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ghd and

transmedia
planning
g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

STATEMENT OF ORIGINALITY AND AUTHENTICITY

THIS PROJECT IS AN ORIGINAL AND AUTHENTIC PIECE OF WORK BY MYSELF. I HAVE FULLY

ACKNOWLEDGED AND REFERENCED ALL SECONDARY SOURCES USED. IT HAS NOT BEEN

PRESENTED IN WHOLE OR IN PART FOR ASSESSMENT ELSEWHERE.

I HAVE READ THE EXAMINATION REGULATIONS, AND AM FULLY AWARE OF THE POTENTIAL

CONSEQUENCES OF ANY BREACH IN THEM.

SIGNED _____________________________________ DATE

WORD COUNT (EXCLUDING TABLES, APPENDICES, CONTENTS PAGE AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY):
9773

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 4
INTRODUCTION 5
1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 6
1.1 COMPANY BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION 6
1.2 PREVIOUS BRAND COMMUNICATION 7
1.2.1 BUSINESS POSITIONING FOR THE FUTURE 9
2. AIM AND OBJECTIVES 9
AIM: 9
OBJECTIVES: 9
3. LITERATURE REVIEW 10
3.1 PUSH VS. PULL MODELS AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNET & WEB 2.0 10
3.2 CREATING AND SHARING CONTENT AND VIRAL MARKETING 10
3.3 MEDIA, NARRATIVE AND BRAND ENGAGEMENT 11
3.4 CONTENT SPREADING AND COMMUNITIES 12
3.5 CRITICISMS TO THE LITERATURE 13
4. LITERATURE OVERVIEW 13
5. METHODOLOGY 14
5.1 RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY 14
5.2 RESEARCH APPROACH AND STRATEGY 15
5.2.1Focus Groups 15
5.2.3 Participant Observation 16
5.3EVALUATION METHODS 17
5.4 LIMITATIONS AND DIFFICULTIES 17
6 ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS 18
FOCUS GROUPS 18
6.1 HAIR 18
6.1.1 HAIR RITUALS AND POSSESSIONS 18
6.1.2 HAIR AND THE MOOD 19
6.1.2.1 Hair and the Outfit 19
6.1.2.2. Hair, Time and Place 20
6.1.3 HAIR, EXPLORATION AND INFLUENCE 20
6.2. MEDIA 20
6.2.1. INFORMATION OVERLOAD 21
6.2.1 SHARING, ENGAGING AND RELATIONSHIPS 22
6.2.2.1. Deal Breakers in Social Networks 22
6.2.2.2. Sharing Content with Friends 23
6.2.2.3. Liking and Commenting 23
6.2.2.4. Offline to Online 24
6.2.2.5. Seeking and Creating Meaning 24
6.2.2.6. Shows and the Ritual 25
6.2.2.7. Narrative Engagement 25
6.2.3. TECHNOLOGY AND ITS EFFECTS 27
6.2.3.1 Convergence 27
6.2.3.1 Limitations and Envy 27
OBSERVATION 28
7. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 29
7.1 CONCLUSIONS 29
7.2 RECOMMENDATIONS 31
8. REFLECTION AND THE FUTURE 35

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Executive Summary

The following project is an exploration of media interaction, engagement as well as online


behaviour among twenty to twenty-nine year-old young adults, finishing with a recommendation for
a transmedia marketing communications idea to benefit ghd. The multi-platform approach comes
as an inevitable shift away from former push-based advertising models; it is a response to the
increasingly fragmented media landscape and complex consumer behaviours as they experience a
constantly connected life and the lines between product experience and marketing activity as
experience are more and more blurred.
In terms of engagement, it focuses on discovering what cross-platform media ghd‟s audience
actively engages with, what relevant entry points within the community the brand can make use of,
which aspects of the media environment allow content to spread within communities and outside of
them and what makes something worth sharing and whether the act can benefit ghd. It also looks at
what key influencing factors driving purchase and observes characteristics of the relevant YouTube
„Beauty and Style‟ video blogging category to see whether the context would be relevant and
appropriate for the brand‟s communication strategy.

Two group discussions and participant observation were employed, seeking to discover how
the brand should behave and what tone of voice it will employ in order to reach the desired
audience. Results were analysed, decoded and categorised in order to discover potential favourable
entry points for such a campaign.

Some of the key findings were in agreement with the literature reviewed; some slightly
defined the literature differently. Major media findings include that consumers do not engage with
things which do not interest them and that online sharing and engagement follows few, but essential
rules. It is cautiously used as a way to strengthen relationships, add value to personal experience of
content and define social identity by including or excluding like-minded. As far as hair is
concerned, there is clear evidence showing that lengthy stages of exploration lead up to an
impractically idealistic style no one dares try due to various limitations to do with time and
hairdressers.

The study concludes that ghd needs to focus on reinforcing the idea of being able to achieve
such a hairstyle with the aid of their stylers and suggests a new communication idea called “Let the
dream unfold” based on the existing “unexpected liberation” proposition. Recommendations for
cross-platform implementation are formulated so that regardless of the narrative entry point, the
experience is different but the message remains the same.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Introduction

It is often said that the motto of web 2.0 is “ask not what your users can do for you, but what
you can do for your users.” Not long ago, people needed products to stay alive, whereas today
products increasingly need their audiences to stay alive. More than ever, the internet allows two-
way communication, giving consumers the ability to control flow of information and adjust how
much content they come in contact with while providing an interactive experience. Brands need to
fully introduce themselves to the online world and the world wide audiences in order understand the
power they have what they can do for advertising and revenue. How people engage with media is
important for advertisers as they are looking for accountability for their communication budget and
increasing consumer connection with media equates to increasing consumer connection with
advertising, when planned correctly.

This project provides a new communication idea for ghd‟s “unexpected liberation” approach by
taking insights from research and delivering a transmedia strategy. It is a small-scale exploration
with an inductive approach that lets the findings from data collection form an adequate explanation.
This approach helped gain an understanding of the way in which people interpret their social world
and linked behaviour with individual feelings on hair and self identity.

So what media do people consume and how? How does it relate to their hair, identity and
personality? Is there anything that ghd can learn in order to better understand its audience and plan
a campaign around?

This is what the project seeks to discover.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

ghd and Transmedia Planning


Can ‘Unexpected Liberation’ Be Communicated Over Multiple Platforms?

1. Introduction and Background

1.1 Company Background and Information

In 2001 ghd was a small and relatively unknown company but it took the hair and beauty
industry by storm with the launch of its ceramic hair styling irons. What started as a business trip to
the United States later became the foundation of one of the UK‟s most profitable companies. ghd
stands for „good hair day‟ as coined by the owner‟s wife when she stated that whoever uses the
irons will experience a good hair day. The company‟s turnover grew from £424,000 in their first
year to £115 million in 2007and Sunday Times Fast Track named ghd the „Fastest Growing
Company‟ of 2005. A selection independently ran by the Centre for Brand Analysis also named ghd
an emerging SuperBrand in 2008/2009 while CoolBrands 2009/2010 called it a winner in its
Toiletries –Healthcare category. It outgrew its competition and took on the likes of salon brands
such as Wella and L‟Oreal, achieving iconic status and a large followership among salon stylists
and celebrities; ghd had literally established a new religion in hair care (Telegraph and Argus,
2003).

The main products are the stylers, specifically the Mark IV Regular, Mini and Salon irons as
pictured. In order to maintain market share, profitability and awareness, limited edition models were
also launched over the past years, pictured here as following: the “Dark or Pure?” irons, „KISS‟
iron, the purple, the „RARE‟ and the bubblegum pink iron supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

GHD Mark IV Stylers

Limited Edition GHD irons

1.2 Previous Brand Communication

From 2001 to 2003 ghd relied on word-of-mouth rather than advertising but started a six-
week integrated campaign comprising of two thirty-second TV adverts, style press ads featuring
“urban angels”, posters, a text message campaign, direct mail and point-of-sale branded material
revolving around the idea of a “New Religion for Hair” (Campaign, 2003). Models surrounded by
a halo suggesting the „angel‟ image were the focus of adverts representing the modern woman
transformed. It was followed by a £1.3 million sponsorship of „The Salon‟, Channel 4‟s hair and
beauty reality TV show deemed popular among ghd‟s target audience of young females (Solley,
2003). Sponsorship featured break bumpers, branding and information on The Salon website and
ghd featuring on the mobile-terminated text messages sent by the show (Campaign, 2003).

In 2004 a bigger TV campaign worth £5 million was aimed at upper market women‟s fashion and
lifestyle publications such as InStyle, Harper‟s Bazaar and Vogue. ghd became the only advertiser
in Vogue‟s summer beauty supplement which featured eight pages of their ads and advertorials
(Campaign, 2004). The „urban angels‟ were now set in a city landscape, emphasizing the idea that
the brand is an essential part of coping with the expectations of modern world. Furthermore, it
extended its presence to men‟s upmarket lifestyle magazines Esquire and GQ (Campaign, 2004).

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

“Thou shalt obey the rules” (Appendix 1, Figures 4,5)

“Thou shalt style with heat. Thou shalt style without fear” GHD Thermodynamics (Appendix 1, Figures 6,7)

In 2005, “The Gospel According to ghd” gave birth to eight black and white ads with a twist on the
10 Commandments of The Bible. The rules had been rewritten as “Thou shalt not use yours to
make rich old men with weak hearts fall in love with you” or “Thou shalt not borrow your sister‟s
without asking” (Appendix 1, Figures 4 and 5).

2006 was the year for a viral video on the same theme called „Lost‟, portraying “the dark humour of
the alpha female”. Deemed unsuitable for television broadcast, it gained viral popularity on the
internet by explicitly showing that the „urban angel‟ cannot live without its ghd hair iron
(Campaign, 2006). In the same year, „thermodynamics‟ was launched, designed to highlight heat-
defence products meant protect hair from styling iron heat, while the press adverts featured women
setting fire to either a villa or a boat (Appendix 2, Figures 6,7).

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

1.2.1 Business Positioning For the Future

As a result of its success and turnover from the past few years and becoming the only hair
product with iconic followership, ghd wants to position itself as the most desired global hair
styling brand. It is a bold ambition which will have to see the company renounce its religiously
themed adverts that would not resonate with a global audience.

Brand promise Liberation


Emotional benefit Liberation
Brand benefit Transform how you look and feel
Product benefit Style and transform your hair
Authentic, innovative, easy to use salon quality styling
Product features
products.

Table 1 – ghd brand benefit ladder (Appendix 3, Table 1)

2. Aim and Objectives

Aim:
Develop a new communication idea based on ghd‟s “unexpected liberation” approach by taking
insights from research and delivering a transmedia strategy that incorporates relevant literature.

Objectives:

1. Identify what media ghd‟s target audience actively engages with and what relevant entry
points within the community the brand narrative can make use of;
2. Identify and describe which aspects of the contemporary media environment support the
spread of media within the community of ghd users and what would make them likely to
share content provided by ghd with others;
3. Explore purchasing decision rationale in order to uncover who and what key influencing
factors help decide that it is time to buy ghd or to continue buying the brand in order to
explain how ghd could benefit from the spread of their content.
4. Observe elements and characteristics of successful online „Self help and style‟ category
videos on YouTube platform for the United Kingdom and how these can be adapted and
implemented within ghd‟s communication strategy.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

3. Literature Review
“We need to deconstruct traditional measurements and create a new vernacular that includes
engagement.”
~ Paul Woolmington, Founding Partner, Naked Communications

Transmedia storytelling – what is it?

The notion of transmedia storytelling is closely linked to that of media engagement,


referring to an active involvement with content, creating, sharing and distributing it over multiple
platforms rather than receiving it passively. It is a concept designed to help content spread across
communities, ultimately the goal of any brand message, paying attention to the context in which it
is viewed. This section aims to introduce and define the conceptual areas that underpin the research.
The following issues are defined and explored: push and pull models, “Web 2.0”, viral marketing,
media, narrative, and brand engagement, and finally content spreading and communities.

3.1 Push vs. Pull Models and the Evolution of the Internet & Web 2.0

The evolution of the Internet shifted communications models away from push-based ones of
the broadcast era towards pull-based ones. With a push approach, a company would send a message
across various platforms, leaving customers no room for giving feedback. Nowadays, pull models
suggest that consumers both individually and collectively drive the creation of content by
deciding what matters to them and others through what is passed along and talked about (Jenkins,
2009). This was enabled by the emergence of “web 2.0”, a new concept to approaching content on
the Internet. It is a set of principles and practices with common design patterns such as harnessing
collective intelligence, trusting users as co-developers to a website, and most importantly
understanding that users add value to systems by bringing others into the discussion. Crucial to web
2.0 is the fact that websites get better the more people are using them (O‟Reilly, 2005).

3.2 Creating and Sharing Content and Viral Marketing

Sharing and recommending things that interested them to friends, who also recommend on
to others has allowed people to create their own networks, meanings and sets of values within
networks and led to a world in which advertisers and retailers can no longer force messages onto the
audience and expect them to have an impact, unless they are relevant. Thus, consumers trusting

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Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

companies less than other people with similar interests, whether friends or strangers whose opinions
they read on the Internet. “Viral marketing” evolved as a new marketing tool, intrinsically social,
depending heavily on interconnected peers actively participating within a socially networked
system in order to allow content to spread virally (Van der Graaf, 2003). Although there is debate,
content must circulate naturally within a network of people as they pass content along, and not
artificially „pushed‟ by an advertiser. Context becomes important, even crucial; when a message
travels, it may lose its original meaning outside the area of control of its producer (Jenkins, 2009).

3.3 Media, Narrative and Brand Engagement

Technological or media determinism suggests that usage of technology conditions social


change. As there is no way of proving the extent to which we are influenced or not by media used,
we are aware that it shapes our experience through personal selectivity (Chandler, 1996).

Media engagement is two-way: we engage with it and it engages back; we use it and it uses us and
particular media matter more than others depending on how they affect the person using it
(McLuhan & Fiore, 1967). With one medium serving a variety of functions, it is impossible to
choose it for one function alone, making us prone to shifts of intent when using it. One medium is
chosen over another due to its ability to formalise experience within its boundaries. When we
choose a medium that enhances certain experiences, we may be unaware of the alternatives
available and how our choice can inhibit a different type of experience (Chandler, 1996).

The more we engage with a medium, usage becomes effortless and part of routine; upon achieving
neutral status we easily forget its primary function, increasing its effectiveness as transmitter
(Chandler, 1996). Every tool used is loaded with an ideological bias which helps us construct
meaning in certain ways, as predisposition is to value certain things over others depending on our
interests and context at a given time (Postman, 1993). Selectivity of media suggests that some
aspects of experience are more relevant to us than others (Chandler, 1996). Our media and
engagement decisions therefore shape the way content circulates through cultural space, often in
unpredictable ways that do not follow a top-down design as the push model suggested, making
companies dependent on understanding how and why this happens (Jenkins, 2006).

Narrative engagement means digging deeper beyond the surface of a storyline to understand its
complexity. Although a message may be attractive enough to spread from one person to the other, it
may not attract all consumers to probe further. Both forms are considered as engagement,

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Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

depending on consumer context (Mittel, 2009). The concept of transmedia implies that the mass
audience will make use of one of the aspects presented, whereas the meticulous supporter will look
at all of them and understand the intertextuality (Peyron, 2010).
As not everyone will possess time to probe into the entire narrative to obtain a bigger picture,
transmedia storytelling encourages the formation of knowledge communities around it, sharing
information and triggering word of mouth (Yakob, 2006). Ideally, no one person can know
everything, insuring that in order to gain a coherent picture they must discuss their knowledge with
others and discover more by moving back and forth across various forms of narrative (Jenkins,
2006).

Brand Engagement refers to the fact that it is not enough for consumers to simply talk about them
and circulate content, but they also need to use brands to talk to others in a way that adds meaning
and value to both parties (Jenkins, 2009). Brands and goods are no longer satisfying needs alone,
but they become bundles of meaning with which consumers can express who they are and the world
in which they live (McCracken, 2005). The meanings assigned to brands or goods change and also
circulate whenever content travels in the social world. Producers and advertisers seek to create or
add value to offerings by depicting existent meanings within a culture, the transfer of meaning
being an active process resulting from a collective effort that starts with designers and ends with
consumers. The purpose of advertising becomes moving products and cultural meanings into the
lives of consumers (McCracken, 1986).

By actively engaging with content, consumers transform it so it better serves social and expressive
needs (Jenkins, 2009), as they act in order to achieve either gratification, social connectedness,
personal wellbeing or material gain (Benkler, 2007). Once consumers make a purchase, they are not
only buying an end product or cultural good, but buying into symbolic meanings associated with it
and a cultural economy that values and rewards participation (McCracken, 1986; Jenkins, 2009).

3.4 Content Spreading and Communities

Collective intelligence refers to a new social structure that enables the production and
circulation of knowledge in today‟s networked society (Levy, 1997). Attractors draw together like-
minded individuals to form knowledge communities, transmedia narratives acting as such activators
(Jenkins, 2006).

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Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

By actively engaging with content, consumers transform it so it better serves social and expressive
needs (Jenkins, 2009), as they act in order to achieve either gratification, social connectedness,
personal wellbeing or material gain (Benkler, 2007). Once consumers make a purchase, they are not
only buying an end product or cultural good, but buying into symbolic meanings associated with it
and a cultural economy that values and rewards participation (McCracken, 1988; Jenkins, 2009). In
order to predict the way people will circulate content and spread ideas, it is important to understand
how this may affect social relations. A person‟s relationship to the ideas and content they circulate
is crucial: not only are companies unable to push a message across, they cannot build artificial
communities around brands either. Instead, they have to discover what medium can sustain
expressive appropriation and act accordingly (Jenkins, 2006). In order for a message to spread
widely it has to engage and serve the interests of both consumers and producers (Jenkins, 2009).

3.5 Criticisms to the Literature

While some brands lack the depth that this model requires or simply do not require such
level of involvement, in a convergence culture, brands will have to engage with a new kind of
active media consumer (Yakob, 2006). Creating a brand message according to transmedia planning
rules makes it difficult to achieve a balance between creating stories which make sense to first time
viewers and building in elements which enhance the experience of people reading across multiple
media (Jenkins, 2006). Also, while people consume content that stimulates them, this may often be
a purely emotional response. This does not necessarily represent quality content and brands should
be careful not to confuse an instant reaction with a meaningful response.

4. Literature overview
On the Internet and not only, people are spreading content and ideas when a brand expresses
something about themselves or their community or serves a valued social function. Often they pass
along content that allows them to express a deeply held perception or feeling about the world or
because the response they may receive helps them establish whom they can relate to and who
belongs to their community in order to be able to trust them.
Spending time with a brand message in a way that is relevant to consumers helps retention and
places it in a context that he is familiar with, making it more likely to attract positive feelings

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Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

towards the brand. If consumers actively search to understand a brand narrative, it is a sign that the
message has elicited a positive response and has helped them create and share meaning for
themselves and within their network.
With ghd being a premium brand, it must emphasise its commitment to customers. Clients now
expect to be able to experience a brand, constant connectivity defining whole generations of
consumers.

5. Methodology

5.1 Research Philosophy

Seeing how companies have evolved, they have reached a point where they are too complex
to follow old models and theories that have not been adapted to the ever-changing world of
business. What used to work a few months ago may not work today, just as what works for one
company may not work for the other. The researcher aims to capture the complexity of social
situations surrounding media and ghd brand communications and to discover details in order to
understand the reality behind them. Thus, a phenomenologist philosophy is employed, which
refuses any sort of severe generalisation on grounds that studies on behaviour and motivations do
not render themselves to such practices. In addition, if we consider that a company is the result of
particular circumstances and acts of individuals, and therefore unique, generalisations would be of
no value (Saunders et al., 2000:86). A further argument is that in a business environment the era of
big theories has ended and that narratives that focus on the where, when and how are now required
(Flick, 2009:2). Such a post-modern approach does not offer a universal solution, but rather
acknowledges that social life and business will be different from what we used to know (Blaxter et
al. et al., 2006:61).
As a result, the project as a whole depends on the way in which the researcher thinks about the
development of knowledge in general, and the research philosophy will most likely influence data
collection, analysis and interpretation.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

5.2 Research Approach and Strategy

The study uses an inductive approach as it allows theory to follow the findings from data
collection. The main argument is that the research wishes to explore why and how people do the
things they do, rather than just describe facts; it also provides much-needed context for ghd‟s future
brand communications strategy. Furthermore, the approach helps gain an understanding of the way
in which people interpret their social world; it does not construct a rigid methodology or create
superficial cause-effect links that do not allow alternative explanations for what is happening
(Saunders et Al, 2000:89).

Based on ghd‟s current situation and the project aims and objectives, the researcher has adopted a
small-scale exploratory strategy. As the study focuses on a type of interaction difficult to measure
through quantitative data collection and interpretation, an exploratory research will help provide a
deeper understanding of media engagement (Birks & Malhotra, 2006), allow for the discovery of
new insights into the matter, and assess the common phenomenon of media consumption in a new
light (Robson, 1993). This will help brand communications in terms of understanding whether
consumers do share content and what interests them enough to motivate them to do so. Particular
advantages lie in the fact that it gives flexibility; according to data and insights collected, ghd‟s
strategic direction could change. However, this does not mean that an exploratory strategy lacks any
strategy at all – it narrows focus down as the search unfolds (Saunders et al., 2000:89).
Group
Objective Observation
Discussions
Identify what media ghd‟s target audience actively engages with and what
x x
relevant entry points within the community the brand narrative can use
Identify which aspects of the contemporary media environment support the
spread of media within the community of ghd users and what would make them x x
likely to share content with others
Explore purchasing decision rationale in order to uncover who and what key
influencing factors help decide that it is time to buy ghd or to continue buying
x
the brand in order to explain how ghd could benefit from the spread of their
content.
Observe elements and characteristics of successful online „Self help and style‟
category videos on YouTube platform for the United Kingdom and how these x
can be adapted and implemented within ghd‟s communication strategy.

Table – Linking Project objectives with research methods

5.2.1 Focus Groups

The structure was designed with the first two objectives of the research in mind. Two one-
hour group discussions with three people each were performed, the researcher acting as the
moderator due to familiarity with the research topic (Proctor, 2005:121). Groups included both

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Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

males and females belonging to the 20-29 age group; they had similar but not identical traits so the
discussion did not stall due to participants agreeing with each other (Birks & Malhotra, 2006:183).

Participants met the criteria of using hair irons on a regular basis and being media active and
were chosen through a snowballing technique to ensure familiarity and interest with the topic
discussed. A non-probability sampling was used due to the exploratory nature of the research
(Proctor, 2005:122) and lack of need to generalise the findings, but rather to reveal information. It
began with personal contacts of the researcher who brought in acquaintances in the same age group
as further appropriate respondents (Fisher, 2004; Proctor, 2005). This was due to budget
restrictions related to the study (Proctor, 128:2005). The discussions took place in a living room
which belonged to the researcher and was chosen as a familiar environment so that subjects were
more eager to open up (Birks & Malhotra, 2006:184).

Questions were loosely based on media habits, time spent engaging with media and the qualitative
aspects of it, trying to get respondents to explain in their own words how they go about reading
magazines, watching television, using their mobiles, how they share interesting content, etc. Open-
ended questions were employed, as they allowed flexibility in capturing the insights (Proctor,
2005:44).

Group discussions were employed due to their ability to expose different interpretations to which
participants subscribe (Brubaker & Thomas, 2008) and two discussions were considered sufficient.

5.2.3 Participant Observation

Observation was employed in order to satisfy the last objective of the project, exploring how
the YouTube video platform can be used to benefit ghd brand communications. A number of five
influential users in the „Beauty and Style‟ and their followers were studied in order to discover
meanings people attach to videos and their content. Observation was also chosen in order to
contextualise and extend the analysis carried out and possibly search for new insights (Blaxter et al.
et al., 2006:213). The users were chosen based on their geographic location in the United Kingdom
and number of total video views in the last month in order to ensure their relevance to the research.
The researcher‟s identity and the purpose of the activity were concealed so that behaviour would
not be influenced. No other participation was involved other than joining the community.
Descriptive observation was employed, concentrating on the participants and their activities, events
and sequence, and emotions involved as expressed in the video comments and responses. Past
videos were studied with data was readily available, thus there was no case for further need of

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Manchester Metropolitan University

information (Saunders et al., 2000). Primary observations included how many videos the users had
uploaded since joining, types (beauty, health or hair), products used and recommended, and calls to
action over multiple platforms in order to see how influence spread and engagement was sought.
Secondary observations included what was said in videos and how the videos were received.
Experiential data included the researcher‟s perceptions during the experience.

5.3 Evaluation Methods

A content analysis was used, as it is an observational technique used compartment written


material into meaningful units. (Kumar et al.1999). Key themes and meanings were identified and
extracted to correlate each of the significations in order to determine the overall theme and message
being communicated. The most consistent themes were addressed to determine brand
communication. Data which did not fit with the researcher‟s assumptions was be accepted, reported
and cherished but not ignored as accepted interpretations need to be challenged and eventually
demolished. (Blaxter et al., 2006)

5.4 Limitations and Difficulties

Special care was taken so that comments were not quoted outside their original context or out of
sequence, as conclusions would have been premature and misleading (Blaxter et al., 2006). In
addition, quotes are not overused as the point of the research would be lost in the words (Darlington
& Scott, 2002:161). Observer bias was avoided wherever possible or kept under control as the
researcher was directly involved with the study and complete detachment may not have been fully
possible.

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6 Analysis and Findings


“Hairstyle is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself.”
~Hubert de Givenchy, Vogue, July 1985

In this section, results will be commented on and analysed using existing knowledge, relating
back to the literature review and where it is felt necessary and relevant new literature will be
brought in. The researcher looked for significance, possibility of generalising the results to a larger
group, researched the reliability of data and their validity (Blaxter et al. et al., 2006)

Focus Groups

Quotes from group discussions (Appendices 1, 2) have been slightly edited, taking out surplus
material or inappropriate language, but otherwise the form and content are intact. The two group
discussions have been broken down into two big themes, their categories and subcategories, as
detailed in Table 2:
Hair Media
1. Hair rituals and possessions 1. Information overload
2. Hair and the mood 2. Engagement & Social Networks
a. Hair and the outfit a. Deal Breakers
b. Hair, time and place b. Sharing with friends
3. Hair, Exploration and Influence c. Liking & commenting
d. Offline to online & back
e. Seeking & creating meaning
f. Shows & the ritual
g. Narrative engagement
3. Media, technology & effects
a. Convergence
b. Envy & limitations

Table 2 – Analysis Categories

6.1 Hair

6.1.1 Hair Rituals and Possessions

Both groups described their own personal hair rituals, largely consisting of washing hair,
applying shampoo and conditioner, blow drying, straightening and sometimes extra products to
keep the style intact. Additionally, women mentioned that curls are reserved for special occasions,
possibly due to the effort required to style. Every participant owned a hair dryer and a pair of
styling irons for individual use; in terms of extra appliances, the women had curling tongs or heated
rollers, while men owned facial trimmers.

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Their expected lifetime for a pair of styling irons varied, as did brand choice. Those without ghd
irons were not satisfied with the lifetime of their current or previous appliances that had not been
ghd either. Steph said [about Remington irons] that “I killed them after about 6 months; I use them
that much they will just die.” Nathan also said: “I had GHDs to start with but then they broke, then
cheap ones and they were rubbish, and finally I got some more GHDs again.”

The main quality sought in hair appliances was efficiency so it would take less time to perform the
desired function. In households with more than one dryer per person, the most efficient one was
often disputed between two or more people. The women both owned good quality hair dryers they
did not want to replace, while men always turned to the better one available. Steph said “Every
other one I tried was just rubbish and didn‟t seem to do anything.” Lucy also said [about her
boyfriend]: “[He] would not be able to live the house without it. In fact he uses it more than me.”
Neil said [about his sister]: “We both use mum's [dryer] because it's awesome. We even end up
fighting over it if we go out at the same time.”

Although they currently share appliances or expressed no problem in sharing them with others,
including newly-met acquaintances, participants‟ own opinions come first when purchasing
appliances and they rarely, if ever take into account thoughts of others using them. A natural
conclusion that can be drawn is that the other users do not act as influencers to the purchase. This
can be further generalised, assuming people cut down on costs by sharing appliances.

6.1.2 Hair and the mood

 6.1.2.1 Hair and the Outfit

Groups agreed that choice of hairstyle must compliment choice of outfit, not the other way
around. Unexpected by the researcher, male participants appeared more self conscious about
appearance, often to the point of nervous habits, revealing a significantly deeper worry about self
image and style. For all but one, work dress code clashed with personal choice of style. Tom said
“It bothers me at work because I don‟t like what I have to wear, even though it‟s not that different
[from normal clothing]. It doesn‟t feel quite right whereas I think my hair just generally looks

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better with what I wear.” Neil said: “If my outfit's looking good, it doesn't matter if my hair doesn't
look that good. Hair is an accessory.”

 6.1.2.2. Hair, Time and Place

Having mentioned that women curl their hair on special occasions, time and place appear as
overall important factors for everyone. Often when going out, they will straighten their hair twice a
day, apply products that they normally would not use and if the look does not satisfy, they might
not leave the house or display a bad mood, especially if they know they will be around people who
judge on looks. It would be interesting to further research when participants consider they look
good in grooming process.

6.1.3 Hair, Exploration and Influence

Everyone underwent an exploratory phase, testing different colours, cuts and attitudes. Women
started as early as 10-11, while men only began aged 16 or even later, with the ultimate purpose to
identify a haircut to suit face shape, often drawing inspiration from fashion and music industries.
None had changed hairstyles dramatically in the last 3-4 years, described by Neil as “getting into a
groove.” This is important as it reflects in their own current attitude towards hair, almost all but one
feeling confident in their choice of cut before and after visiting a hairdresser, without requiring
validation from friends or relatives. Lucy also added: “I would feel upset if I had my hair cut and
nobody noticed. I want them to notice.”
It appears that if there is personal gain or satisfaction obtained from the hairstyle, participants are
more likely to experiment. Experimentation can be achieved by encouraging increased usage
frequency among existing owners and incentivising non-users into a purchase. Lack of time also
leaves little to no room for sophisticated haircuts or advanced hair care and treatments, making most
participants feel as if they do not have the haircut they desired. Salon-finish haircuts are thought to
be impossible to achieve and out of everyday reach, which is why hairdressers often exert powerful
influence over purchasing and decision journeys. This is significant to ghd as the irons enable
almost salon-like finishes that can deliver personal satisfaction.

6.2. Media

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6.2.1. Information Overload

Pressure to cope with too much information in day-to-day life emerged as a recurring theme in
both groups; it was not described literally as such, but was an obvious constraint that manifests
itself primarily on Facebook, RSS1 and while browsing. It is a significant issue as it can be
generalised to a larger slice of the population with similar characteristics and because messages can
be discarded or ignored if they come from an overlooked source.
On matters of Facebook news feeds, participants agreed that some acquaintances abuse what
they personally consider an acceptable limit of posts or status updates within a given period.
Usually they were people whom they wished to stay in contact with for further networking
opportunities but did not share similar interests. However, noticing such details would suggest that
they engage with and participate in website activity more than they initially revealed. Joe said
[about ignoring someone]: “Every time he came on he‟d post like 27 wedding albums in a row. He
was winding me up”. Tom said: “[People that] update about 20 times a day [with] not emo2 but just
totally boring updates.”

Men in both groups identified RSS feeds that they had signed up for but were proving difficult to
read, let alone further engage with as another source of overload. Amount of content was the main
complaint, yet none deleted those feeds, showing an inherent desire to want to read the articles,
should they have time. Joe explained [about an RSS feed]: “It just annoys me; if I don‟t log in for a
week I have seven.” Nathan said “Some I'll keep on top and others just accumulate by the hundreds
and sometimes I can't be bothered and just mark them all as read.” Neil also discarded unread
content, saying: “I know there would be too much to go through even if there's some good stuff in
there.” Women did not display similar behaviour, suggesting they filter the information they want
to receive more carefully.

Following the act of clicking through and reading interesting linked articles, often participants
would lose track of what they were initially looking at. This is dangerous for sharing content
online, especially if too many distracting links are available and can be generalised to a wider
audience as distractions are ever present. Neil said: “You're not focusing on one thing, you feel
oversaturated and think – „What did I actually learn?‟” Nathan further explained and said: “I lose

1
Really simple syndication
2
Emo (or emotional): people with a tendency to be too easily affected or excited by the emotions.

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track of where something is because I can't see the title” and Tom explained: “I might be too
interested in what I‟ve just found to bother with [sharing].”

6.2.1 Sharing, Engaging and Relationships

 6.2.2.1. Deal Breakers in Social Networks

Both groups mentioned actions that put them off engaging with content or affecting their
relationships with others. They described spoilers, spam and privacy issues as real “deal breakers”
in some cases, both online and offline. With TV shows such as “The X Factor”, they agreed that
Facebook was to be avoided because of the differences in broadcast times and when they would
eventually watch it. Steph said: “Because I had recorded it for later everyone would spoil it for me
so I just wouldn‟t go online,” and Joe agreed and said: “My friends would go like, „Oh my God I
can‟t believe this person won!!‟ all over the place.” This can be generalised to other shows, as well
as recorded TV series as more people are unable to watch them during prime time.

Both groups also agreed that quantity and quality of content is important, as an increase in content
signals information overload, as mentioned earlier. Nathan said [about using twitter over
Facebook]: “I started to like it more because it seemed more intelligent. The people that I follow
and share information with tend to be a bit more concise. I ended up hating the Facebook style of
"oh, I'm doing this, doing that...doing the other."

Lastly, the big issue of privacy and sharing what could be considered socially inappropriate content
on social networks appeared more in Group 2, as participants experienced a higher degree of risk
and exposure in their jobs than Group 1. Nonetheless, it can be generalised to a larger part of the
population and affects everyone with a Facebook profile as it determines what type of content is
acceptable to engage or associate with.

Overall, they agreed that profiles needed a lot of attention, as objectionable content may cause
problems in the workplace if it is public, sometimes going as far as disciplinary action.
Conversations on delicate subjects, such as politics, often take place in private. Alternatively,
participants keep their profiles strictly locked down to the outside, allowing in only people they
know and trust. Lucy said [about her NHS position]: “I have to be really careful because of so
many people I work with. You say one bad thing inappropriately and get into real trouble.” Neil

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explained [about posting to the Facebook wall]:“Sometimes we have arguments about the merits
about various political agendas and I know my other friends are not so interested. But it's
interesting when someone you didn't realise was interested is actually into [the same thing].” He
also expressed worry about blurring the lines, saying [about his girlfriend who teaches]: “You don't
have so much control and things you're a fan of are publicly available. She's a fan of Scream pubs
and if a parent comes on to Facebook and looks up her name, it might come up that she's a big fan
of Scream pubs or other types of pub chains.”Dissonance with other friends who may see a
particular message or activity was briefly brought up as participants generally had more personal
methods of sharing content in ways that bypassed privacy concerns, such as phone calls, private
messages or instant messaging. This shows a desire to engage and share content, creating solutions
to fight existing limitations.

 6.2.2.2. Sharing Content with Friends

Participants reached consensus on sharing within their network, acknowledging the act has
to be personal: targeted and appropriate, so to avoid unpleasant outcomes of any kind. Steph said
“I have friends that I have different things in common with so I‟ll find out something and I‟ll know
these people will like it [or the others]”.

Because of the way Facebook works, they were aware that mutual friends can see cross-posted
content and agreed that repeating the same message when it will be seen by an extended group of
people is unnecessary. Joe said “I don‟t spam everybody‟s wall with random stuff” and Neil said
[about a video posted to his girlfriend‟s wall]: “It was relevant to her but some of her mutual
friends are teachers as well so I can see how it can be useful.” An exclusion rule also emerged,
namely that befriending people not met in real life is unlikely to happen. Nathan said: “I don't like
the idea of someone I don't know going into my life.”An area worth exploring further and in more
detail is whether a stranger in real life can become an online friend and possibly real life also if
interests coincide online.

 6.2.2.3. Liking and Commenting

Engaging with others‟ shared content appears to be a new form of strengthening a relationship,

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as described in the literature review. Groups agreed that commenting on and “liking”3 content
shows a degree of interest in another person and enriches the relationship they hold with them. This
can be generalised to a bigger group with similar characteristics of interaction. Although it was not
mentioned, “Like spam”4 could be considered a “deal breaker” as it dilutes the original meaning of
the gesture. Steph said: “The like button on Facebook is my favourite thing. I like a lot of stuff.”
Neil also said [about his commenting style]: “[I] make silly comments, like and my posts are very
abstract.”

 6.2.2.4. Offline to Online

Groups consent that relationships with work colleagues are a separate social environment. The
office is a place for trivial discussions and sometimes inspiration for shows but it is unknown
whether these conversations carry on online. In context of integrating online and offline
relationships, it would be interesting to further observe whether participants would connect with
work colleagues or already do on social networking websites, seeing as their social networks are
semi-private personal spaces as discussed in “deal breakers”.

Hearing conversations about shows they were not interested in at first, but not excessively as
another “deal breaker” shows, profoundly engaged the participants in the broadcast as a result.
Steph described the pressure and said [about a show heard of at work]: “Everyone was telling me
it‟s really good but it was already on series six and I had never watched it. Mate at work lent me
the DVD [and] I watched every episode and I have now caught up online ahead of the UK in the
space of about 5 weeks.”

 6.2.2.5. Seeking and Creating Meaning

If others manifest a level of obsessive detail for a new show, it disengages participants from
seeking out any information on it. Excessive talk and what they saw as unfounded praise strained
relationships, both offline and online. Joe said [about his close friends]:“If they were going on
obsessively about as if it was the greatest thing ever, I react against it.” There was also a clear
negative feeling about new content and jumping straight into a new show, proving that

3
Clicking a “Like” button with a „thumbs up‟ symbol to express approval of a certain type of
activity on Facebook
4
The act of “liking” too many things within a small time frame

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participants want content they engage with to be meaningful to them. Tom said [describing a new
show everyone else but him started watching]: “[They] kept going on about it so much that I just
got put off,” and Joe said:“I didn‟t invest any real time in it so I didn‟t know what it was like from
the start. It didn‟t engage me because I didn‟t know what was going on so I lost concentration quite
quickly.”

Assigning meaning derived from personal interpretation was also a key aspect, both online and
offline as opinions of others mattered to some extent, worth exploring further. Participants clearly
expressed their own desire to understand a particular item, film or news. Tom said “I used to spend
too much time with [people who were] pointing out every little flaw and taking out the magic in it.
It made me want to take a step back.” Joe also said: “The problem with the internet everyone can
put their opinion on it and it‟s mindlessly soul-destroying.”

 6.2.2.6. Shows and the Ritual

Some shows, particularly Saturday night ones were described as almost ritualistic material
followed offline during prime time despite online availability. However, participants split time
between their computer screen and the TV and surf the Internet at the same time. Posing the
question of which engaged them more, the “deal breaking” spoilers put them off checking social
networking websites, making the TV a temporary winner. Online talk created pressure and even
though they could find out ahead, they wanted to see for themselves.

Conversations seem to be of great importance for big-event TV shows, though some will delay their
viewing. Steph said: “It‟s a ritual, every year. Saturday night, with the family, you watch X
Factor.” Joe also said: “I never watched the results show because I knew I could find them out
online.” He also mentioned [on people spoiling content]: “I have to stream off the internet in the
meanwhile.” Their actions appear structured around certain categories of shows which would
suggest an underlying value or meaning assigned to them, also worth exploring further (Couldry,
2003).

 6.2.2.7. Narrative Engagement

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Both groups consented that when something interests them, regardless of format, they seek
to learn more before and after their experience, often to great detail but avoiding spoiling it for
themselves. Joe said: “I‟m terrible for IMDb-ing5 and Wikipedia-ing6 everything into horrible
detail. [I] analyse everything down to its core elements. It gives me real pleasure.” Tom also said:
“I look up films based on who‟s made them or who‟s in them particularly if I like the style. Not as
much [as to know] what the film‟s about because I‟d rather be more surprised while watching it.”

Blogs and websites also engage participants, who respond by following through and leaving
comments or posting articles on their social networks and transforming it, assigning their own
meaning in context, as mentioned in the literature review (Jenkins, 2006). As described earlier, they
share if it is relevant to them or to people they know. With blogs making content easy to follow, it
is also easy to probe further into a matter as described in the literature review. Tom said: “I‟ll
probably find articles related to that on some online blog or magazines. Usually spirals from there.
I get absorbed and read it.” Neil also said: “You middle click, middle click 7and read through; it‟s
like that with blogs, you click and want to see what this other blog has to say.”

Some practices may cause information overload; the level of engagement and interest in the subject
may become so high, it transcends any other things participants may have been interested in to the
point where they ignore unread content adding up. Time and readiness of availability of other
sources often dictate the level of engagement with a certain media type. Neil said [about
broadsheets]: “The newspaper is nice to look at but it's a bit slow; if it's [on a train] to Leeds I've
got 3 hours to read it all.”

Asked where they source news from, most participants named the BBC, some keeping it on watch
nearly all day. However, ways in which they engaged with it were considerably different, as was the
context. Tom said “It‟s on my phone so it‟s giving me RSS feeds I can open.” Neil said “Google
News, but if it interests me I‟ll go to the BBC,” while Nathan said [about twitter as news source]: “if
you heard something's happening, you can verify its authenticity by going to BBC.” Lucy however
stated [about her late night shifts]: “First of all I'd hear it just on TV because at work at 5 o'clock in
the morning there's nothing else to do, then look it up on the internet when I get home.” This would
indicate that level of interest and engagement depends on the location and time of accessing news
and that the same story may be perceived differently by each individual, depending on their touch

5
The act of looking up a film or details on www.IMDb.com (The Internet Movie Database)
6
The act of researching on www.en.wikipedia.org
7
The act of clicking on a link with the middle button of the mouse. This opens the link in a new browser tab.

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point. Mood also seems to play an important part in context, as it dictates feelings about content or
media.

As suggested in the project introduction, the act of „reading‟ does not always consist of reading or
paying attention to what is read. Nathan said [about his Metro ritual]: “I get on the train, sit and
read - not in detail but it's nice to just flick through and that early in the morning you don't want to
be looking at news on your phone. You have to concentrate and squint a bit. It's just nice and easy.
It's a light read.” Joe also said: “[I] skim, read sports… don‟t tend read City which is always work
and finance…read headlines and stuff. Sometimes I read it from the back to the front, start with the
comics.” Notably, Lucy said “I skip straight to the celebrity bit to see who‟s been sick in the
gutter,” while Steph even mentioned “I don‟t look for it [news] in particular. It doesn‟t interest
me; at my age I couldn‟t care less.”

6.2.3. Technology and its Effects

 6.2.3.1 Convergence

Owning a mobile device and spending more time on the internet reading free content were the
main reasons behind lack of interest in offline media. Both groups agreed that newspapers and
magazines are no longer worth buying due to content limitation and free online editions or
alternatives. Steph admitted: “I don‟t seem to have the time or the need to.” Joe also said: “It was
costing me money, which was a sort of easy thing to cut out…still something.”

As some owned smartphones, they noted that their phone applications reduced engagement levels
with the desktop browser. This is likely to be generalised to a larger slice of the population in the
future, as detailed in the next section. Lucy said [about Facebook]: “I haven't been on the desktop
since I had it on my phone. It‟s just a button and I check it 20 times a day just because I can. [On
Saturdays] only phone internet: check Facebook, email, eBay or whatever.”

 6.2.3.1 Limitations and Envy

Due to the influence from smartphone owners, others weighed advantages and disadvantages of
their own devices. Phone capability limitation was a barrier to increased and more complex usage in

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both groups, and there was envy for a better device. This could mean that there is an obvious shift
towards more converged, liberating gadgets that will enable more targeted advertising. Nathan said
[about his Blackberry Bold]:“I email but the browser is terrible so I tend to find that I'll avoid
looking at web stuff on my phone because it's such a terrible experience.” Steph said [mentioning
lack of internet at work]: “I can‟t wait for my phone upgrade to come through because you can get
Facebook on it, live TV YouTube, all I‟ll ever need on a phone. I might look up the news because I
can; it would give me something to do while I‟m out on my fag break.”

Observation

Users bubzbeauty, pixiwoo, lollipop26, whatstyleistonickel and filthygorgeousmakeup were


studied, namely four female users and one male, all classifying their style in the „beauty‟ category.
It is appreciated that data will change over time, but as of February 2010, this was representative:

Comments
Total Video
Per Channel Date
Name Age Views Views Subscribers
video Views Joined
(Uploads) (Avg.)
(Avg.)
38,892,786
Bubzbeauty 23 ~1,000 ~400,000 7,950,957 Aug 2007 233,486
(130)
12,995,351
Pixiwoo 32 ~600 ~110,000 3,463,475 June 2007 95,187
(161)
10,284,300
Lollipop26 - ~400 ~80,000 3,773,911 Oct 2006 80,850
(115)
Whatstyleistonickel - 4,506,673 (-) ~200 ~20,000 1,111,699 June 2008 52,505
1,856,615
Filthygorgeousmakeup 23 ~100 ~15,000 511,693 Sept 2008 24,994
(141)

Table 3 – Analysis of YouTube Beauty & Style videoblogs

 All five users owned a personal blog, a twitter account, a Facebook page where registered
users could either add them as friends or become fans to receive updates. Videos invariably
feature calls to action such as „subscribe to my blog‟ or „rate, comment and subscribe‟,
occasionally „become a fan‟, which were repeated throughout video content, descriptions and
channel pages.
 Users always made clear which videos were sponsored and which were independent reviews or
purchases via own financial means. The collective feeling of the community is of dislike
towards masked sponsorship and it is worth investigating further what would be an acceptable

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balance between sponsored and independent videos in order to avoid the phenomenon of
„selling out‟8.
 Creators often accept requests via different platforms from subscribers and anonymously and
videos are usually the result of popular demand. When a video was particularly successful or
easy to achieve, video replies were posted by other less-known members seeking validation or
acknowledgement.
 Habitual practices included post-trial product „hauls‟ and „favourites‟ videos describing and
criticising items collected over a period of time, comparisons mass „drugstore‟ products and
often „giveaways‟ where participation was conditioned by either one or all of the following:
subscribing, following on twitter and/or Facebook.
 Choice of products seems to define the collective identity, most users adopting a preference for
the same brands (i.e. MAC and Urban Decay cosmetics) with little variety between them,
giving the feeling that if a particular brand is not used, overall credibility and authority drops.

7. Conclusions and Recommendations


“Engagement is all about making it relevant to the consumer”
~ James Speros, Chief Marketing Officer, Ernst & Young

7.1 Conclusions

It is now clear that people expect to be able to see and experience a brand online as constant
connectivity increasingly defines the general population. With access to multiple platforms, they
call for interactions based on equality rather than hierarchy. Coupled with the importance of social
media, they expect their relationship with a brand to be conversation-based.

 As context and consumer-attributed meanings are important, the web presence needs to be
considered carefully in a way that is sympathetic to the technology and environment, but at
the same time consistent with the brand‟s identity and overall presentation (Ind and
Riondino, 2001). Clutter is to be avoided, as should content for the sake of it. A transmedia
approach that delivers multiple messages converging into one will exploit the advantages of
media assortment and cement loyalty as market fragmentation threatens old business
methods. More so, it creates multiple ways of selling to customers (Jenkins, 2006).
 Drawing from offline strategies, customer service is critical for ghd - exclusivity for the sake
8
On YouTube: either accepting money or free services in exchange for video advertising.

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of it brings little value to people as they seek a feeling of being special in their experience of
luxury (Epstein, 2004; Danziger, 2005). ghd‟s brand challenge becomes linking the
products to a superior online and offline experience in order to emphasise the company‟s
commitment to its customers (Michman & Mazze, 2006).
 The business challenge that communications must address is to achieve a balance between
high exposure and awareness while maintaining control over sales; this avoids
commoditising the products and maintains a select customer base while creating desire
among the majority of the population (Kapferer, 1996). According to findings, ghd did not
strike a chord with its “Thou shalt not borrow your sister‟s without asking” approach
(Figure 3; Appendix 2, Figure 3) as sharing is common practice in households. ghd needs to
refocus on reinforcing reasons for commanding a price premium and increasing usage
frequency among existing users.
 Deducted from analysis and findings, it must be stressed that “unexpected liberation” need
not come from salons or take a lot of time, which they lack. The purpose of
recommendations is to engage consumers, teach and instruct them and communicate as
part of the experience; those who have achieved a certain personal goal or status with ghd‟s
help are not likely to give up buying the brand and will appreciate the enhanced experience
(Danziger, 2005:238). The transmedia narrative‟s meaning becomes rewarding their probing
and engagement with a proposition that reinforces ghd‟s “unexpected liberation” promise.
Since consumers get an experiential thrill out of paying less for a premium product,
considering it personal triumph over the shopping experience, they are often ready and eager
to search out the best price (Danziger, 2005:238).
 Also drawing from research results, content created by users pursuing shared interests on
online networks represents favourable context for ghd‟s brand communications: information
about the value of goods and services reaches members at the right time and connected, like-
minded users explore and find relevant content more effectively, amplifying campaign
results. Having identified appropriate networks, the approach needs to integrate the online
and offline levers: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the ghd website, TV and other offline media
as well as salons, with the ultimate goal to reward participants for their engagement;

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Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

7.2 Recommendations

“Dreams say what they mean, but they don't say it in daytime language.”
~ Gail Godwin, American novelist

Following analysis of findings and conclusions, the "unexpected liberation" approach remains
unchanged, but a new communications idea is developed:

"Let the dream unfold”

Rationale: women always have a very clear idea of what their ideal hairstyle looks like and
set very high standards for themselves. However, they know they cannot achieve it because there is
always something in the way; there are constraints on the time taken to achieve a style, what is
appropriate, what is feasible for them, etc.
“Let the dream unfold” plays on the idea that you can transform how you look and feel and the
styler can give you the style you always dreamt of but never thought possible outside the salon. The
“dream” style may often be utopian but it typically draws on influence from pop culture, self image
in relationship to others, desires and aspirations and is therefore constantly changing, in line with
how ghd stylers can bestow the users with any style they want.

This becomes a teaser campaign to a new limited edition of 1,000 stylers engraved with the owner's
name on the handle and bag, as placing customisation at the core ascertains ghd‟s customer focus
(Kapferer, 1996); fewer would be too exclusive and could attract negative feelings while more
would commoditise the product. Three stages have been identified so that regardless of touchpoint,
the message is adapted to the media employed in order to communicate the same idea.

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Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Timing/
Stage Levers used Purpose
Duration
 5 YouTube beauty and style bloggers; Inform the audience about
 TVCs and other ATL media, OOH the campaign and to look for the 4 Weeks prior
Awareness
 Salons code that they will use in the ghd to roll-out
 PR on beauty and fashion blogs interactive application;

 Website (http://www.ghdhair.com) and Encourage engagement with


4 Weeks or
vanity url redirecting to the website the ghd website feature and
longer, until all
Roll-out (http://www.letthedreamunfold.com) Facebook fan page as well as
1,000 stylers
 Facebook purchase of the limited edition
are sold
 ATL media styler;

Request interaction with


Facebook page by submitting
blog entries, photos or videos of
 Facebook the styler in action. Publish Ongoing
Followup  Website photos from the ghd style following
 YouTube beauty and style bloggers academy event in order to create roll-ut
desire among those who have
not purchased and attract
aspiring followers;

Table 4 – Campaign levers, purpose and timing

Awareness

1. Above-the-line (ATL) media such as TV commercials (TVC), magazines and out-of-home


(OOH) used as teaser weeks prior the limited edition rollout with a creative execution,
encouraging follow-up online and in salons (“Follow the dream to see it unfold”) in the
near future.
 To be planned and implemented for broadcast on commercial channels which
resonate with the audience, taking into account seasonality, relevance and
appropriateness.
 Will create awareness for both salons displaying codes and the website, the next
stage in “letting the dream unfold”.
2. Top 5 YouTube „Beauty & Style‟ video bloggers sponsored with customised stylers with
their nicknames or real names engraved on the handles and given privileged access to the
“Dream Dictionary” a week prior to the official launch. They will be asked to recreate
their dream style with the aid of stylers provided in order to promote the competition
 Will have a personal code that their followers can use to access the “Dream
Dictionary” on the ghd website (i.e. “pixiwoodream”)

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

 Used to create awareness around the campaign and the product


 Implementation: Users will be approached for sponsorship, seeking agreement to
promote videos in exchange for a personalised ghd styler engraved with their real
name or nickname. Upon reaching an agreement, the stylers will be customised and
sent out to their future owners who will be instructed on mandatory campaign
elements to be mentioned, leaving the method at their discretion so that they do not
sound contrived to their followers. Mandatory elements include:
 “Dream Dictionary” concept and how to participate;
 10 second start-up time: takes less to achieve the dream
 Calls to become fans of ghd on Facebook for exclusive content in the near
future;
 Costs, Timing and Implications: The cost of producing and delivering personalised
stylers to five users would rise to £500-£600 including postage and packaging to UK
addresses. Setting up a YouTube account is free.
 Benefits: YouTube is a powerful channel for quickly engaging customers and
producing content that can entertain, inform or both. It holds greatest value in word
of mouth due to the number of users reached and provides a touchpoint for
responding to eventual complaints and producing branded videos or sourcing them
from other users.
3. Salons that are approved ghd stockists participate in campaign rollout as awareness
generators for the ghd website by displaying posters with the customised styler and a call to
action to use the codes which are unique to them inside the “Dream Dictionary”;
4. Blog PR on representative fashion and beauty blogs by inviting authors for a one-day
experience at the ghd style academy in order to promote a competition for those who will
not purchase the limited edition styler (“aspiring followers”) or were late to hear about the
campaign;
It is assumed that the initial reach for teaser will be combined reach of ATL levers (Magazines,
OOH) combined with YouTube subscriber views, estimated at 500,000 views minimum and fashion
blog audience. This can be measured by counting mentions and online sentiment for ghd.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Campaign

1. The website is to incorporate a "Dream Dictionary” as main feature instead of the usual
home page. It is an exclusive area accessible only by entering a code taken from salon
posters or YouTube Style & Beauty bloggers. It is an interactive application incorporating a
database of over 1,000 hairstyles from celebrity hairstylists and ghd salons that users will be
recommended following a short survey to gauge personality traits.
 It acts as branded utility: it provides a useful personal experience and adds value to
users seeking to translate their dream hairstyle into reality (Contagious, 2008). It is an
opportunity to illustrate the “dream” idea in a way that engages different segments
within various channels as considerable discrepancy is expected among age groups and
from the way in which each person responds to particular cues from the outside when it
comes to self image (Elliott, 1994).
 Implementation: Hairstyles are matched and recommended for comparison based on
input; this will help users anchor the “dream” hairstyle in reality, based on existing
styles. Users can make amends as a way to acknowledge that the “dream” is in a
constant state of change and often reflects the personality or mood the person engaging
with it is displaying. A daring style might be recommended to someone who defined
their personality as “naughty” but would further be refined if the mood is set to
“melancholic”. Once someone completes the process, they are rewarded with £5 off
their purchase on completion and move on to the customised styler order page to “live
the dream.” However, should they skip engaging with the content the £5 discount will
not be applied, leaving the discovery to the user‟s discretion. Once the target of 1,000
appliances to be sold has been reached, the content will unlock for everyone visiting the
website but no further appliances will be available. For those who choose not to order
there will be a call to action to follow ghd on Facebook in order to receive exclusive
updates and rewards in the near future or participate in the style academy draw in order
to get closer to their dream style with the aid of a professional stylist;
 Evaluation: counting codes entered and matching them to the source, salon or
YouTube users to evaluate influence of ATL versus online activity, appliances sold per
day.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Follow-up

1. Facebook: Although ghd has a Facebook brand page, it lacks any real interaction or
conversation with its users. Ghd needs to acknowledge that the people who use the stylers
create the brand and build loyalty accordingly; Keeping followers involved even after the
promotion ends represents commitment to fans and extra returns;
a. Implementation: Having albums showing off the products and photos of ghd fans
and their hairstyles from all around the world integrated with status updates, notes
and videos to reflect their attachment to the product. Engaging people that like the
brand and want to share their opinions and participate in giveaways and contests can
create natural word of mouth; Once the campaign has finished, blog posts, photos
and videos from fans who have engaged with the website will be displayed. Pictures
from the ghd style academy event will be further posted on Facebook to increase the
number of aspiring followers who might buy ghd in the future.
b. Benefits: Facebook brand pages are great for brand exposure, with 76% of online
shoppers being frequent Facebook users, befriending companies on the social
network (ForeSee, 2009).

8. Reflection and the Future

The researcher gained a practical insight in the world of hair care and how people relate to it, as
well as the unexpected link between online relationships and personal meaning creation. While it
has uncovered that consumers are able to filter ads, a great opportunity to create relevant,
interesting content that people will share emerged. It could be said that online, a brand should talk
as if it were a real person and that in order to be interesting, it has to be interested in what people
are doing. It shows that advertising needs to progress as new media emerges. However, an area
worthy of further exploration is how effective this will be in order to help brands survive during a
period of sharp consumer spending cuts.
Should this communications idea be presented to ghd and the agencies handling the account and
be accepted, it will be refined following feedback. If it is approved and signed off, the next stage
will be a briefing session and campaign development.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Thanks & acknowledgements

I feel like this paper should be in memory of my mother who passed away of cancer far too soon
in February 2008, but ardently supported and encouraged me to attend Manchester Metropolitan
University.

Before you read the following paper which involves me talking about myself in the third person, I‟d
like to make it known that this paper wouldn‟t have been possible without a number of people:

 My dissertation supervisor Angela Byrne, who was around to email me late in the night
when I panicked about proposal deadlines day before; and her amazing knowledge of all
that is consumer behaviour and psychology;
 My former boss and mentor at TBWA\Manchester, Andrew Hovells who has worked on
ghd for longer than I have been straightening my hair and knows more about women and
their hair than they probably do;
 My other mentor from far away in Singapore, Robert Campbell from Cynic who has
shared his wisdom on hairstyling brands and guided my research and writing down
unbeaten paths;
 My research subjects Lucy, Tom, Neil, Steph, Joe and Nathan whom I have thanked
personally but must have to thank again – they were indeed most helpful;
 My boyfriend Nathan who has constantly provided moral support, gave me time to write,
proofread and whom I deprived of my presence for a while as I wrote this document;
 Faris Yakob, Henry Jenkins (and the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium), Grant
McCracken, Bud Cadell and Mike Arauz, whose ideas and research I had privileged
access to through their blogs and publications as they pioneered and developed the concept
of transmedia planning to what it is today;
 My parents, family and university, who have guided me and set me on the road to success;
 My colleagues in university whom I have annoyed with proofreading but made the
experience fun;

Regardless of this, I am the only one to blame for any faults in the work!

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

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Manchester Metropolitan University

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Appendix 1: GHD Advertisments

The Gospel According to GHD

Figures 1, 2

Figure 3
g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Figure 4

Figure 5

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Figure 6

Figure 7

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Figure 8

Figure 9

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Figure 10

43
Appendix 2: Focus Group Transcriptions Steph: I do a lot…I‟ll go into work with a selection of
pictures and get the girls to tell me what they think… „cause
Focus Group 1: Steph (21), Joe (27) and Tom (24) they know better I do.
Tom: I don‟t really care what anyone else thinks…It‟s
Andrea: So, can you just tell me a bit about yourselves? nice if they like it but as long as long as it does what I want it to
Your name, where you‟re from, how old you are… do...I know what I want it to look like.
Steph: I‟m Steph, I‟m nearly 21, I work full time in a call Joe: I go through phases of really long and then shaving
centre, and I‟m Coventry born and bred...unfortunately; it all off cause I got sick of it, especially as my hair gets
(Giggles) impossibly wavy when it gets really long and it‟s always in my
Tom: I‟m Tom, I‟m 24, I work at Eon electricity company, face and stuff. Get wound up by it.
listen to music a lot, play in bands.. Andrea: Do you ask her before you cut your hair?
Joe: I‟m Joe, I‟m 27, I grew up in Blackpool, went to Steph: We haven‟t been together that long, we haven‟t
university in Coventry and now work full in a call centre so done the … (Whispers „I want to shave it off‟) the hair
going to university worked out great for me; discussion yet.
Andrea: You both work in the same place? Andrea: So what hair styling items do you own right now
(Both) Yeah, that‟s how we met. in terms of electrical appliances? Not to be mistaken with
Andrea: Very nice! So just going to go straight into hair product!
styling issues...how often do you style your hair? Every day, Steph: Hair dryers, straighteners, brand new ones I got
special occasions? Things like that… for Christmas cause I killed them after about 6 months, I use
Steph: Every day…at least once. (Laughs) them that much they will just die…curling tongs.
Tom: Same for me, every day, depends how much time I Tom: I‟ve got hair dryer and straighteners… (Thinks)
get, how much time I spend styling it but even if I don‟t get time Andrea: Do you both share the same items or…?
to straighten it I still like to spend time trying to style it. Joe: Well no…my house mates just give me some
Andrea: And what is it that you usually do? Is it just straighteners…I went from no pair to two in about the space of
applying product, straightening it, curling it? two months
Steph: I straighten mine every day but I will curl it and Tom: I have two pairs of straighteners cause one‟s sort of
stuff for special occasions or use a wide selection of hair gunk. broken but it‟s bare so I still try to use it sometimes.
If I‟m going out. Andrea: Because it‟s really old?
Andrea: We love the hair gunk, don‟t we? Tom: They‟re really old…they‟re like old GHDs from
Tom: Kind of washing and conditioning it… I have to do when they were the best ones...don‟t know if they still are and I
that to get it nice, do that and then hair dry with some product haven‟t used them a lot yet...over like four or five years
and straighten it …occasionally started to use a little bit of Andrea: How do you feel if you wake up in the morning,
hairspray, on special occasions. Just a little bit. (Giggles) style your hair and do everything you can but it doesn‟t look
Joe: Well I condition it every day but I‟ll straighten it if I like you want it to?
want to look good if I go out…I haven‟t done it today. I don‟t do Steph: It puts me in a bad mood. If I don‟t feel
it on a day-to-day basis. comfortable and don‟t think I look alright then I will just go out
Andrea: Do you remember when you first started doing of the house in a right strop to be honest.
things to your hair? Not necessarily straightening it or styling it Andrea: Like with clothes that don‟t fit you well?
but putting things in your hair and deciding it has to look good? Steph: Yeah, exactly.
Steph: I was about 10.That‟s a friends thing though, isn‟t Tom: For me it bothers me at work cause I don‟t really
it? If all your friends start doing it, you start doing it. It was after like what I have to wear at work even though it‟s not that
PE. It was a case of „Steph, why don‟t you try this with your different from what I normally wear…but just sort of…doesn‟t
hair?‟ feel quite right at work whereas I‟m not so bothered out of work
Joe: I‟m not as metrosexual as that … my boy school cause I think my hair just generally looks better with what I
was..I went to an all-boys school that was stuck in the past I wear.
think but I always dyed it lots. I had like peroxide hair when I Joe: I always feel like some sort of falling apart Withnail
was about 18. But I don‟t think I styled it especially often. anyway but I‟ll mess with my hair if I‟m not happy with it almost
Andrea: So that was just after you finished school. subconsciously, I‟ll constantly be doing that (Plays with
Joe: When I was out of sixth form. Just when I was fringe)…just trying to get it out of my face and get rid of the bits
turning 18. that annoy me…whereas I won‟t do that if I‟m satisfied with
Tom: I think I used to…I wanted to grow it a bit longer how I look in the first place anyway. I tend to mess with my hair
which was a bit of an issue with my mum and dad because of a lot, subconsciously, particularly at work
religious stuff but it was when I was getting into music a lot Andrea: And when it does look good, when you feel
really and I wanted it to be longer. Particularly my hair‟s quite particularly great about your hair?
wavy so I didn‟t want it to be that wavy, I wanted it to be Joe: Yeah, I‟ll stop by every car and check it…
straight and long. So I sort of started to try hair drying and Steph: I was saying that to him this morning, I was stood
eventually straighten it. Probably around 15 when it started… out having a fag and I was like …I keep looking at myself in the
Andrea: That‟s the incipient phase…would you say your window and I thought it looked alright this morning whereas
hair is important to you – as in the way it looks when you leave yesterday it just looked absolutely rubbish cause I didn‟t do
the house? anything to it at all…didn‟t dry it or straighten it or anything, just
Tom: Yes. Very. left it all day.
Steph: Yes...Not as much as it used to be, to be honest. I Tom: Definitely does affect you...the way you feel about
used to have to…my hair had to be done, my makeup used to yourself but then for me the way I dress and the way that feels
be on. Now I don‟t care as much but most of the time yeah. and the hair is quite important. At the same time, I think a lot
Tom: For me I do really care what it looks like. I think now more now if it‟s like…if I‟m smiling and happy then my hair
I‟m not as bothered how much I style it as I think it looks looks better anyway. See it kinda from both sides I suppose.
alright..I used to straighten it all the time. Still important how it Andrea: I know this doesn‟t relate to hair but what is it
looks, like cut and everything, so… that you like most about your body? About your self
Joe: For me it‟s more like the cut and the colour really, image…something that you like when you look in the mirror?
rather than...I want to look fabulous without putting much effort Steph: I‟m not answering that…cause I‟ll just…my boobs.
in it. I don‟t straighten it or use hair spray or product that (Giggles)
much...I‟m kinda lazy like that. Andrea: There‟s nothing wrong with that! It might be
Andrea: I wish it was as easy as … something you like in particular but would like others to notice
Tom: For me it‟s a matter of time a lot of the time so I try more?
to get cuts where it looks good when you don‟t have to spend Tom: Yeah, I‟m not bothered, I quite happy with how I
much time on it as well am. Unless my hair is particularly bad and I wanted it to be a
Andrea: And speaking of haircuts - is it important to ask bit different that day. But I‟m happy with it.
opinions of others before you get a haircut and after? Joe: I think I‟ve gone from being sort of…having quite an
issue with the way I look to not being bothered at all, that my
g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

eyes are too big, my ears are too big…I‟ve learnt to accept it Steph: I bought a stereo that I can hook my iPod to...so I
cause there‟s nothing you can do about it. So…yeah. I know don‟t have any interruptions, no news bulletins or anything like
that‟s probably the complete opposite of the question you that. Just music.
asked! Tom: No…Occasionally got like sound on sound which is
Andrea: No, it‟s perfectly fine! a music techy type sort of thing but any once in a while if I was
Steph: Whereas I just have no self confidence or self going on the train and there was something that caught my eye
esteem or anything so… that was relevant to what I‟m doing. I used to get New Scientist
Tom: I used to think I had a big nose when I was little but occasionally but now it just seems easier to go onine. Most of
I really don‟t care, now I think it looks fine, so… what I do, I don‟t buy papers and magazines just articles,
Andrea: So how do you get ideas for haircuts? really.
Steph: I tend to look for something every time I get my Andrea: Do you search for news? Go to websites and
haircut but I think for about the last 6 years I‟ve gone and had check if there‟s anything new?
the same haircut every time. Tom: It‟s often based around stuff I‟m interested in
Joe: Last good haircut I had that I wanted to have was myself. If it‟s an idea of how to make something. An obvious
sort of shaved along this side and then just sort of left it longer one would be now that I have an android phone and I‟m trying
like in the centre but my hair would never….I liked that but my to find a way of getting round doing something so I can maybe
hair didn‟t…my hair constantly disappeared over this way do something better or like music related stuff, like growing
which is how it is now. The haircut itself was stolen from Stuart plants and food, something like that…like once I got interested
Lee, comedian, although he‟s got a totally different face shape in a hydroponic system which is to fish and plant…so I‟ll
to mine so that didn‟t work. probably find some articles related to that on some online blog
Tom: I usually have a pretty good idea of how I want it to or magazines. Usually spirals from there.
be…but that‟s probably from ideas of just seeing people Joe: I used to read magazines constantly. I was buying Q
around, films, bands, just thinking “I quite like that style”. I and Melody Maker and maybe Anime at the same time at one
usually then…sometimes if I‟m organised enough I try to find a point. But then I sort of lost interest because there‟s the
picture of what it looks like. But that‟s really hard to do so I give internet … so it‟s not so much reliable as a news source…plus
up sometimes. And that‟s just what I expect it to look like. Also it was costing me money, that was a sort of easy thing to cut
try to find one that I think will actually work with my wavy hair. out. I know it‟s just 3-4-5 quid but it‟s still something. But then
If I know what I want it to look like, I look for someone with a on the other hand I found that since I stopped buying
similar cut cause I find that they don‟t really listen to what you magazines that I‟ll buy magazines because I‟m interested in
say, they just do what they think…and they always cut off too something and then maybe find out about something else, like
much off the back. They try to make you like they made the bands is an obvious example. But since not buying magazines,
last 10 guys that had slightly long-ish hair and they think look, I don‟t randomly find out about stuff as much as I would if I still
this is what you want, this is what you mean so I try to make bought magazines. I used to read bizarre a lot as well,
sure that they know what I mean. You get more insistent about particularly when I was making collages a lot more. There used
it and they sorta realise…they always seem to want to take to be a lot of interesting stuff to cut out of those, of people who
more off. But if you want a more unusual one like last time I had their whole bodies tattooed like a skeleton or something
wanted it a bit longer across this side deliberately, they did it just for the sake of it.
by sort of a few millimetres and you can‟t even tell really, to Andrea: What about television…?
start off with. I think they‟re just trying to make it more like Steph: I watch everything online „cause there‟s no
what‟s acceptable to the world… adverts. I used to have Sky+ and then I moved and I haven‟t
Andrea: So moving into a different area, where do you got that anymore so I watch everything on the 4od player or
get most of your news from? the BBC iPlayer. Everything else I just download if it‟s
Joe: I use the BBC website and unfortunately the Metro, available.
the bus news wag made by the Daily Mail‟s sister Joe: Same…I watch television programmes but on
company…filthy piece of trash but nonetheless it sort of gives television almost never. I watch iPlayer and 4od…I watch
me an idea of what‟s going on in the world. And it usually has streaming channels, I watch youtube but I almost never watch
freaky pictures of weird people and that‟s always good. things when they‟re actually on TV, at the time.
Tom: I use the BBC quite a lot, got it on my phone so it‟s Steph: The only things I actually do watch on TV
giving me RSS feeds I can open. Also new scientist the same, are…what my sister‟s watching like when I come in from work
I got that on my computer and phone as I‟m quite interested in and she‟s sat in the living room and I‟ll sit down with her and
sciency articles. And I get a lot through work as well, it‟s a lot watch… Hannah Montana which I secretly like.
related to the energy industry but there‟s a lot that affects it Tom: Mostly online, it would have to be a pretty special
and a lot of stuff generally going on. And …but I am programme that you wanted to see at the time it came on
generally…if I see an article, wherever it is, cause there are a which happens occasionally. But it its mostly online…you can
lot of places you‟ll go, like you‟ll go online, if you search for just watch it whenever you want, less adverts. Things like that.
something you‟ll see like a techy article of that sort of thing I A lot of stuff isn‟t available so quickly, like things in America.
get absorbed and read it.. Andrea: Say there was a show you really wanted to
Andrea: Do you click through? watch and the broadcaster only made it available on terrestrial
Tom: Yeah, I follow things like that. and not on demand, what happens then?
Steph: I don‟t particularly…if the news comes on the TV Joe: The only thing I watched on TV as it happened
while I‟m having dinner I‟ll watch it but I don‟t look for it in recently was the X Factor on Saturdays. But then I never
particular. It doesn‟t interest me…I know that sounds really bad watched the results because I knew I could find them out
but at my age I couldn‟t care less to be honest. online… I still had that sort of in-built laziness around it
Andrea: What about the Metro? Steph: Saying that though, X Factor, Britain‟s Got Talent,
Joe: Well Metro‟s pretty bite-size so my bus journey is Ice Skating, Dancing with the Stars, stuff like that I will watch
about 20 minutes and they usually seem to coincide seems to when it‟s on…it‟s a ritual, every year. Saturday night, with the
coincide. Skim past all the crap, any adverts and stuff... family, you watch X Factor. So that‟s the only thing I will watch
Andrea: Sports? on TV even though I can get it online.
Joe: I read sports…I don‟t tend read City which is always Joe: Again though, it‟s only the Saturdays. When it
the work and finance…then I‟ll read headlines and stuff, yeah. became twice a weekend like the X factor was I thought “Do I
Andrea: Comics? really want to commit two nights of my life to watching this?” I
Joe: Yeah, sometimes I read it from the back to the front, got sort of lazy about it.
start with the comics. Tom: What would draw me in if there was a live show
Andrea: And magazines? would be, say, if Derren Brown did an actual live broadcast I‟d
Steph: I found that since I got my car I don‟t tend to read try to watch that like I did when he did his four shows live…I
like that anymore cuase I used to buy them to read on the bus. missed a couple of them as I‟m generally quite busy but even if
Now I‟ve got my car I don‟t seem to have the time or the need the broadcaster said they were only ever going to show it on
to. terrestrial or something like that then I know that someone will
Andrea: Do you turn the radio on in your car? end up making it available online.

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Joe: I don‟t think I‟d go out of my way to watch anything. I weddings and every time he comes on he‟d post like 27
didn‟t watch X Factor every week cause I‟m staying in a lot of wedding albums in a row. Had to hit ignore because he was
the time so I get sort of drawn into that sort of thing. If I did go winding me up. As for liking stuff, I do like stuff.
out, it‟s not like I would make sure I watched a certain Andrea: Do you post?
programme first. Tom: Rarely…I do want to do more online like a journal
Andrea: What happens if you go into work and people but I don‟t see Facebook as the right platform for it. It‟s fine for
talk about it? what it is but it‟s quite sort of in the moment, trivial stuff.
Steph: That TV show Glee, I got quite into that but I Steph: I see Facebook as the best thing to collect all my
watch it online whereas people from work go like “Did you see drunken photos. You go out, someone will take pictures of you
it last night?” and I‟m like yeah...saw it. Already seen it! and you can‟t remember who took them. Then you go onto
Different TV shows like that. Everyone comes in they‟re like Facebook three days later and they‟re on your profile! It‟s
“oh, have you seen this, have you seen this? It‟s new!” Well Joe: There‟s pictures from when me and Steph went out
I‟ve watched it online from America so I‟m two series ahead. a few weeks ago. When I woke up and came downstairs the
Joe: See EastEnders seems to be the big thing in my pictures were already on. I only left this place six hours ago
team to watch. But it‟s every day the conversation will follow and these pictures are already online. It‟s...really sort of sped
that pattern. Yeah it‟s gonna be revealed in February. And up. When I was 19 or 20 and going out I had to wait 3 weeks
then Bradley commited suicide. Yeah and then this. But yeah I for me to be bothered to go into a shop and get them
don‟t think he did it. But it‟s every day the conversation will developed. Whereas now they‟re on immediately. It‟s really
follow that pattern. It‟s like the conversation is stuck in repeat. crazy how culture has sped up! Living in the future is
It almost makes me feel left out because I don‟t watch. But at awesome.
the same time I won‟t enjoy it if I watch. I tried to watch Andrea: How do you use your phone?
EastEnders and it was boring, I followed EastEnders for a Joe: I have a stupid phone.
while and then it got boring so I stopped doing it. Steph: Mine does nothing and because my mother and
Tom: Personally I go out of my way to avoid watching my father have both got iPhones I can‟t wait for my phone
soaps because I just don‟t like them. upgrade to come through because you can get Facebook on it,
Andrea: Would you watch something someone at work live TV on it, YouTube, all I‟ll ever need on a phone and I can‟t
recommended? wait to get one.
Tom: If it sounded good probably…if it sounded like Andrea: Will it stop you from going online?
something I‟d like, I might give it a go Tom: Liberates me from boredom at work.
Andrea: How do you feel about shows that you are not Steph: If I had an iPhone or a phone that could get on the
watching but everyone else is? internet I might look up the news a bit more because I can. I
Steph: That happens to me at work...the new series of used to look on the BBC website at work but now that they‟ve
(you‟ll laugh at me for this) Grey‟s Anatomy started and taken the internet off me I can‟t. It would give me something to
everyone was telling me it‟s really good but it was already on do while I‟m out on my fag break or whatever.
series six? Well I‟ve never watched it. Mate at work lent me the Tom: I use mine quite a bit, trying to make it smarter.
DVD…I think I watched every episode and I have now caught Gearing it towards being able to do things easily. Not
up online ahead of the UK in the space of about 5 weeks so necessarily Facebook and all that. I use Facebook a bit more
that was a good recommendation. now that it‟s on my phone but I‟d like to be able to get a blog
Andrea: Do you follow RSS feeds? going related to music and just be able to sort of update it on
Joe: I have a lot of stuff RSS‟d into livejournal because I the bus, that would enable me to do more.
have a livejournal anyway so like postsecrets, Dilbert, Andrea: Would your friends be interested? Do you think
dinosaurs but that‟s the only RSS. Don‟t have any to my email you would have followers?
because it just annoys me, dunno why. If I don‟t log in for a Tom: They‟d all follow it and refresh every five seconds. I
week I have seven…it‟s just like “f*cking hell…” would try to make it interesting towards the people that it was
Andrea: What about Facebook? Ever got news from geared towards so hopefully!
Facebook? Andrea: Do you share interesting things? Keep to
Tom: Not very much, it‟s mostly a sort of friend thing. yourself?
Friends updates for me. Occasionally because of something I Joe: I‟ll share it on Facebook or I send links to people I
signed up to two years ago or something you get like a thing think will be interested in it
saying that this artist is playing but you already knew about it Tom: The easier it is to share, by just doing it by a click
but I can‟t think of any news really…maybe it‟ll tell me when then the more likely I am to do it. Otherwise I might be too
the new Dexter season starts but I probably knew that anyway interested in what I‟ve just found out to bother to. But you can
so not really often. just send a link on Facebook or email or something…
Joe: Facebook was where I used to find out X Factors Andrea: How would you decide that someone might be
results and because I knew I could find them out that way and interested in a link?
do other things at the same time I wouldn‟t watch the Sunday Joe: Sometimes I‟ll post it to my Facebook and if it
news broadcast, I could just hit F5 and then ...JEDWARD relates to people‟s common interest I‟ll send it directly to just to
NOW!!! Times five billion. them. I don‟t spam everybody‟s wall with random stuff. Unless
Steph: I would avoid Facebook when X Factor was on it relates to me, case in which everybody finds out about it!
because I had recorded it for later everyone would spoil it for Steph: Whereas I have friends that I have different things
me so I just wouldn‟t go online. in common with so I‟ll find out something and I know these
Joe: I followed wrestling but I can‟t watch that live now people will like it or the other will like it...
because of the difference between America and British times Tom: Yeah...I‟ll do it more specific to the person – it‟ll be
so I watch my shows a couple of days later but I have to something I talked to them about or know they‟ll be interested
stream off the internet in the meanwhile because my dickhead in unless it‟s something I did, like Joe said, then I‟ll let
friends would go like “oh my god I can‟t believe this person!!” everyone know.
won all over the place. Andrea: To finish with this area...what does a normal,
Andrea: What‟s your activity like on Facebook? really boring day look like to you?
Steph: The like button on Facebook is my favourite thing. Steph: Stay in bed and stream stuff off the internet.
I like a lot of stuff. Which is what I did constantly for about five weeks. I need a
Tom: I sort of like it sometimes, I think some people are new TV show. That‟s what I do - I‟ll go through stages, I‟ll really
interesting with what they post and others just bore me out of get into a show and watch it all till I run out and then instead I
my mind. Because they‟ve organised a gig that I played...they won‟t bother when it‟s one episode a week, I‟ll just wait for a
update about 20 times a day…the cat was sat on my lap and it while and catch up again. I love spending the weekend in bed
scratched me…why is it doing this…and then I couldn‟t sleep watching rubbish.
tonight, stuff that‟s boring. Not emo but just totally boring Andrea: Do you start noticing other things more? Other
updates. people talking?
Joe: There‟s people I have to hit ignore with…a guy Steph: Yes!
called Doc who‟s a photographer for like bands and also for

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Joe: Yeah, I‟m terrible for imdb-ing everything. And spend too much time with too many people studying
Wikipedia-ing everything. media...manga, geek type people. And when you watched a
Andrea: Connecting one to the other? film they‟d be pointing out every little flaw in every little bit and
Joe & Steph: Yeah. taking out the magic in it. It made just want to take a step back
Tom: Yeah, I do look up films sometimes based on who‟s and just enjoy it for what it was.
made it or who‟s in it. I‟ll look up like Wes Anderson, when I Andrea: Do you share your styling items with other
watched the Life Aquatic to find out what else he‟s done. I people?
don‟t do it quite as much to watch what the film‟s about Steph: I share all my stuff with everyone. It doesn‟t
because I‟d rather be more surprised while watching it. But I‟d bother me at all.
see who‟s made it and who else is in it. Joe: Well my hair straighteners are second hand as I‟ve
Joe: It‟s hard to read Wikipedia without reading all the said.
spoilers about it. It‟s bad if I read the spoilers halfway through Tom: I‟ve shared my straightener with Joe before, and
reading a book... “Oh no that‟s the ending!!” Smash back, try Nath.
and deny it happened…” Steph: Joe robs my hairbrush without asking but apart
Tom: The reviews they have on stuff...on Imdb you get from that I haven‟t got a problem.
people...you get a fairly good idea of how many people like it. Joe: You rob my shampoo and conditioner without
But even when you get a review on some places that a film asking!
was a total flop or something. Still, thousands of people have Andrea: So how do you decide when to buy new items?
enjoyed it and in some cases I‟m quite likely to be one of those Steph: I tend to buy the new stuff when I run out. My
people who like it. The Spirit was supposed to be a bit of a flop hairspray and shampoo and conditioner I tend to keep the
but I thought it was amazing. So I don‟t rely on reviews all the same but it doesn‟t bother me if I use someone else‟s which is
time. different. But with hair gunk and styling items and stuff like that
Andrea: Do you find reviews useful? I tend to change my mind just like that. I will go round a shop
Steph: I don‟t pay attention to them. I saw the advert for and read the different things and see which one appeals.
„The Invention of Lying‟ to have come out on DVD. So my step Joe: I‟m allergic to panthenol so that‟s an ingredient in a
dad‟s a bit of a ... he likes to download. So I went to him “Are lot of stuff. Pantene is one of them. And that‟s how I found out I
you downloading it?” and he went, “I hate that guy, I ain‟t was allergic to that. Only certain types I can buy so my choice
having that film in my house.” but he downloaded it for me and is almost dictated. Hair straighteners are second hand as I‟ve
I think it‟s brilliant and he absolutely hates it but it but I don‟t already said. I got balsam cause it was recommended to
listen to what other people think, I have my own taste. me...from Lush and it‟s called Goth Juice and apparently it‟s
Joe: I have like...I don‟t internet reviews mainly because made from the tears of Robert Smith but unfortunately I almost
they‟re written by idiots. The problem with the internet never wear it because I‟m quite undisciplined with my hair
everyone can put their opinion on it, particularly with things like most of the time. Only since I met you it‟s become fabulous.
imdb where you have forums there to put comments on and Steph: It rubs off!
everyone‟s like “OMG this person can‟t act!!” times trillion. Tom: I buy mine if I think I have a need for it, if I think I
It‟s mindlessly soul-destroying. On the other hand I will want my hair to do something differently or what I‟m using is no
check something out if my friends are talking about it and longer doing the job properly. My hair seems to work well with
they‟re people whose opinions I respect, they recommend something for a while and then get bored of it so that‟s when I
something and I know we have similar things in common. I‟ll change.
listen to that, I‟ll watch it but on the other hand if they were Andrea: Hair appliances – how do you buy?
going on obsessively about as if it was the greatest thing ever Steph: Hair straighteners I‟ll buy when they break so I
like it happened with The Strokes, the indie band, everyone‟s took the advantage over Christmas to get a really awesome
venerating them as if Jesus Christ had walked down on the pair. But hair dryers - Haven‟t replaced mine in ages cause it
Earth armed only with a floppy fringe and a two node bass line just nukes your head. I don‟t want to replace it „cause every
and yeah, when I heard them I thought “these are not other one I tried was just rubbish and didn‟t seem to do
especially amazing” but people kept going on about it. So I anything.
was like “Fine, I hate the Strokes. They‟re awful” I reacted Joe: Appliances – as I said, mine have been handed
against it. down. I suppose I will get some more when they eventually
Tom: I was the same. Lost was like that for me, everyone expire, yeah.
just kept going on about it so much that I just got put off. Tom: I get them when I need them or if they break.
Joe: Heroes was like that for me but then I didn‟t invest Maybe if I had a new hair style I would need something a bit
any real time in it so I didn‟t know what it was like from the new for it.
start. I wasn‟t very fair on it because it didn‟t engage me Andrea: How would you decide what brand to buy?
because didn‟t know what was going on so I lost concentration Steph: With hair straighteners I‟ve always had Remington
quite quickly. so I tend to stay with them, stay roughly in the same price
Andrea: Do you read into it? How much detail would you range and obviously they‟ve improved by three or four different
look out for? ones since the last pair that I‟ve had.
Joe: Obsessively so. I go into horrible detail. Tom: One that I know is good or I‟ve tried, possibly. Try
Steph: I care less. I hear a song I like on a TV show that I not to get sucked into all the mega sort of stuff they say it‟ll do
like a lot I‟ll look it up. Then I tend to end up downloading the but probably don‟t. I want to go for something quality cause it‟s
soundtrack but that‟s as far as I go. something that you want to use properly.
Tom: There‟s things I will look up particularly if I like the Andrea: How long would you expect its lifetime to be?
style of the film or something but mostly I tend to prefer just the Tom: Should last as long as ...should be at least a couple
magic of any film or series and so only if I think I can find more of years at least.
like that will I look into it and try to find a detail or if I particularly Steph: Whereas with me you‟re lucky if it lasts a year. I
like the soundtrack. But yeah I don‟t look up general details. do it twice a day sometimes. When I got my hair cut and have
Joe: I used to like, when I was buying CDs a lot more my big side fringe put back in I‟ll do it twice a day.
than I do now, when I used to listen to them I used to read all Andrea: Last question...if money wasn‟t the object, what
the credits. They used to have a lot of dorky things like what would you do?
the words were or who played what on each song. I think I‟ve Steph: Buy an actual hair stylist that could do it for me.
applied that approach. I think because media is deconstruction I‟ve straightened my hair for years now but I still don‟t think it
based, analyse everything down to its core elements, I still do looks good enough so I‟ll put it up in ponytails or put it up, in
that. I think it‟s called you see the strings, how programmes pigtails or something.
are made and stuff. Then films give me real pleasure, like Tom: I have no idea; I don‟t really know what‟s around or
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind I like the lighting in that anything. If I wanted to get some more or mine broke, I‟d look
but it‟s such a dorky thing to notice but in a way it gives me into what was best and probably ask a couple of friends who
pleasure cause I know it to be sort of awesome. straightened it out all the time to see what worked well.
Tom: I used to be a lot more like that about bands and Andrea: What about hairdresser recommendations?
music and probably still am to a certain degree but I used to

47
g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Tom: It would be nice to have something that someone‟s Steph: Last time I went to the hairdressers and they did a
used to style your hair best instead of just cut it and then really good cut on me and they told me how to style I ended up
match some products to it. But I‟m not that bothered. Only if I walking out of there with about fifty quid worth of hair products.
had quite a lot of money. I had to pay about sixty pounds to get my hair cut as well.

[Thanks and closing talk followed]

Focus Group 2 - Neil (26) , Nathan (29), Lucy (29) wanted!" And vver since then I grew it long and then short
again, but sort of straightened it ever since had it straightened
Neil: I'm from Coventry, born and raised, 26, I went to one way or another because otherwise I've not been happy
Leeds university for 4 years, did engineering and now I'm back with the way it looked.
in coventry working with my friend's dad. It's going awesome in Lucy: Styling my hair...when I was about 11 years old I'd
acoustics. get my mum to put my hair up in rags. Just a way to curl it
Lucy: 29 years old, born and raised in Coventry, lived basically...too poor to afford curlers, you see. I used to do that
away from home for ...how long now...about 12 years and and have my hair braided. When I started
always lived in Earlsdon since. Probably in every street. Left secondary school. My mum used to have crimpers and we
school, travelled the world, come back, decided to do nursing used to mess about. I was the only girl and she was like "oh, I
and I don't really know what else to say. What do I love? I love can mess with my daughter's hair!" She used to crimp it up for
makeup, buying things for me, buying things for other me then. I used to have this style where it was part braided
people...if they're good. and the rest of it was curly.
Nathan: I'm Nathan, I'm 28, nearly 29, I was born and Nathan: I had my hair braided once when I was at
raised in Coventry like my fellow companions here and I've Reading festival.
lived in Earlsdon for the last 10 years. I work as a computer Neil: After I started to spike my hair it got so long that I
sys admin (that's not actually my job title but my job title stopped doing it so I started to plat it. My friends had
doesn't really mean anything) and I didn't go to university dreadlocks at the time and I didn't want to go for dreadlocks
cause I messed up my A levels. I worked my way up from the because I had heard bad things about damaging your hair. It
ground. was good if you were into headbanging.
Andrea: How often do you style your hair? Andrea: How important is your hair to you in terms of
Neil: Now? asking for opinions of others?
Andrea: Last week Neil: Probably less now than it used to be, especially
Neil: Probably just before I go out, I only went out two when you get a new hairstyle. You get into a groove and think I
times last week so literally shower, then just dry it and that's it. wanna have the same thing. I was like that when I was
I might have a little trim...I trim it every so often. My mum made younger and got a new haircut, worried that, "does it look
a mistake - well, mistake; she got me a razor good, what should I do?" whereas now it's just like I don't care.
for my face so I could trim my beard but then I got a bit bored I like the fact that I can shave half of my hair off and people
so I started shaving my hair. And then just...that's why I've got take me seriously still. I quite like it but yeah I think less now. I
half of my hair missing! don't really care that much about it.
Lucy: What happens if someone buys you wax? Andrea: Do you ask anyone about it?
Neil: I've got a bit of wax an a bit of hairspay. Neil: Sometimes. When I was younger I used to look in
Nathan: I style mine every morning because when I have magazines, FHM and that kind of thing and pull out pictures. It
a shower and my hair gets wet it goes very curly so I have to never turned out like in the picture. That's the thing, you don't
straighten it every morning. Which is a real pain in the ass and look like them. You know, what's it like, grew out after a couple
it takes ages because my hair doesn't straighten easily at all. of days.
So I do that every morning before work, I get up at mostly 6 Nathan: Same again for me, less these days than I used
AM every day because I have to be in Birmingham for 8 AM. to. I just go for the look that I want and I don't care about what
I'm there doing it in the dark, half asleep. I'd usually straighten other people think, really. I will ask friends about it afterwards
again in the evening if I was going out somewhere. If I sleep on to see if it's not completely rubbish.
my hair the next it will always need straightening again, I don't Andrea: Compare it to haircuts in the past?
have that thing where it looks better the next day. It starts off Neil: You get used to being taken the piss out of you so
good in the morning then it just gets progressively worse. you get immune to it.
Lucy: And mine...the only time I do bother with it is when Nathan: I find that when I go to work, people will tell me
I go out. I just wake up and it's pretty much perfect. Straight, whether I want to know or not...good thing I work with some
don't knot. If I really want to make an effort it will be before I go quite down to earth people. They'll let me know what they're
out. I'll curl it, flick it up a bit. opinion is regardless
Andrea: Do you remember when you first started styling Lucy: "What the hell have you done with your hair?"
your hair? Nathan: I work with a gay guy so he'll give me his opinion
Neil: I was ...it was just as I was going from year 11 to whatever.
sixth form. I used to do crazy spiky hair. Proper enormous. I Lucy: I've never been very exciting with my hair so I've
started using gel when it was short but gel wouldn't hold so I always had the same haircut so I don't have to ask anyone
used to mix half gel, half PVA glue to spike my hair up. I used because I don't really bother with it. I would be quite upset if I
to get up at 6 in the morning and dry it. I used to have crazy, had my hair cut and nobody noticed, though. I would want
crazy hear. Lower sixth and...there's another guy who's a year them to notice but I wouldn't really bother asking before I've
above me. He used to do the same thing but he used super had it done. It's normally on an impulse that I'll have my hair
glue so we used to swap tips. cut.
Andrea: Like with a mohawk? Andrea: What hair styling items do you own?
Neil: PVA washes. THey use similar chemicals in gel Appliances...
anyway and it just washes out. Neil: Hair dryer - I've been through 2 pairs of hair
Andrea: Did it damage your hair? straighteners. I went through some cheap Remingtons, got
Neil: Nope! them from my sister I think and then I got some GHDs a couple
Nathan: I remember first using gel when I was in of weeks...and then just like and then a mini hair dryer type
secondary school, early in secondary school. All the kids did thing. When I used to have really long hair. It was just like, I
the wet look gel thing. had to cut it off - when you work in front of a computer it gets in
Neil: Was it a friends thing? Ross used to have a little your face all the time. It took so long to dry.
quiff there. Nathan: I have a hair dryer and a pair of ghd's. I've been
Nathan: When I first discovered styling, did it properly in through 3 pairs. I had GHDs to start with but then they broke, I
6th form or just after when I went to the proper stylist's, not the had some cheap ones and they were rubbish and then I got
barber. He suggested straightening and I thought it was rather some more GHDs again.
strange but then I was like "Wow, it's the look I've always

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g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Lucy: Can you tell the difference between GHDs and says - gives a crap about what they look like - they do, they
cheap ones? totally do.
Neil: Yes! You can.. Neil: I found it quite laid back...
Nathan: You can, really They just don't straighten as well. Lucy: No, you have to have a certain look when you go in
Apparently it's due to the fact that they stay at a constant there!
temperature, whereas others works on a thermostat principle - Andrea: What about when you think it looks absolutely
they get hot, they cool...that's what the hairdresser told me. fabulous?
Neil: They're quite good at replacing them I've heard. It Neil: It doesn't really change the way I interact...there
was 100 quid and I thought ermmm, hrmmm.. you kinda feel a was a time when it really worried me, when I was a bit
bit guilty if you think the things you could spend £100 on. But younger, in my twenties. I had other issues then in my life. At
my female friends, when they come round, they're like "Oh, the moment I'm much more accepting of other people. I can
you have GHDs! Can I use them?" My sister has been stealing tell when people are feeling self conscious. One of my friends
my straighteners too. has been on a journey for the last couple of years, he's been
Lucy: I've got a hair dryer - an amazing hair dryer that's trying to break out of his shell because he's really, really shy
just fantastic and some straighteners I bought...when I had my and all those little things make you realise that they're so
fringe cut into my har you need to be doing something with it. insignificant. But if it's looking good, it's looking good! I always
And some heated rollers that are really really good because look good!
yeah. The only things that I found that can keep curls in my Andrea: Do you want others to notice it more?
hair. Neil: I just know it myself.
Nathan: If you straighten your hair every day you want to Nathan: I wouldn't care about what other people said, it
spend the money to make sure that it happens quickly and it makes me feel better if I know it looks good. I wouldn't be
gets the job done. bothered if it made people say anything or not.
Neil: Yeah, it heats up in 15 seconds! Right, I'm gonna Lucy: I'd like it if someone told ME I looked good.
start. Also I have a facial trimmer. Nathan: If you know yourself that you look good it sort of
Nathan: I use the facial trimmer just so I don't have to makes you feel like everything's zen you know.
shave so often as I find shaving a real chore. Lucy: I just walk like the mac daddy if I think I look good,
Andrea: How do you feel if your hair doesn't look good and then pout a bit more. If someone says "you look good", I
enough in the morning? can say "I know!"
Neil: It depends on where I'm going. If I was going out Neil: Clothes would come before hairstyle. If my outfit's
'out' and it wasn't quite looking how I wanted to I'd be like looking good, it doesn't matter if my hair doesn't look that
(moans) "Oh no, my hair isn't right!" but less now than I did good. My hair's quite thick so generally looks like whatever. I
when I was younger. Then I used to take little pots of hair wax do have long-ish curl so it tends to curl again but generally if
and have mini hair sprays in my jackets so I can rearrange it in my outfit looks good, hair is an accessory.
the toilet. I think it's because I went to Leeds University, it was Andrea: What do you like most about your body? Look in
the home of the scenester. Seeing people do their hair in the the mirror and think "I like what I see!"
toilet was a regular thing so I think I took it from that. Because Neil: Good question...my hair! The back of my head that I
I've always had crazy hair styles it's part of my identity but less can't see. That's a good question. I like to think that I'm an all-
now. For me it's less of a bigger issue. In a professional setting rounder. For me personality is an important thing. I never saw
you wouldn't go out with crazy hair. You get to a point...it just myself as a really attractive person so I've always used my
doesn't matter. personality to get...you know, as my...you know, if you were
Andrea: If you have to rush out of the house? chatting to girls. It wouldn't be my looks, it'd be my personality,
Neil: That's fine...I wear a hat at the moment. being fun and leading. I always think that appearance is the
Nathan: It bothers me if I go out in the morning and it's moft to the flame. I've talked to some really attractive girls but
not right. I wear a suit to work and it's all kind of like...the there's no substance behind them..it's like a front.
image. If I haven't had time to straighten it properly, I'll get to Lucy: But if you had to pick a part of your body now? You
work and think bleah...I know I shouldn't be bothered know what everyone's just dying to say. Is anyone going to say
that much about it and it probably doesn't look as bad as I it?!
think it does but I like to go in...part of my getting ready ritual. I Neil: I like my body because I go to the gym quite a lot
like to look professional but I don't go around showing it off.
Andrea: Do you feel other people's gaze and imagine Lucy: I suppose...I love my lips but I also really like that
that they look at your hair? I'm tall because then it doesn't matter how fat I get, I always
Nathan: I think I imagine that they're looking at me but look thin and gorgeous. I can see in gigs. But I do like my face
they probably aren't...they're thinking...it makes me feel more actually.
self conscious if I feel my hair isn't looking good, I'll feel more Nathan: I can't think of a part of me as being my
self conscious about it but the reality is that probably no one favourite. I like being tall and having a slender frame because
really cares. it's hard to get fat and people are always jealous of my
Neil: They probably care about their own hair. You metabolism. I would like to be more muscular but it's hard for
condemn most in others what you fear most in yourself! me to put it on. If I was to look in the mirror, if I'm in a good
Nathan: Sometimes it can be the opposite, someone mood nad I look in the mirror and smile, I think I like a nice
might compliment you on your hair and it changes your frame smile.
of mind. When you were proably thinking it wasn't that good. Andrea: How do you get ideas for new haircuts?
Andrea: Does that affect you? Neil: Now I'm much more adventurous because I don't
Nathan: Probably does for a little bit but then I forget care what people think about me. I'm much more likely to do
again. something crazy. I don't think I could do something normal
Lucy: For me, I've normally got about 3 seconds to get because I like standing out. I've got a few friends who are quite
out of the house in the morning. I won't even have a chance to into fashion. My friend James works in Topshop and dresses
wash my face, let alone look in a mirror. I don't really have to the models and that kind of thing. Got a friend Steven in
care that much because I work with people that probably don't London who dresses shop windows...sort of take tips from
wash for months so it doesn't matter if I look rubbish. But if I go them and then...always looking at gay guys
out somewhere and I'm going to be surrounded by people who is a good idea for haircuts. I got this idea to shave my head off
will judge me on my looks, I can really get...I'll get really upset as a nod to the 80s, like Tears for Fears because they had a
if I don't look nice or I don't feel that I don't look nice. I get sort of similar thing.
upset to the point where I won't want to go out because hair Andrea: So mostly fashion.
isn't nice. It's more for me...for...what I think people are going Neil: In Leeds i used to be obsessed with fashion
to be thinking. magazines. Mainly cause of the city - I spoke to my sister
Neil: "The indefinite others" about it „cause I was having difficulties at the time with a bit of
Andrea: You talked earlier about Inspire... depression and I used to take a lot of cues from external
Lucy: I couldn't go in there if I thought I looked like a things. Now I'm quite into my trainers...I've got a growing
tramp. Everybody in that place - and I don't care what anyone collection of special edition trainers. I just bought some Golas.

49
g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Generally it's just what I like. I think fashion and music go hand Neil: Just word of mouth. Couple of my ex girlfriends had
in hand. You see bands and that kind of thing. I'm not the sort them and I had used them and they'd be good and that kind of
of person that looks to things...music is just another product. thing.
You could look at someone who's an amazing banker the Nathan: When I first had it straightened it was when I had
same way you could look like someone who's an amazing a haircut and he straightened it for me and I was like "I want it
musician. They all have their trade, their craft. When I was to be like that" so I'll have the same ones you've just used. The
younger I wanted to be a musician but as I got older I realised good thing right now would be to have those that produced the
you can't make any money out of it. My other skills were same effect.
perhaps more valuable and so I looked less to musicians Andrea: Where do you get most of your news from?
'cause I was always competing with them for girls. There were Neil: The internet. Google news. I've got a lot of custom
always musicians hitting on my girlfriend so I thought 'I gotta like search thing. I've got one for google android and a few sort
be cooler than they are'. The guys in bands, they need you to of acoustic kind of things. Click on the first one that comes up
know that they're in a band. They can only be themselves if but if it's an article that interests me I'll go to the BBC or like a
they are. There's a guy called Jimmy Western, he's in his late trusted news source like reuters. I like to read around the
30s. Everybody has to know...he plays big venues. I aspire not subject because it's difficult to find an unbiased opinion.
to be like them and be totally self inspired. There's no writing that's unbiased. If it's something I don't know
Lucy: I go for the same hairstyle all the time but if I did that much about I'll jump to
see something on someone similar to me and I thought it wikipedia and if it's a breaking news article like Haiti I will read
looked good, I might, possibly give it a try. a lot more. The thing is I always take what I read with a pinch
Andrea: Celebrity? of salt because nothing is unbiased. Reading around, getting
Lucy: No, I tend to go for something more practical like all the data.
something that's going to balance my face, I have quite a long Andrea: Is it always on?
face so there's only very few haircuts that will suit me. Tend to Neil: It's on iGoogle, it's the first thing that pops up with
stick to the same things...I'm not really influenced by...actually, my mail and my calendar. Facebook and twitter as well are
I do. I love Cheryl Cole's curls so if I could get my hair curly kinda good sources...you get breaking news from your friends.
like that, I would. Yeah, I suppose. Celebrities and magazines I heard MJ had died off Facebook.
and TV and that...all of those. Lucy: Me too!
Nathan: I know that I drew inspiration for at least 2 of my Nathan: I must admit...I found that if you're trying to find
haircuts from 1 particular person and that was Matt Bellamy. out exactly what's happening with something is to have a quick
Don't think it was a conscious thing, as in I like him so much I look on twitter and do a search as the quickest way. If you're
must replicate his style. I just thought the hairstyle was cool. It interested go even further. It might not be completely accurate
just so happened he got a haircut and I thought that was cool but if you heard something's happening, you can verify its
too! I wasn't following an evolution of his hairstyle. For other authenticity by going to BBC news. Quite often it won't be
ideas I just tend to notice people around me. You do tend to there yet because it's so new.
notice other people in fashion but you might not be consciously Lucy: I suppose first of all I'd hear it just on the news at
looking to see or find a hairstyle, you just happen to notice and TV because at work at 5 o'clock in the morning there's nothing
get ideas from that. else to do other than sit and watch the telly unless you want to
Andrea: How do you feel about sharing appliances with read the Sun or whatever it is that they buy.
people? Watch it on BBC news first and then look it up on the internet
Neil: I don't mind sharing them. The first time someone when I get home, on Google.
used hair straighteners on me was a girl I used to live with. Andrea: Do you follow them on your phone?
She was in fashion and she like proper straightening so I Neil: If I get bored I'll go on the phone but because I work
thought 'woah, that's amazing'. My sister steals my stuff now 5 minutes away from my house so I don't have the time. I
and then..same with me, when my other hair straighteners might do if I'm on the train but there's a few blogs I read
broke I used hers. Then I used my mum's hair dryer because if everyday, like lifehacker...
you want to be quick it's awesome. Nathan: I base all my reading around Google Reader. I
Nathan: People have used my straighteners when just have loads of RSS feeds that I capture. From that, if I find
they've come round. Like when a girl comes round and thinks something interesting I will probably go to the original source
"oh you have GHDs, can I borrow them?" site. Click through the link. I tend to group my different
Lucy: No prolem sharing...Tom would not be able to live categories together so for example you mentioned taking
the house without drying his hair. In fact he uses them more everything with a pinch of salt sometimes you can read it on
than me. one blog, you'll look on another blog to see if they've got
Andrea: Are you the person that decides to buy? Anyone something similar and get the actual picture.
has the word? Andrea: Newspapers?
Lucy: None of his business! If I was to go buy a new hair Neil: My parents get a newspaper twice a week,
dryer I would take his opinion in if he thought one was better, especially the Friday and Saturday. I tend to look in the
then yeah. supplements a bit more because they have good film and
Nathan: I don't generally share them with one particular literature supplements. Especially in the Guardian, a bit more
person so I just buy whatever works for me. weird, wacky stuff that they report in there. The newspaper is
Neil: Sometimes we compare notes, me and my sister nice to look at but it's a bit slow. If I want something quick,
still live together, we all used to have the exact same hair know what's going on now, the internet is really good at that.
straighteners because we knew what they were like whereas I've never really read tabloids, it's always been broadsheets.
recently we got different ones and we compare. But we both Sometimes if I go on a train I might buy a broadsheet. If it's to
use mum's hair dryer because it's bloomin' awesome. We even Leeds I've got 3 hours...time to read it all cause there's so
end up fighting over it if we go out at the same time. That kind much there. I used to read it every week when I was at uni and
of appliance you buy thinking it's going to last for years...The it was like 20p.
decision to buy my GHDs was a spur of the moment thing. My Lucy: I don't ever buy them, nobody does in my house
barber...I kinda did it for him because he was going through a either. Just what's at work and tabloid once. Or on the bus
rough patch financially and he makes like £30 off them. I didn't when I'm coming home.
really have a need for them but also I'm the first person that Nathan: I never buy newspapers but I do pick up the
has GHDs so I can be like "Yeah...". The thing I love about metro, get on the train, sit and read the Metro..not in detail but
them is how fast they are. The brand name was it's nice to just flick through and that early in the morning you
also...everybody talks about them in a way. I hang out with don't want to be looking at news on your phone.
many girls, it's good bragging right in a way. "I've got GHDs!" You have to concentrate and squint a bit. It's just nice and
I'd say that was the biggest influence on the buying decision - easy. It's a light read. It's perfect. I don't buy newspapers
peer recognition and also what was available at the time. because I see everything online.
Andrea: Was it because they were only in salons? Andrea: How do you read?
Lucy: I skip straight to the celebrity gossip and see who's
been sick in the gutter.

50
g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

Neil: The first thing I always click on is the sci-tech bit Neil: I joined it about 2 years ago. I was in the hospital
and then I'm more interested in world wide sort of politics than with a broken foot and I thought right...unfortunately I lost my
local ones. Local politics is very much tit for tat whereas the university email address just as I found out about facebook
global stuff tends to be more interesting. Bigger issues. which is quite a shame really. But I use it quite a lot. I treat it
Andrea: Bigger things happening somewhere else? like a news feed for your friends, a bit like twitter.
Neil: Especially on the TV it's much like national Andrea: How often do you check?
news...there's a regular german news blog that I read quite Neil: I do a little bit on my phone. I check it more at the
regularly. I always planned to go to Germany. It makes me feel weekends, maybe three times a day if it's on my phone and I'm
like "One day, I'll go here!" But always sci-tech and then some out just to see if people are coming out. In the week maybe
usual blogs. about 3-4 times.
Andrea: If you have an RSS feed and gather unread Andrea: Do you comment?
items after a few days, what happens? Neil: Make silly comments, like them, I like the fact that
Neil: I do...there's some music blogs which I subscribe to my posts are very abstract. Like my last post was something
in google news reader and a couple of them only post a couple about swapping old magic beans from an awesome cow.
of times a week but there's one that posts several times a day Really random things
and it's like thousands of items. But I don't go through it. I know Andrea: Twitter?
there would be too much to go through even if there's some Neil: A little bit...because I use facebook a lot. I use
good stuff in there. twitter as more of a news search. In our company we've been
Nathan: I have some RSS feeds that I'll keep on top and using it, I say what I'm doing at the moment and my boss can
others that just accumulate by the hundreds and sometimes I check it when he;s out of the office. Because it's just me and
can't be bothered and just mark them all as read. Sometimes I my boss and we get on really well
will go through, if I've got enough time or I'm bored. In case I Nathan: I signed up to facebook quite early but in the last
missed something I might be interested in but I usually jump year in a half I barely used it. I got sick of all the apps and the
straight to technology blogs, then some news secondary to invites and the kind of people saying I'm having a dinner now
that. First thing I look at is updates from my technology blogs. and watching tv and babble. I got a bit tired of that and all the
Andrea: Television? random invites I got from people that I knew 20 years ago and
Neil: I don't watch television. I've recently found iPlayer will never want to talk to ever again. I will probably log in to
and 4od which is good. Then I've got adblockers cause I don't check any messages I've had but I don't really like it.
get any of the advertising. It's one of the reasons why I Lucy: I check it about 20 times a day because it's a
stopped watching TV. I don't like the idea that someone is button on my phone.
trying to tell you what to buy by making you feel inadequate. I Andrea: Like or comment?
just find that whole mentality ...see how it affects other people, Lucy: I don't..
my sister's like that, and my mum. They see a makeup product Andrea: Stalking?
on the screen and just..I stopped watching purely because of Neil: My girlfriend's like that, she finds out all sorts of
the advertising. We've only got on TV. I watch a bit of iPlayer interesting things.
but mostly iPlayer and the Daly Show in America which is Lucy: I do facebook stalking, definitely. You know when
satirical news so I catch up with that but generally I don't watch they changed all the security settings you could look at
that much. people's photos that you weren't friends with so I went through
Nathan: Since I had a new TV recently it's more of a all the people I knew. I love facebook stalking. It's
novelty than anything else because I've never had freeview in because at work and at night you have nothing else to do
my life before so all of a sudden I've got all these free so you end up checking it all night. Just because you can.
channels. But I tend to find that I get annoyed with adverts Nathan: I started to like twitter more because it seemed
really quickly so most of my watching is movies or like a more intelligent way of twitter sharing information. The
documentaries. It's something I can control. people that I follow and share information with tend to be a bit
Neil: I did a lot of illegal downloading before iPlayer. Is it more concise, sensible about it. It's not about
illegal if you download them and pay your licence fee? Less "I'm doing this, I'm doing that", I ended up hating the facebook
now because 4od and channel 4 and seesaw was one of style of "oh, I'm doing this, doing that...doing the other"
them. It is advertising that stopped me watching. Neil: I think it's quite nice to get an idea what people are
Spotify - have you been on spotify lately? I found a little bit of a up to at night. I think people do it less now than they did but I
hack that strips the advertising. I also found a way to rip them experimented with a facebook group where I added usual
without the names so you can get all the tracks. Ever since people I went out with, created events that would
adblockers came out for browsers it's just been really nice. I link into things like google calendar. So instead of
turn them off every now and then to see the things I'm missing. messaging everyone ...text messaging is so ancient...there's
Sometimes you type something in Google and all these gotta be a better way of communicating. Send it individually,
random sites come up and you think "Oh, I'm gonna click on then send it individually back? You could use the group
one of them!" on facebook to mesage everyone up to see where
Nathan: I feel sorry for people not using it. everybody was.
Neil: Yeah, with everybody I know, I go "you're not using Andrea: Do you chain text?
adblocker?" and I'll go install it for them. Neil: got like so many thousands but I never get through
Lucy: I haven't had a TV since I left home. Watch it at them, just burn them on a group of 10 people and see what
work for a couple of hours and that's it. Licence is ridiculously everyone's up to.
expensive. Nathan: The ultimate of that would be to have Google
Neil: You don't have to pay for a TV licence if you only latitude to see where people are in town.
use iPlayer. I really like dispatches about afghanistan and one Neil: But you can't do it on a basic phone and it does
about maths in primary school which I was interested in drain the battery a little bit and you need to know how to set it
through my girlfriend because she's interested in becoming a up and have a google account.
primary school teacher. Generally finding out about the world. I Nathan: It's not accessible for the day to day phone users
don't like soaps, a little bit of comedy - The Cleveland Show I suppose.
which is slightly different but quite nice. I download South Park Neil: It would have to come from the providers. Orange
when it's showed in America are talking about being connected to the cloud and have this
a couple of hours after the show. I like to 'be there'. continuous update of information but it's not quite there.
Nathan: I'm like that with all the series. Andrea: Foursquare and Gowalla?
Lucy: You know that those shows do have product Neil: I'm not a big fan of Apples. I don't like being locked
placement in them so you can't get rid of them. into stuff, I like to play around with things.
Neil: Not so much in cartoons like family guy though. Andrea: if you can check things on my phone, how is
Andrea: But it does create a level of awareness? your actual desktop activity?
Nathan: Yes, it does. Neil: Well they're quite different on my browser. There
Neil: Sometimes it's a fun satire for advertising are things you can't do but can do on the desktop one...I've got
Andrea: About Facebook. How do you use it?

51
g h d a n d t r a n s m e d i a p l a n n i n g – An d r e e a N a s t a s e
Project Tutor: Angela Byrne
Manchester Metropolitan University

a 'girlfriend mutual friends group' which I add. Her friends on my girlfriend's wall, there's this Dispatches documentary
always seem to add me so I have a special group from 4od about primary education. It was relevant to her but
devoted to them. Also you can't see pictures even though some of her mutual friends are teachers as well so I can see
the pictures on facebook aren't that big. I'd say probably. It's a how it can be useful in context.
little bit fiddly on my phone. Andrea: So you thought both about her and her friends?
Andrea: And with a better phone? Neil: I didn't think about them but just the fact that it
Neil: Even with something like that, I think the most tabs comes up on their news feed and they saw it was good.
I've ever had open is 156. Security was a prolem because they changed it a couple of
Nathan: A man after my own heart weeks ago and you don't have so much control over who sees
Neil: You middle click, middle click and read through your friends list. And pages..things you're a fan of are publicly
them. available. Like she's a teacher and she's a fan of Scream pubs
Nathan: I lose track of where something is because you and if a parent comes on to facebook and looks up her name,
can't see the title sometimes it might come up that she's a big fan of Scream pubs or
Neil: Whether that's good thing or bad thing I don't know. various other types of pub chains type things. Whether that is
Because you're not focusing on one thing you feel good or not...
oversaturated...you think "What did I actually learn?" I just Andrea: if it was something really personal, how would
absorbed all this information you proceed?
Nathan: I email but the blackberry browser is terrible so I Neil: In person.
tend to find that I'll avoid looking at web stuff on my phone Nathan: Face to face or because I use google talk with
because it's such a terrible experience. I'll just wait to do it on my colleagues and friends as well. I'd post it in there.
my computer (To Lucy) Yours is much more usable.. Neil: Have you used google buzz? I was like "what's this
Lucy: Facebook..I haven't been on the desktop since I for?!" when it came. They should have linked it in with
had it on my phone facebook.
Nathan: if I had an iPhone or a Nexus I'd do much more Andrea: so just going to the final question: what would a
on the phone, it's just the frustrating current limitation of my normal, boring, Saturday look like for you?
phone. Neil: Probably sleep...recently I've been working at the
Andrea: what would make you share information with weekend to earn some extra pennies but it's purely because I
someone? thought we were going on holiday so I have a bit of extra cash.
Neil: I think generally the friends that I have on facebook Sleeping till about 11, going into town - I tend to go into
are also my real life friends. I don't tend to add people I don't Birmingham or go out for lunch or something and then maybe
know. Sometimes I am a little bit conscious of the fact that catch up over those things that I missed over the week on the
some friends are more into music. I'm quite into internet. Maybe a few hobby type things, like bike ride with my
politics so sometimes I post things privately to friends. friends in the summer when they lived in Coventry. And then
Even on a wall, mutual friends see it and don't know if that's a go out or something. With my sister, or with Tom, a few drinks.
good thing or a bad thing. Nathan: Pretty much the same although it doesn't seem
Lucy: I gotta be really careful what I put on mine because to have gone out that much lately. Saturday is generally a lazy
of so many people I work with. You have to say one bad thing day but I have done quite a lot of work lately actually. Because
inappropriately and get into real trouble because of it. of my job I tend to find that even though I'm not officially
Nathan: People have said bad things...had spilled into working I'll just have to check something, see what's going on
the workplace. Tom mentioned someone having a disciplinary so that pops into my weekend from time to time. I'd still make
over people saying stuff. time for those little things, I think.
Andrea: So would you go and tell everyone you know? Andrea: Do you take more time to read alone than when
Neil: I suppose it depends what it is. Also politics - you are in the office?
because I'm quite left wing, I have a friend who is a proper Nathan: With my job I have to do a lot of reading anyway.
Tory boy and sometimes we have arguments about the merits I don't think more when I'm alone. As long as I get my job
about various political agendas and I know my other friends done, people don't care how I do this. As long as I do what I'm
are not so interested. But it's quite interesting when someone supposed to.
you didn't realise was interested is actually into something you Neil: you get the responsibility thing. So long as you get
are into. the job done.
Nathan: I share things more targeted towards people I Lucy: Right...normal boring saturday I stay in bed about
know will be interested. With my kind of profiles, I have stuff half a day and get up about 10 mins and do all the things you
locked down - don't like the idea of someone I don't know need to do on a Saturday. Then we'll go out usually.
going into my life. But people I do allow to view things. Andrea: Are you on the internet?
If there's something generally interesting, I will share it Lucy: No, no, it's only then I get to sleep. I only phone
with everyone. internet: check facebook, email, ebay or whatever but not
Lucy: Would just call someone up, it's quicker than really..
messing about. I'd just message them privately, wouldn't Neil: I might sit in bed with my girlfriend and both of us
bother writing on walls...don't write on people's walls with our laptops but mainly because I've been doing work, I
Neil: I'm quite into my abstract weird stuff so if I find earn money in the time I might have been laying in. I'm trying
something on youtube I might whack that up on youtube. And to utilise my weekends a bit more because at uni I used to go
then ask them if they saw what I had posted. Like I went to out Friday nights quite drunk. Saturday was always like
New York a few weeks ago and I thought it was cool. There ugh...gotta go out later.
were a few people I didn't think wouldn't take notice but they
saw all my pictures and we were chatting about. I thought it [Conclusion & thanks followed. ]
was really cool. There's merits in it...like I posted yesterday's

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