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Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.




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Black Panther

Star Power


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Disney foregrounds star power within its marketing campaign in order to construct global visibility for the Black Panther Marvel movie. 

It is no accident that Martin Freeman appears within one of the first scenes - his presence generates engagement for a UK based audience who are familiar with Freeman’s work in the Office, and also for a global audience familiar with the hugely successful Hobbit franchise. The use of Kendrick Lamar to write and produce the soundtrack for the film also creates visibility and credibility for black audiences - particularly amongst the film’s younger demographic target. 

Similarly, the lure of Michael B Jordan – known for his role in the hit film, Creed - creates mainstream global interest and reinforces the high-budget credentials of the film. Hesmondhalgh would argue that the use of star power, in this sense, helps to minimise the inherent risks associated with film production - and, significantly, that the formatting of media products using star power helps secure an inherited audience for products.

Star power

Foregrounding the presence of celebrities in a media product. Including star personas brings an inherited audience to a product or is used to suggest high production values.

Media terminology used

Brand visibility

Advertising tactics that increase an audience's awareness and knowledge of a product. Social media campaigns, for example, make products visible in user feeds, telling users the benefits of product use.

Pre-sold audiences

Usually constructed through the use of star power or because a product is heavily marketed as genre driven. Both of these formatting techniques create pre-release fan-based appeals.

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