to thank my interviewee Ashleigh, who took some time out of her busy days in order for me to film and interview her for this project-Thank you *



Ganti, T 2014, ‘The value of Ethnography’, Media industries journal, vol.1 no. 1, viewed 26th October 2016, <http://www.mediaindustriesjournal.org/index.php/mij/article/view/21&gt;.


For a generation based on multitaskers, were lousy at multitasking

For a generation based on multitaskers, were lousy at multitasking

Is Media multitasking making us less likely to remember or retain information? There now an overabundance of evidence that suggest multitasking is bad for your brain, productivity and stress levels. Though the concern about young people use of technology is nothing new. Scientist and academics are highly worried about the affects media multitasking can bring to a person attention span when trying to complete major tasks. Generation Y ability to attend to multiple streams of information and entertainment while studying, doing our homework, or even sitting in class has become common behavior among our generation. Our lives are full of distraction and gadgets that vibrant, flash, buzz, beep, news headlines that are limited to 140 characters, which have the ability to evolve a conversations through the form of emjois. These new ways of communicating have made their way into our everyday practice of our modern lives. Distracting us from any task we may be facing, some of us can handle it well while others tend to struggle.


It been highlighted through the News Daily that researcher John Medina a molecular biologist found that multitaskers made twice as many errors, and took 50 per cent longer to complete a single task (cited by Bowden, 2014). Medina claims that their productivity almost halved compared to people working on a single task (cited by Bowden, 2014). Though Bowden (2014) highlights that in some cases multitasking can occasionally be a good thing. Through a study conducted by University of New South Wales, a economic professor Dr . Gigi Foster found (Bowden, 2014) that multitasking might actually be good for people doing tasks that don’t require a lot of concentration. Illustrating that it reduces stress and boost productivity in task that your passionate about. However there is negative concerning the impacts of multitasking, Bowden (2014) states “the average time we spend on a task before being interrupted is just over a minute, and the average person will check their phone 150 times a day”.


In a study conducted by Stanford University found people who where able to multitask had trouble concentrating and struggled to recall information. Their research study put 100 students through a series of three selective tasks, which heavily realizes on media multitaskers. One researcher who operated this experiment Professor Cliffos Nass stated “they’re suckers for irrelevancy, everything distracts them”(cited by Gorlick, 2009). The study theory was based off the hypothesis that high multitaskers couldn’t ignore things that where happening around them. Researchers assumed this was because they where better at storing and organizing information instead (Gorlick, 2009). However what was interesting is that during the conduction of the test they where proven wrong. The high multitiaskers did a bad job at remembering a repeat pattern of a sequence of letters (Gorlick, 2009). What was interesting was their study showed that low multitaskers where able to do a great job at remembering the pattern sequence (Gorlick, 2009). They concluded that their studies proved multitasking is essential in our 21st century lives. However they acknowledge that not enough is known about how to help workers or students to multitask effectively in order to prepare young people to master the skill (Wallis, 2010, p.10).


The medical daily reported that the “human attention span shortens to 8 seconds due to digital technology” (Borreli , 2015) stating that the rise of gadgets in our digital era has led to a huge decline in our human attention span , claiming that it is now less then a goldfish. Even Microsoft conducted their own study to understand why the impact of digital technology has affected our attention spans. Their Finding revealed that the human attention span has fallen from the average of 12 seconds to eight in the space of sixteen years (Borreli , 2015) , particularly in the age bracket of 18-34 year olds. Highlighting that the average person shifts their attention between their smartphone, tablet and laptop 21 times in an hour. This suggests the human attention span is smaller due to the growing presence of these gadgets (Borreli , 2015).

For this week task I decided to construct my own small study on the concerns of our attention span, testing the above theories. To do receive and achieve the right data I needed to set up two tests. The first test was designed to test the participant’s perception and awareness. This was conducted by choosing two participants from different generations to watch the same perception video. I used my Father John Brunton aged 52(gen x ) and my brother Ryan Brunton 24 (gen y) (who both kindly gave me permission to use their name in this blog). Their task was to watch the video and report back on how many changes they found during the video. However while watching this video their were many distraction around them, the TV, my dog, cellphones going off and the home phone. I wanted to see if they could ignore these factors and concentrate on the video. What was proven is that my brother was able to focus on the task quite well; he managed to pick up the most changes within the video. While my father struggled, focusing more one the plot line of the video then the task he was given. Proving that gen y even with the distraction was able to concentrate on the task in front of him.


The second test was designed to test their multitasking abilities, by choosing a TV show they both really enjoyed. Their task was to watch both of these show and repeat a sentence back to me, a sentence that would be given at any time. The purpose of this test is to examine if a person can multitask and provide their full concentration to a job. The participant’s first TV shows was an episode from the ABC Gruen, a selection made from my father followed through with the TV show Suits, chosen by Ryan. What was shown was that my father after a short period of time, was able to repeat back a sentence to me in the right order while watching his TV show. When forced to watch my brothers TV choice, John response was quicker and correct. However, when it was Ryan turn to repeat back the sentence while watching dad selection, he was able to respond quicker and correctly. Though when watching his own selection he wasn’t able to communicate the sentence back to me in the right order. These test proved that with the existing research above younger generations are more likely to be distracted by a situation. Especially if the situation is deemed more important then the task they are trying to complete.


As always all the best

Chelsea x

enjoy this video about how phones took over our social lives





References :

Bowden, E 2014, ‘Think multitasking is productive? Think again,’ The New daily, 30th October, viewed 16th September, <http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/work/2014/10/30/think-productive-multi-tasker-think/&gt;


Borreli, L 2015, ‘Human attention span shortens to 8 seconds due to digital technology:3 ways to stay focused,’ Medical daily, 14th May, viewed 16th September, <http://www.medicaldaily.com/human-attention-span-shortens-8-seconds-due-digital-technology-3-ways-stay-focused-333474


Gorlick, A 2009, ‘Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows,’ Stanford News, 24th August, viewed 16th September, <http://news.stanford.edu/2009/08/24/multitask-research-study-082409/&gt;.


Wallis,C 2010, ‘The impacts of Media Multitasking on children’s learning and development’, A report from a research seminar, Stanford University, New york, January, viewed 16th September 2016, <http://multitasking.stanford.edu/MM_FinalReport_030510.pdf&gt;.

My preliminary proposal for my ethnographic or narrative research project

My preliminary proposal for my ethnographic or narrative research project

Digital storytelling is a movement that has been evolved from being socially aware of people stories around us. Though the main aim is not in how the story is produced but most importantly expressing and exchanging stories “made from the fragmentary, often painful, stuff of everyday life”(Couldry et al., 2015,p.2) Using the concept of a “story circle” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.2) Where the participants and the producer sit facing each other, focusing and listening to what each other has to say in order to produce fully committed stories. Which in words of Nick Couldry made this theory concrete within digital storytelling (Couldry et al., 2015,p.2). Digital storytelling allows us as stated by Lambert to “sort out new solutions, by reframing our diverse connections to the big story (cited in Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Though there are rules to follow, firstly we must know how digital storytelling contexts and process of production become associated with certain practices and styles (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Secondly, how the outputs of digital storytelling practices are circulated and recirculated between various sites, and exchanged between various audiences and institutions (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Thirdly, we must acknowledge the long-term consequences of digital storytelling in particular when we included different types of people especially from particular locations (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Focusing on the consequences that the story may impact on the wider “social and cultural formations, even for democracy itself” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). This is where the term of digital “storycircle” captures all the above roles and levels (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3) by offering a sense of communities of practices as stated by Wenger in 1998 (cited by Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Story digital storytelling can serve as a principle tool for enabling and deepening mutual recognition as explained by Honneth in 2007(cited by Couldry et al., 2015,p.5). By offering a useful ways to share different perspectives through the powerful tool of digital storytelling. Using the process of narrative exchange under digital conditions (Couldry et al., 2015,p.5).


The medium in which you choose to show your digital storytelling is not crucial, the storytelling elements can be images, film, blogs, tweets, webpages and weblinks as explained by Nick Couldry (2015,pp.5-6.). What matters the most is how it is interlinked and focuses on the practice of “working together to show each other how we live” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.6). Highlighting the important part of digital storytelling is that it has the ability to “bring multiple medias together” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.6). It’s important to use a methodology that is collaborative throughout the project adopting a collaborative action research methodology (Couldry et al., 2015,p.8) in Nick Couldry own research he took the approach of using interviews and meeting functions as a way to gather participants reflections about the research and receive feedback and suggestions to “collaboratively plan further action” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.9). They used the tools of twitter, and a website, online surveys on the perspectives of social and mobile media to develop their digital story (Couldry et al., 2015,p.9). Nick Couldry highlights technology found online such as Twitter as a means of digital storytelling creates a communication space, which allows a degree “of visibility and mutual awareness that is not achievable through face-to face- communication alone” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.9). Stating by working with a digital platform allows the researcher to work along side their partner to produce a digital story.


Choosing and identifying a story is significant, Couldry suggest choosing one based on attributes of space / time and then displaying them on a web-based graphic interface (Couldry et al., 2015,p.14). Displaying the narrative somewhere where the information and data collected can be easily presented accessed online for the participants and public (Couldry et al. , 2015,p.15) for example you-tube or a Facebook page. Couldry (2015,p.16) gives the example of using the function of Flicker to geocode photographic images of camps located in North Wales, Isle of Man and Yorkshire. By doing so they have created a timeline, a timeline that “pulled stories about camps separated in time and space into a common frame” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.16). Thus creating a digital storyline that is accessible and creating mutual “recognition across generations” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.16). Highlighting that collective stories do not “consist of a singular perspective but can be interpreted from multiple perspectives” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.17), exploring the relations between them.


Nick Couldry mentions an important regarding the notion of story telling that involves digital storytelling, claiming “that digital storycircles can deal not just accumulations of individuals stories, but, more subtly, with potential conflicts an tensions within sets of stores from different space times” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.18). Illustrating the storyteller voice is important to the story (Couldry et al., 2015,p.18), capturing the essence of the narrator and the unique character and the connection to the lived experience as mentioned by Lambert (2008)(cited by Couldry et al., 2015,p.18).

Reading this week text “Constructing a digital storycircle: digital infrastructure and mutual recognition” by Nick Couldry et al (2015) enlightened me into what I might consider to do for my ethnographic / narrative research digital story project. I want to follow a story through the use of photographs and interviews, thus enabling myself to create a story timeline. This will be displayed through either the media platform WordPress or a YouTube clip of my interviewee. The topic I’m considering for this project is the impact of media technology throughout the generations. Particularly the impact of  new media technologies and their use in our education, gathering different opinions from each generation. However this is just a rough idea and the story context has not yet to be fully established or chosen. If you have any advice for me let me know ,  however I will keep you posted on my progress.


As always, all the best

Chelsea x




Couldry, N, MacDonald, R, Stephansen, H, Clark, W, Dickens, L, & Fotopoulou, A 2015, ‘Constructing a digital storycircle: Digital infrastructure and mutual recognition’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 1-30.



Street photography and did i mention ethics?

Street photography and did i mention ethics?


As I sat in a car park waiting and jamming out to music, I quickly looked up and noticed this girl standing there patiently on her phone, escaping reality. As I started to piece together her life I suddenly knew this would be a perfect opportunity for me to write this week blog task. Focusing on the issue of pubic spaces as an ethical dilemma, particularly the issue of taking a photograph of someone using or watching media in a public space. As I continued to watch her I began to question myself was it ethically right to take this photo, should I be doing this? Was it legal? . It all just felt uneasy, like I was invading someone personal space, entering into their world for just that brief moment. Though according to the Arts Law Center of Australia (2016,p1) I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I wasn’t capturing a photo of a child under 16, I wasn’t on private property, I needed no permission for her to take this photograph, what a scary thought that is. I was allowed to capture this moment as along as it was in a public space. It was illustrated through the Arts Law center (2016,p.1) that there is no personality / publicity rights here in Australia and there is no right to privacy that protects a persons image (Arts Law Centre, 2016,p.1). Meaning you and I don’t have the right to own the picture of our face in a public area if a picture is taken and used for other purposes.


(Source:Telegraph UK & Photographer : Stuart Beesley)

Australia has no specific law aimed at preventing the unauthorized use of your image, however there are circumstances in how your image is used. For instance if this image damages or injures your reputation or others you can claim for defamation. From here the photograph will be tested on whether the publication of the photograph is defamatory (Arts Law Center, 2016,pp.1-2). Another option is the Australian Consumer Law where Sate fair-trading prohibits the act of misleading and deceiving a person through commercial conduct. In order to claim, a person will need to show that the use of the image would mislead or deceive the public (Arts Law Center, 2016,p.2). Thirdly, there is no general right of privacy in Australia meaning if I wanted to take a photo, I don’t need to receive any personal consent first before capturing your image, nor does the individual have the right to stop her image being recorded (Arts Law Center, 2016,p.3). For example when capturing the image of the girl above, I followed the law. I didn’t risk her reputation, nor did I go and deceive her through commercial conduct. Everything was perfectly legal.

Though the questions remains just because it legal for me to capture an individual in a public space, shouldn’t we consider ethical values? As researchers and blog writers, Shouldn’t we follow a set of ethical guidelines and do what is morally right? For example the case study of drones, which are used to record and locate people. However, with street photography what are the ethical guidelines? Frist off it is best to treat the person you are photographing as a human as silly as that may sound, but to treat the individual as an equal. Question yourself and think would I like this if our roles where reversed? . Kim (2011) suggests talking to the person you are capturing, engage with them. Enter their lives for just that brief moment; make them feel comfortable by asking for consent before taking an image, particularly if the image is going to be displayed on a public website. A feeling Joerg Colberg (2013) feels strongly about quoting, “Photographers need to be aware of the ethics of their endeavor”(2013).

In my instances I approached this girl in the above picture in the end. Her name is Molly and she was waiting for her sister to pick her up after work. I kindly showed her the picture I took of her while she was using her phone. I explained that this was purely for educational purposes, in which would later be posted on my WordPress site. As anyone could image her reaction was priceless but sweetly she agreed to it. I quickly gave her my URL to my blog for her to read and follow up on, so molly if you’re reading this, I hope I’m doing you justice and THANKYOU for helping me. As Colberg highlights “having photographs in public spaces taken without permission poses a challenge for photography” (2013). It’s up to us as researchers to decided what is ethically right; create boundaries and a code of ethics for us to follow.

Though public photography makes for easier and effective research regarding public space ethnography , have a read of this research paper to understand . It gives us, the researcher, the chance to study and record how people live in their culture or their traditions. It gives us the opportunity to understand and share their beliefs along as we follow our codes of ethics, in order to prevent harm to that culture. In a way I think this safeguards are work, where we are able to know what is ethically right and follow it, making sure our work is sound and trust worthy.

 I would love to hear your thoughts , please feel free to leave a comment below .

All the best , Chelsea


Colberg, J 2013, A photo of a man I took downtown that he asked me to delete. I did. , Conscientious extended, weblog post, 3rd April, viewed 1st September 2016, <http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/extended/archives/the_ethics_of_street_photography/&gt;.

Kim, E 2011, Are there any Ethics in street Photography? , Erickimphotography, weblog post, 26th February, viewed 1st September 2016, <http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/01/26/are-there-any-ethics-in-street-photography/&gt;.

Arts Law Centre of Australia  2016, Street Photographer’s rights information sheet, Australian National Community legal centre of the arts, viewed 1st  September  2016, <https://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/street-photographers-rights/&gt;.


Week 5 – Ideate stage

This week i came up with three concepts for my design major all focusing around the issue of pill testing in Australians music festivals . The first concept was designed on the Type and illustration , testing out if type and illustration would be the best option . Here i chose to focus on a poster , using the idea of creating a poster that was factual , creating a vibrant , memorable and attractive poster in order to capture the audience attention. Placing the designs of the poster into a mock up in order to test out if this design technique would work the best. screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-38-06-pm

Concept Two focused on the technique of using typography as the main design element.Testing out if this would be the better option to follow , in order to create a design that is visual , bold , modern and fun . Focusing on these qualities in order to attract an audience.


Concept Three : focused on using paraody as the main design element , testing out to see if this theory will work within my major work , this technique looks at making the project visual , attractive , illusion and a fantasy . Focusing on how fantasy isn’t reality , making reference to how in life things can go wrong , particularly  when you decided to take a risk with your life by taking drugs .Hoping to emphases just because you think it isn’t going to happen to you , thats a fantasy , in real life a risk could end horrible highlighting that in real life their are consequences.




  • 4x a2 posters campaigns displayed on the wall hanging 1.5 below the ceiling using bull dog clips
  • A3 Info- graphic poster also showcased on the wall mounted on foam core board using command hooks.
  • Social media advertising showcased in a portfolio showing mockups
  • 3x a3 Mockups of the poster at the location splendor and the grass , mounted on foam core using command hooks

Critical Incident : After creation of three concepts it deemed appropriate to use concept three of parody for my major project , as it gained the most attraction from viewers and got the most responses.

Key research facts – Week 4

Main Research Focus : The primary focus for this major project is too use illustration and typography as a way to investigate if fantasy illustration and parody can be used to influence behavior as a message for harm prevention. The project topic is based around the affects of drugs on the youth particularly the drug usage found at popular music festivals such as Splendor in the grass located in Byron Bay NSW.

key points : 

  • Ecstasy-related deaths are a growing problem at Australian music festivals. They can be attributed to attendees’ nonchalance towards the dangers of this drug, plus the fact that the pills they purchase are not quite what they expect. From a call for increased awareness to on-site pill analysis, learn what can be done to protect yourself (The Cabin, 2016)
  • Tragic drug-related deaths have become a growing problem for young Australians, with six deaths last year at music festivals alone.(The Cabin, 2016)
  • The 2014 United Nations World Drug Report found Australians had the world’s highest rate of ecstasy consumption. (The Cabin, 2016)
  • Earlier this year, a series of deaths and a spike in hospital admissions related to ecstasy prompted a renewed push by some doctors and drug law reform groups for a trial of drug testing at festivals (The Cabin, 2016)
  • According to the Sydney Morning Herald (2015)  Australia is the worst leaders for drug use , “More than 40 per cent of us have used drugs illicitly and we have one of the highest rates of illegal use per capita despite also having some of the most expensive prices”(Ting , 2015).
  • In 2015, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported 27 percent of Australians aged 20-29 had used illicit drugs in the preceding 12 months, with eight percent having used ecstasy in that period (The Cabin, 2016)
  • Splendour In The Grass festival netted 323 people in possession of illicit substances including cannabis, ice, MDMA and cocaine (Ting, 2015).


    screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-00-23-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-00-31-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-00-39-pmDisney competitive set screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-00-47-pmCompetitive sets : screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-01-00-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-01-09-pmSecondly i studied and took inspiration from previous designers work who have worked with the idea of parody and fantasy to be used in a campaign about health , particularly drug use at festivals. These were the designer of:

  • Chris Van Rooyen , who designed a drug awareness campaign , by creating an sos booklet about everything to know about drugs at music festivals , creating a guide / safety booklet. screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-01-18-pm
  • Secondly i researched the designer , Marine Vancampenhourt who created a awareness campaign on the use of excessive drinking, called Once Upon A drink. Using disney and parody  as her main form. screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-01-26-pm 


    In order to create a parody campaign in pill testing i needed to research different characters that are most recognisable among my generation, Gen y and Gen x . these answer came from class discussion and the website : http://www.filmsite.org/100characters1.html

  •  Olaf– Frozen (2013)
  •  Sherk- Sherl (2001)
  • The Genie – Aladdin (1992)
  • Harry Potter
  • Hermione Granger 
  •  Willy Wonka 
  •  Mickey / Minnie Mouse
  •  Alice – Alice In Wonderland
  • Goofy
  • Tinkerbell – Peterpan
  • Nemo 
  • Buzz Lightyear 
  • Dory 
  • Woody


    After extensive research it became obvious that the target audience for this project lied around the age bracket of 17-27 years old. through articles and survey it was deemed that this age was the most influenced to use party drugs at music festivals , they also are the right age that would appreciate the fantasy characters above.

References over the research period : 


Research – week three- choosing Pill testing as my design topic

Research about pill testing :

The primary focuses for this major project is too use illustration and typography as a way to investigate if fantasy illustration can be used to influence behavior as a message for harm prevention. The project topic is based around the affects of drugs on the youth particularly the drug usage found at popular music festivals in Australia, such as Splendor in The Grass, Field day and Falls , located in NSW. According to The Cabin (2016) tragic drug related death is a growing problem for young Australians, recording that six deaths took place last year during the music festival season (The Cabin, 2016). This is due to the rise of synthetic drugs and Ecstasy usage within the youth culture scene such as pubs, club and music festival. Researchers are stating that this may be due to the individual not knowing what ingredients are in the drug, As stated by Dr Burns, “What is concerning about synthetic drugs is that there is great variability in the content of these substances, and often, very little is known about what they actually contain”(Downey, 2012). In 2015, (The Cabin, 2016) the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Drug Strategy Survey highlighted that “27 percent of Australians aged 20-29 years old had used illicit drugs in the preceding 12 months, with eight percent having used ecstasy during that period” (The Cabin, 2016), meaning that Australians had the world’s highest rate of ecstasy consumption even though Australian have the most expensive prices (Ting, 2015). With the rise of drug related tragedies, the government has tried to find ways in which they can limit drug harm at music festivals, particularly after the death of a woman in 2015 that took MDMA at a music festival in Sydney (Mckeith, 2016). Frustrated advocates are now demanding for a solution to this problem in order to bring awareness to the issue (Harris, 2016). This has seen advocates such as doctors and drug reform groups pushing for a trail of drug testing at music festivals as a way to control harm prevention (Metherell, 2016). Though there still remains member of the public and government who aren’t sold on the idea of pill testing, claiming that this will encourage users, to take drugs.



As a response this saw the push of a new drug campaign strategy from the NSW government, with the Stoner Sloth campaign. This ad features a stoned sloth aimed at discouraging teenagers from consuming cannabis, using the tag line “ your worse on weed”(Veness, 2015). The campaign was designed to be appealing and sharable among the youth, who may be frequent users of the drug (Veness, 2015). The campaigns went viral, with more then 4 million hits on YouTube and Facebook (Arlington, 2016). I chose this case study as my main research; to analyses what went wrong and to make a decision as a designer if I could improve upon their strategy within a music festival environment, as a way to examine if the idea of parody works within the target market. As a result, the spokeswoman for the NSW greens drugs and harm Dr.Mehreen Faruqi described the campaign as ridiculous (Arlington, 2016). Questioning the effectiveness of the Stoner Sloth many of whom believed it missed it marked. Claiming that associating a sloth with people being intoxicated may convey a positive appeal to the people being intoxicated rather than the indented negative message as stated by Professor Jan Copeland (Arlington, 2016). Saatchi & Saatchi (Cited in Arlington, 2016) defended the video theme of using parody and humor as a way to spread a message, stating it was made specifically for teens as their main target audience, an ad that isn’t targeted at adults. Arlington (2016) mentions the success of this ad has caused teenagers to talk about the issue of cannabis, though advocates are claiming that the campaign isn’t working among the youth as teenagers are learning the wrong message from viewing the video. Suggesting that the Stoner Sloth “is to cartoony and wired” (Arlington, 2016) that teenagers are just taking the campaign as on big joke (Arlington, 2016), with endless twitter jokes and parody videos. Highlighting that there is a fine line between just the right amounts of parody versus too much, a problem I need to be careful within this project.


Another government campaign, took the approach of using scare tactics of illustrations and photographs to scare drug users in participating in drug use. Using graphic television advertisements such as showing crystal methamphetamine users being raped and threatening to kill their parents. Though researchers found this solution didn’t work, medical reporter Kate Benson (2008) stated teenagers who viewed these advertisements where “four times more likely to approve of using the drug regularly rather then scaring them into avoiding it” (Benson, 2008). Proving that scary illustration don’t work, an approach that will be avoided in this project   as it has been proven not to work for the indented target market within this project.


Another competitor set seen in the United Kingdom took a different approach to their drug related problem, they created a campaign called “Talk to Frank” encouraging their youth to reach out and contact someone when you are at risk (Frank, 2016). However in the USA, their campaign “Above the influence” took the tactic of showing what the youth can do without taking drugs. Their aim was to understand what teenagers who don’t take drugs do in their spare time and advertise those activities, instead of highlighting the use of drugs as there main focus (Above The Influence, 2016).


The artist, Luke Choice and Neil Stevens two graphic designers both use illustration and Typography as a way to visually communicate to their audience through their advertisements and individual projects. Their bright colours and Quirkiness within their designs, makes their success of their work memorable and attractive. An element in which this proposed project needs. These two designers prove that visual illustration and typography can grab an audience attention, a strategy that can effectively communicate an indented message.