A number of years ago I came up with what I called the TOAD Triangle. It was a diagram to help students visualize and remember the first two principles of media and how the principles interacted. Principle one: All mass media have business interests.  Principle two: All mass media have target audiences. I found that many students didn’t really grasp the concept and mechanics of how a local media outlet, like our community paper or radio station actually made money. Some knew advertising played a role, but were unclear on how it worked.

I created the Toad mnemonic and diagram to re-enforce the relationship between the T(arget Audience), O(wner of the Media Outlet), and the AD(vertiser of the product/service). After asking the class if anyone to explain how the owner of the radio station made money, I would draw out  and label the diagram. The students would copy it out. Eventually after a number of quizzes the concept would stick.

The combination of mnemonic, diagram and the kinetic re-enforcement of drawing and labeling are effective tools. Today’s students are exposed to other forms of media stimulus, so I took the basic diagram and put it into action and added a sound track, from ABBA.

In addition to becoming another tool of memory re-enforcement, the movie demonstrates how simple slide transitions can create an animation effect. It also demonstrates the impact of a audio tract and how visual and audio content combine to create a context and new reality and meaning that may have not existed for the separate elements before they were combined. Click to view other activities for the EMS3O class .

Below is a sample tv ratings from TV by the Numbers that demonstrates how target audiences are demographically identified.

The following chart does a similar analysis of social media platforms.


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