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Demographics

Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 7, 2019
likes!

Who's it for?

In writing instructional books, there used to be this bit about deciding who your story/screenplay/series is FOR. This is a notion used in the industry (so I've read) to figure out who the audience is going to be for a given project. In general terms, is this thing for young men? Young women? Kids? Adult women? Adult men? Cacti?

We've talked about the big franchises that seem to be dividing the fanbases and alienating the hardcore supporters. I've heard accusations toward several of them (I think it was specifically talking about Star Trek Discovery) that they seem to have purposely turned their backs on the ‘old’ fans, and decided to cater to a group of people who a/ love the JJ Abrahams reimagining of the series and b/ want to watch a Star Trek series with that sensibility.

The original and even the Next Generation fans - they were abandoned in favor of a dark, violent, almost fantasy-based thing, with a ham-fisted “progressive” paint job.

Hey, at least that TNG vibe lives on in The Orville!

I guess as far as web comics go, it's up to individual creator to do something YOU love (in fact, that's probably essential! You want to keep yourself interested in what you're doing, or what's the point?).

Beyond that, it's up to you if you're making something for one friend, a small group of people who know you, or whoever happens to click on your comic.

But when it comes to promoting, giving some thought to what tones and what genres you're doing is a good idea. You'll know which websites to advertise on, what kinds of fans would like your thing, and how to choose thumbnail images and fonts and stuff (and to be able to correct if you go off course).

The problem with the Trek of it all, and other big franchises that targeted a ‘new’ demographic -

Sometimes that demographic doesn't exist!

You can try to sell to whatever demo you like - but the imaginary demo? They don't pay the bills.

Have a good one,

Banes

comment

anonymous?

ShaRose49 at 7:04AM, Nov. 8, 2019

I’d like to think that S&B isn’t a super dark story, but it definitely does have mature themes, so very roughly the target demographic is teens and adults, but I feel like the people who will enjoy it the most in the general world would probably be men, since it seems like women generally prefer stories with a very different tone, however I’m aware that plenty of my readers are women, but I keep in mind that those readers are also creators like me, not necessarily the general public. I could also see more nerdy women liking it though, (like me). This is something I don’t know much about though, so my predictions could be off.

entropy0013 at 6:14PM, Nov. 7, 2019

Demographics a data points with too much voodoo with it. My series has 2 left handed starbucks coffee drinkers but neither orders the same drink? That's interesting but does it really tell you why they like the story?

El Cid at 3:22PM, Nov. 7, 2019

I hear they're revamping WWE Wrestling to appeal more to cooking enthusiasts. Their audience will double, guaranteed!

Kou the Mad at 2:01PM, Nov. 7, 2019

It's for the readers, someone complains about a work but never so much as read it, why care what they think? Kind of a major problem nowadays, I think success of the movie 'Joker' is a great example of this. Some people complained about it, those people were ignored, they made money.

Abt_Nihil at 10:19AM, Nov. 7, 2019

Nope, I‘m afraid I can‘t handle Seth MacFarlane... or even worse, I‘ll start to like him! ;p

Banes at 8:38AM, Nov. 7, 2019

@Abt - Have you seen the Orville yet?

Abt_Nihil at 8:13AM, Nov. 7, 2019

Banes: Thanks for understanding :) I can relate a little too well, maybe... I just feel the danger that the overall negativity overshadows the positive reactions we should nurture to works of art in general, and that we should make more of an effort to try to enjoy them or at least criticize them based on their own merits, rather than in terms of our expectations (or, again speaking from my own experience, in terms of our neurotic attachments). For example, I am a huge fan of Star Trek TNG, and as such, Discovery doesn't hold a candle. But, seeing it as its own thing, I can look past some of the heavy-handedness and get some entertainment out of it.

Banes at 7:57AM, Nov. 7, 2019

@marcorossi - that sucks! I guess he was trying to help, but for cryin' out loud! We can read whatever we want!

Banes at 7:57AM, Nov. 7, 2019

@marcorossi - I agree that it's more about genre than trying to target specific demographics. I liked what you said about the different points of view, that could be immersive and reflect what the audience is experiencing, as opposed to standing outside the experience and criticizing it. Very interesting! I didn't understand everything you said there.

Banes at 7:57AM, Nov. 7, 2019

@Andreas - same here. I went in making something that I like, and just started posting, looking to see if anyone else would like it. It was for me, and whoever happened to come and like it. I wanted readers, but I didn't gear it to any particular 'type'.

Banes at 7:57AM, Nov. 7, 2019

@Abt - the fact is, too, that fans ARE helpless to control what the owners do with these franchises. Unless they use their voices. I do support that, in politics as well as in entertainment.

Banes at 7:13AM, Nov. 7, 2019

@Abt - thanks for the kind words; I appreciate that. I'm of two minds on it I guess. On the one hand, I think the negativity is kind of addictive, and I find my procrastination on making my own stuff gets much worse when I'm focused on complaining about movies. I would like to pull away from that kind of thinking in general. On the other, it's cathartic to vent about this stuff. Most of these rebooted/refreshed franchises I don't care much about, honestly. I hold on to what I love and don't bother with the rest. The Star Wars one hurts, with what I perceive as disrespect to the original characters and actors, and to the fans as well. I would like to get over it, though. Almost there! xD

Banes at 7:02AM, Nov. 7, 2019

@Gunwallace - as long as I made my point!

marcorossi at 4:42AM, Nov. 7, 2019

Slightly relevant: a few days ago I was at Lucca comics (an important comicon in Italy) at the indie comics stand, and I bought a book that was clearly for kids in terms of story, but I really liked the drawings. The guy at the stall tried to push me into buying one of two other comics INSTEAD of it, assuming that since I'm a bearded man in his 40s I would have been more interested in crime/darker stories. In the end I bought the kid book anyway, because the draweing style was very different.

marcorossi at 4:39AM, Nov. 7, 2019

IMHO, the "target demographic" is just another name for "genre". For example, I remember in the 80s many horror movies that were clearly targeted to teenagers, so had mostly teenaged characters, who saw sex as something mysterious and sinful etc. On the other hand, if one was to film a "cultural" movie about, say, the loss of innocence of teenagers in the facebook age, s/he would use a totally different style and the movie would be targeted to adults (possibly culturally critical adults). But in reality the same person can like bot movies, he or she will just switch for the first movie in the "teenager cant movie" interpretive stance, and for the second movie in the "oh I'm so cultural" interpretive stance. So In the end "target demograohic" mostly mean different styles or narrative tones.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 3:24AM, Nov. 7, 2019

Me - I don't bother cultivating any specific demographic. I just create whatever I like, tell whatever story I like and explore whatever theme I have in mind for anyone to browse at their own volition^^

Abt_Nihil at 2:23AM, Nov. 7, 2019

Sees the link on the main page: Oh, a post by Banes, I like posts by Banes. Reads the title: Oh, it's about demographics - Banes probably has something interesting to say about that, as he usually does. Clicks the link, reads the post: Why does every newspost these days have to be a one-sided rant about how franchises purportedly alienate and exploit their poor, innocent, helpless fans? T__T

Gunwallace at 12:33AM, Nov. 7, 2019

Cacti? That was a little prickly, even for you.


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