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Popular Music Promotion

Stephen Hill | Monday April 19, 2010

Categories: GCSE, Eduqas (WJEC) GCSE, WJEC GCSE Media Studies, A Level, OCR A Level, OCR A2, OCR AS, Hot Entries, Music, British Pop Music, Music Promotion, Other Topics, Television, Pop Music on TV

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Joe McElderry and Rage Against the Machine: a most unlikely chart battle!

In this scheme of work Stephen Hill compares the campaign for Joe McElderry’s ‘The Climb’ (UK number two, Christmas 2009) and Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’ (UK number one, Christmas 2009). He considers the ways in which the marketing of the two songs reflects very different strategies for the promotion of pop music in the 21st Century.

This is explored in relation to the key concepts of audience, institution, forms and conventions and representations. In particular, detailed consideration is given to the synergy between television and digital media in the promotion of pop-product and the role of Web 2 and social networking in shaping the direction of media consumption.

Each lesson is hyperlinked to appropriate online resources, features colour illustrations, lesson objectives, activities and discussion points. At the end of the sequence it is anticipated that students could write a comparative analysis of the campaign and complete a portfolio of practical tasks including a photo shoot, magazine cover and design for a web-site homepage.

Lesson One: Introducing Joe McElderry and Rage Against the Machine

Objective: to explore the importance of audience in the promotion of popular music.

The competition between X factor finalist Joe McElderry and American rockers Rage Against the Machine to be Christmas Number One provoked one of the fiercest chart battles of the Noughties. Not since the infamous race between Blur and Oasis at the height of the Brit Pop era has the country been so gripped by the British singles chart. Indeed, with the death of Top of the Pops and Smash Hits in 2006 suggesting a decline of interest in the mainstream, few people would have predicted that the decade would close with such a high profile pop contest!

Of course, a lot has changed in the past four years. The early...

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