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Television Advertisement and Consumer Culture in Nigeria

Television Advertisement and Consumer Culture in Nigeria; A Study of “Guinness Stout and Coca Cola” Advertisements

CHAPTER ONE

Background of Study

1.1 Introduction

The major aim of advertisement is to sell a product. Advertising is unlike the salesman who sells in a face to face situation, it sells either through the print or electronic medium to consumers whose identify maybe known or not, and who may be close or in a remote place. Advertisement aims at persuading and influencing consumer’s behavior and making them to see the important of a product. Advertisement is essential to all the industrial society just as oxygen is to human beings. For this reason, the industrialist, manufacturer, producer and salesman has accepted the fact that any product meant for public consumption and support needs a certain media for communication and information. The media in this sense can be radio, television, newspaper, or magazines.

Advertisement is as important as every other stage in the production of goods and services. It is one of the means or method used by the companies and industries to create a massive and an alarming awareness on a particular products. Thus, advertisement can be said to have both a marketing and communicative function which assists goods and services to get patronage from the consumers. For advertisement to perform the dual functions of communication and selling of the intended products to the consumers, it must be potent to achieve a better results, the advertisement should contain messages that are persuasive and convincing enough. This will be done purposely to bring a change in the mind of the consumers towards the products and services.

For the purpose of this study, emphasis will be layed on television advertisement. Modern advertisement in Nigeria got a boost with the advertisement of the printing media. It later extended to the electronic median in 1960 with the establishment of more television stations in the country. Television is an electronic media that combines sound and images in its presentation of messages. It is a demonstrative media which has the ability to inform the consumers about a product and event in a dramatic way. It is also a spectacular way through which audio visual information can be passed to heterogeneous and scattered number of people at the same time. Television advertisement has grown tremendously at  the expense of the print. It has some major merits like the ability to demonstrate products on screen for the whole family in a relaxed atmosphere. This is achieved using audio-visual stimuli, and a high degree of flexibility in its mode of operations increased tremendously over the years. The development of television means that, most people encounter advertisement in one of its dramatic forms right in their homes. Advertising is a tool that facilitates the presentation and sale of goods to consumers. And for consumers, advertising is a tool that familiarizes them with the market place.

Wright et al posits that, “The television advertiser can in effect come into a viewers home, chat with the viewer personally, display products actively over a musical background and Stimulate sales by demonstrating case of purchase” (226).

Based on its dramatization and visual interpretation of the product, television advertisement can create desires that previously did not exist or heighten a sublimal desire. This will be done by arousing the interest and emotions of the consumers in favour of goods and services. This will equally make the consumers take stops towards owing the advertised products. It is on the basis of satisfying needs and interests that peoples taste and consumption behavior begin to change. Advertising is a specialized form of persuasion, the most measurably powerful of all the functions and roles of the mass media. Thus, advertising can be seen as a strong force within the marketing mix, which advance and perpetuates the ideas and values of the consumers. Dyer posits that:

Advertising create false wants and encourage the production and consumption of things that are not in harmony with the fulfillment of genuine and urgent human needs (3).

However, it has been argued by another school of thought as well as the practitioners of advertisement. Advertisement create awareness about existing goods and services and it also enables consumers to make the right choice.

For this very reason, it becomes imperative and necessary to see the effects of television advertisement and consumer culture, particularly “coke” and Guinness stout” commercials.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is obvious that the purpose of creating advertisement is to increase sales by informing, persuading and converting the potential to buy and use a new or existing product. Critics argued that advertising apart from stressing the private accumulation of goods, also stirs of materialistic and false needs. Thus, making people to buy what they do not really need.

There is a debate as to whether exposure to advertising messages, especially on the television, has resulted in changes in peoples taste, attitudes, value and behavior. In other words one is tempted to ask if television advertisement influence the purchasing behavior or exaggerate the consumer’s life style.

Does television advertisement convert audiences to patrons? Does advertisement help one to start or stop using a product?. How do people receive television advertisement?. To answer these questions, it is important to know how television advertisement particularly “coke” and “Guinness stout” commercial affects the consumer culture.

Certain products like alcoholic drinks and carbonated water are constantly being used by consumers despite the warnings of the medical experts on the likely side effects. This has often been attributed to the dramatic and constant advertisement to such products on television. This raises a moral and ethical question since it appears that advertisers withhold certain vital information from consumers while glorifying the unique selling proposition of their goods and services.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

Advertising is part of the marketing mix used by manufacturers to persuade distributors to take stocks. Advertisement is the life-blood of business. In other words, it is the means by which manufacturers use to create awareness about their products, either through the print or electronic medium.

The purpose of this study therefore, is to determine whether consumer culture may be affected by television advertisement. The essay also pose to determine whether “coke” and “Guinness stout” commercial on television have positive or negative influences on the consumers. The study will also explore and asses if any other factors outside television advertisement may lead to the consumption of “coke” and “Guinness stout” brands. It will also check if the commercials resulted in the increase in consumption of the products. The study finally, aims at examining the attitude of television viewers towards television advertisement.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study focuses on television advertisement and consumer culture using “coke” and “Guinness stout” commercials as case studies. It is aimed at finding out among other things, if there exists any relationship between television advertisement and consumers culture. The study will equally enable advertisers and media personnels to know if consumer culture or behavior may be affected when watching advertisement on the television and other medium. The study will equally be of immense benefit to other soft drinks and Guinness stout manufacturers who have initiated or about to initiate advertising campaigns on their products.

Finally, this research shall be of help to alcoholic and sugar concentrated product campaigners. This will help them to know the persuasive content (message) of soft drinks and alcoholic manufacturing industries as to device ways to discourage the consumption of the products.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited to an assessment of the influence of television advertisement of “coke” and “Guinness stout” on the viewers and consumers. It is organized to assess the response of consumers residing in Awka and Enugu metropolis. The choice of “coke” and “Guinness stout” amidst other soft drinks and alcoholic products was informed by the techniques and strategies used by manufacturers of the brands. This is for conceptualizing and executing the commercials for the television medium in creating the commercials for the television medium in creating awareness and demands for their products.

Importantly, the researcher finds it imperative to use “coke” and “Guinness stout” brands to determine how the message content of television advertisement affects the consumer culture. This is because of the fact that the two products appear to command a high well of audience patronage in Nigeria.

This research is divided into four chapters in other to adequately facilitate the study. Chapter one is introductory and presents the aim and functions of advertising in  Nigeria as well as the television media as used by manufactures to create awareness about goods and services. The chapter also contains the research methodology and a definition of terms used in the study.

Chapter two presents a review of reacted literature in the areas of television and society, advertising and promotion. Chapter three of this essay focuses on the case studies as well as the essay focuses on the case studies as well as the research and data analysis. The chapter analyses selected “coke” and “Guinness stout” commercials in order to determine the effects of these commercials on consumers culture. It shall also analyze the collated data to arrive at an acceptable outcome of the research. Furthermore, the chapter shall involve a Rapid-Response interview in which respondents who are consuming the products (“coke” and Guinness stout) will be interviewed on the spot in order to a ascertain why they consume the products.

Chapter Four will provide a summary of the research and arrive at conclusions based on the research findings. It shall also offer suggestions and recommendation, as general contributions to knowledge and to the specified area of study in particular.

1.6 Research Methodology

This research study on television advertisement and consumer culture in Nigeria, is undertaken to assess the influence of “coke” and “Guinness stout” commercials on the consumers buying habits. This research would be executed using the survey method, employing the questionnaire and Rapid-Response interview as the research instrument. Based on the fact that the study concerns people, their attitudes, preferences, believes, benefits, opinions and behaviours lend credence to the decision to use the survey method with the questionnaire and the interview as the primary research instruments. This is based on the belief that the consumers must have been exposed to television advertising on “coke” and “Guinness stout”, and must have consumed these products under the study at one time or the other.

The research outcome will be the results of the respondent’s information, researchers observation and interpretation of documented data on the case studies.

1.7 Definition of Terms

For a better understanding of this research, it is important to define the following key terms which are used in this work.

1.8.1. Advertising

According to Sandage et al: advertisement can be recognized “As a paid, non-personal communication forms used with persuasive intent by identified sources through various media” (5).

Advertisement in the context of this work is defined as any form of persuasive information used to create awareness about the availability of goods and services. The ultimate aim of this persuasive communication is to induce the audience to buy the product or use the service being offered. It is the message symbol that is used by an individual, a group or corporate body to tell members of the public about the availability of products.

1.7.2. Consumer

Evang and Berman posit that “a consumer is a person who buys a product or service for personal, family or household use”. (54)

For the purpose of this research, a consumer is a person who is aware of the existence of products or finished goods and services, and purchased such to satisfy his or her wants. A consumer is also a user of a product who maybe unaware of its existence or brand name. The consumer uses it because someone else makes it available to him free of charge.

1.7.3. Commercial

According to Hornby, commercial is “an advertisement broadcast during a radio or a television programme” (176). For the purpose of this study, commercial means advertisement broadcast during a television programme or between programmes that is meant to bring awareness about existing goods and services.

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