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Analyse The Scoreand Drugs the Factslooking at how genres have been used and subverted in these leaflets to attract specific target audiences. How effective is this?

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Introduction

Analyse The Score and Drugs the Facts looking at how genres have been used and subverted in these leaflets to attract specific target audiences. How effective is this? Drugs the Facts is a small leaflet produced by the Health Education Authority (HEA) to discourage persuasively eleven to fourteen-year-olds from using drugs. The Score is a larger leaflet also produced by the HEA, aimed at educating fourteen to eighteen-year-olds about the dangers of drugs and how to handle situations involving them. The Government run the HEA and the National Drugs Helpline. Both leaflets have subverted the well-known genre of teenage magazines to appeal to their audiences. Unfortunately, some of the methods of subversion applied appear demeaning, patronising or even 'cheesy'. Teenage magazines are aimed at selling products through the many advertisements between the articles. Teenagers feel as though they can 'relate' to these magazines because the magazines act as if they are their 'friends'. The magazines consciously promote clothes, music and lifestyles that appeal to teenagers who buy them. The companies writing the magazines want their audiences to feel this so they can be more easily influenced into responding to the adverts they carry. Drugs the Facts is designed to represent and appeal to a demographic group of eleven to fourteen year olds. ...read more.

Middle

This may be that the Government feels that older teenagers do not need the information emphasised, as they will take in the information they feel is appropriate to them, whereas younger teenagers need the information to be accentuated in order for them to take any of it in because they have shorter attention spans. In the drug 'profiles', Drugs the Facts have more 'slang' names for the drugs than The Score. This may be because it is an institutional belief that older teenagers will already know many of the colloquial terms used for the drugs, or the people reading Drugs the Facts will not be familiar with many of these names, and so need to be educated about such things. The leaflets contain a lot of the same information, yet all of it is presented in very different ways in order to appeal to the target audiences. Both contain information on the first aid recovery position, the laws of drugs, and problems people have about drugs, but all the information is presented in many different ways in order to interest different audiences. The codes of gesture and expression on the 'No Problem!' page in The Score are very different to the problem page in Drugs the Facts. The models in The Score are all making eye contact with the reader, unlike in Drugs the Facts, where none of the models are. ...read more.

Conclusion

The subconscious conventions used are very effective in that they may frighten the reader into not using drugs, subliminally reminding them of prisons, dark nights and hallucinations. The HEA has subverted the well-known genre of teenage magazines to manipulate the audience into thinking that the leaflets are entertaining. They have exploited the teenage familiarity with the entertainment genre in order to allow the teenagers to relate and take in the information provided. They achieve this effect by stealth, using images and layouts that subconsciously remind the target audience of ideas, both frightening and familiar, to persuade them to be aware of and change their opinions or actions in situations containing drugs. Teenage magazines are aimed to sell products, such as hair products or makeup. The leaflets have subverted this genre by not advertising beauty products, but "advertising" the prevention of drugs abuse. Arguably, the information about drugs presented in The Score is more effective than in Drugs the Facts because it is less confusing, and laid out in a way in which the reader can easily understand. Drugs the Facts may well overwhelm the reader with bright colours and slanted layouts, although its information is appealing and educational to its demographic group. However, even more successful is The Score, containing a subtle mixture of complex and colloquial communication, slick production values and only slightly marred by the stereotypical teenage portrayals in the photo storyboards. Catriona Howie English Media Essay Ms Sutcliffe i ...read more.

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