For this interview stage I chose 4 different individuals and asked them a series of semi-structured questions which would help my understanding on how magazines influence people's ideas of design and taste. The questions that I asked helped me to gain a deeper knowledge of what influences people's decisions and ideas and why. The subjects that I chose to interview were of different genders, ages, and backgrounds so therefore the outcome of this assignment should not be biased. The series of questions that I asked my subjects are:
1. What magazines do you read?
2. Where do you Read magazines?
3. How often do you watch television or see adverts?
4. Can you think of a particular advertisement being from a magazine or the TV that sticks in your head? If so why?
5. Do you have a favourite brand or shop? If so is this advertised allot in magazines or television?
6. Is fashion important to you?
7. Do you own any product which has had a major impact on your life?
8. What was your last major purchase? Did anything have an influence on you buying this product?
9. Do you have a favourite designer? Are they successful?
The first of my interviewee was a young female design student. Being a young design student fashion and the way she looks is very important to her and I found out more about this after her answering my series of questions. She regularly buys fashion and style magazines and this is a weekly thing. Reading these magazines seemed to be almost part of her weekly routine as she reads them for pleasure in her house. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements whether it being from the television or magazines and this has had an effect on her as she watches televisions for around 5 hours a day and the advert that sticks in her head most is the television advert for one of the fashion magazines that she reads. Her latest purchase was 2 days ago and that was some tops and a necklace which she seen in a magazine. Her loyalty to buying fashionable and specific brands was clear as she often buys from the same shops, probably because these shops' items are advertised regularly in magazines. Alot of the clothes that she buys are modelled on celebrities so being successful could reflect her view on fashion and looking good. It seems that both television and magazines are highly influential on her decisions and tastes in fashion and design.
My second subject was a female primary teacher. She admitted that she is not fashionable because it is not at the top of her priority list. Her main focus is to look after her family and home. She rarely reads magazines but when she does it's mainly ones which are about cooking or the home. She does however read alot of educational newspapers which are obviously about current affairs and the worlds news. When she does buy something new, it's not something that she has seen advertised, just purely bought as a spur of the moment thing. She does watch about 2-3 hours of television a day so she is exposed to advertising but is not affected by them. The brands that she buys are not ones that she has seen advertised but are ones that she has bought for years and if not its one that she's heard a friend recommend.
My third interviewee, a male college student stated that he thinks that he is relatively fashionable and his highly influenced by advertisements. The only magazines that he buys are motoring ones, so he is not highly influenced by adverts in these magazines. The advertisements that he sees are on billboards and television adverts. He does have a favourite brand but that is only because he likes and trusts this brand so is therefore loyal to it. He watches about 3-4hours of television a day so is exposed to advertisements frequently.
My final interviewee is a young male landscape gardener. In his opinion he is fashionable but does not buy any magazines. Neither does he watch much TV, (around an hour a day) so he is not exposed to influential advertisements. However he does do alot of Internet shopping so this is where he see the advertisements that do influence him. He does have his favourite brands and shops but this is only because he has shopped there for years and is loyal to them. His last purchase was a top that he bought in a shop but had seen it advertised on the Internet. This conveys that advertising is everywhere we look even if it's not just in magazines.
After completing this assignment and discussing it I found that magazines are not the only influential form of advertising, as television and the Internet both seem to be just as powerful and if not more. It is obvious to see that the older generation have different priorities for instance the 1st interviewee saves her money for buying new fashionable clothes but the 2nd interviewee will save money for family holidays so it very much selfless because she has different priorities. The older generation understand the value of things and this is reflected in the things that they read like educational newspapers. I found that the younger generation watch alot more television so they are therefore exposed to more visual advertisements. I found that to some extent everyone is brand loyal whether it being that they buy weekly or every 6 months, they still stick with the same brand and this is usually because the brands that they like are well advertised or have a good reputation. One of my questions, (What was your last major purchase and did advertisements influence your decision to buy this?) showed that technological items such as mobile phones, cars, and ipods had the biggest impact on these peoples lives. These are all items which are constantly successfully advertised in magazines, newspapers, television and the Internet.
To conclude i have found that magazines reflect the readers taste and also successfully advertise and sell items which are regarded as "in" or fashionable and this is down to various different reasons for example the models they use, the colours and there front covers. Some readers will not consider price or value for money but will only consider what the magazine and critics have said about the product. In my opinion advertising on the Internet, billboards and television are more influential than magazines as they are viewed more often than magazines, mainly because they are usually free to view.