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The Impact of Advertising in the Development of the Mass Media in Nigeria





This chapter presents the review of related literature as related to this study. The sub-topic described under this chapter are;

  • Review of concept
  • Radio Advertising
  • Psychology effect of radio advertising on consumer’s behavior
  • Theoretical framework

2.1     Review of concept

By its definition advertisement is a unidirectional and paid form of communication that is used to disseminate the product or services information, (Wells, Burnett, & Moriarty, 2007). Companies invest heavily on advertisement campaigns. An estimate of spending on advertisement in 2005 around the world is $300 Billion (Laczniak, 2008). The primary focus of advertisement is to enhance the business profitability; therefore, companies ignore many social aspects while designing an advertisement campaign. In contemporary marketing practices, advertisement means to create a need of the product in the mind of the consumers to influence its mind in a way that he feels thrust for that product weather he really needs that product or not (Singh, 1998). Advertisements no doubt are among the most visible of the marketing strategy and have been the subject of a great deal of attention in the last ten to fifteen years. Advertisement cannot only change emotions but give can subliminal message. Advertising today seems to be everywhere and ever present exerting a far reaching influence on the daily lives of people. Advertisements develop self-concepts in order to induce purchase decisions.

The six fundamental principles, on which advertising campaign run, have been unanimously agreed upon by researchers. These include (Shahid, 1999):

  • To score attention;
  • To arose interest;
  • To develop and sustain that interest;
  • To create desire;
  • To incite action; and
  • To create good will.

After choosing an appropriate strategy and deciding upon the advertising objectives, media selection is the next important consideration. Media are the vehicle that is used for the delivery of the message. Some important tools of advertisement are newspapers, magazines, radio, radio, direct mail and mail order, outdoor display and transportation (Wells, Burnett, and Moriarty, 2000). Advertisements are not intended to create sales in the short-term, even though this can be seen as a triumph. However, they try to create long-lasting relationships with their consumers and try to persuade others to buy their product. For this kind of long-lasting relationship to occur the advertisements have to be recalled by the public, which in turn will create some interest towards the product which may lead to a purchase. For this recollection to arise, advertisements use various strategies such as humour, jingles, and repetition of their advertising.

Heath, Brandt and Nairn (2006) in their research reveal that advertising associations attempt to accomplish three things: attention, brand awareness and persuasion. Much of the literature found in relation to advertising, is concerned with experiments on the memory of the consumer in order to discover what characteristics of advertisements are most likely to increase the remembrance of them. Characteristics of advertisements can be described as humorous, or those that have songs or jingles integrated in to them. This is an important factor when considering the effects of advertising since, most mental functioning operates unconsciously and the consciousness is of very little importance in the mental life of the consumers. It is important to mention that mass radio and a bombardment of TV advertising occurred after the Second World War, which had only been reinforced in the 1980s and 1990s which was seen as the decades of an obsession with advertising, especially radio and it has not diminished since then but rather it has increased due to new mediums, such as the Internet, in which companies advertise their products and brands, reaching a much larger proportion of consumers (Gordon, 2006).


Jin (2003) in his survey, talks about the positive effect news exposure of adverts has on the interest and memory of the public, as it is seen in a non-advertising context, which may create more interest from the consumers and may have a different implication on them towards the product, than rather just seeing it in an advertisement. Smit, Van Meurs and Neijens (2006) in their research also indicate that the likeability of an advertisement increases the possibility of the consumer to notice them and enhance the chances of the brand being bought. It is highly likely that likeability can be described as entertainment, relevance, clearness and pleasantness, in which relevance of a commercial with the product that is being advertised is seen as a significant factor in altering the belief of the viewer’s.


2.2     The Nature of Radio Advertising

The radio as a medium is the most attractive and important place to advertise. Most of the young people remain glued to the radio and enjoy what they see. According to McLuhan(1964) cited in Sambe, J.A. (2008), radio advertisement is generally considered the most effective mass market advertising and this is reflected by the high prices radio networks charge for advertising airtime during popular radio events. Radio advertisements appear between shows, but also interrupt the programme at intervals. This method of screening advertisement is intended to capture or grab the attention of the audience and keep the viewer focused on the radio shows so that they will not want to change the channel. Instead, they will (hopefully) watch the advertisement while waiting for the next segment of the show. This is a technique of adding suspense, especially if the break occurs at a cliff hanger moment in the show. Rana (1995) undertook a study on TV advertisements and expressed that among the media, the impact of radio advertisement on social behaviour, including purchasing behaviour was the greatest. The reason being that radio has charm, instantaneous transmission capability and universality of appeal.  Radio advertising employs attention grabbing trick such as catchy and pleasing music, lyrics, Jingles, humour and repeated messages. The impact of the advertisements is more on radio than the print media or radio.

Although radio advertising has been found to have great influence on consumer behaviour, many people still deny being influenced by advertisements. However, Levis (1995) found that individuals who deny being influenced by advertisements unconsciously bought widely radio advertised products. Cheskin came to the conclusion that the effectiveness of radio advertisement is mostly below the threshold of consciousness, but unconsciously, we are affected by them. Krugman (1975) in support of the fact stipulated that “The public lets down its guard to the repetitive commercial use of the radio medium and it easily changes its way of perceiving products and brands without thinking very much about it at the time of radio exposure. Levisohn et al (1977) cited by Strasburger,(2001) mentioned in their study on radio advertisement that it has become, for example, a truism to observe that the impact of an advertisement is determined by complex interactions involving the product advertised, the appeal that is made on its behalf and the consumers.‟


Radio advertisement is also affected by the extent to which it rightly addresses the motives of the prospects. These motives of behaviour are generally accepted as mainly fear, sex, anger and happiness. By doing this, the advertiser is well on his way to helping the consumer reap the benefits of advertising.


Williams, Perreemlt and Jerome (1996:5-6) and Eric (1997) pointed out that the important element in defining advertising is the special relationship between a customer’s need and a product’s need satisfying potentials so that influence could be established among the consumer. The above defined this relationship as the utility which is seen as the products ability to satisfy both functional needs and symbolic (or psychological) wants. It is on this basis that scholar in advertising established their stand on the influence of radio commercials on consumer behaviour.

Arens (2004) notes that advertisements have a hold on their audience behaviour. This is because they; first develop customers perception of the product itself (awareness, attitude, interest) and then a belief in the product ability (value) to satisfy the consumer’s perceived wants or need (utility). The greater the potential value or utility of the need satisfying product. The submission above implies that, the effect of radio advertisement on consumer is a clearly predetermined issue that advertisers reel out while making conscious effort to sway consumer behaviour even before the consumers think of anything in that light. This is the powerful effect and influence of the advertising media which advertisers have come to fully appreciate.

Arens (Op.cit.) further states that a “radio commercial can simultaneously capture customer’s attention and stimulate their emotions towards the goal of need or want fulfillment”. What he advocates here is that the radio commercial stimulate a need or utility that was not part of the consumer plan and urged him or her to fulfill it based on prescription from the media. This is an illustration of radio advertisment influence on consumer’s behaviour.


William (1997) on his view noted that “if customers are aware of the product and it value and if they decide to satisfy it, then they are more likely to act in a manner that suggest a shift of grounds. Advertisers spend a huge amount of money to keep individuals and group of individuals interested in their product. They have to understand what makes potential customers behave the way they do. Williams (Op.cit), postulated that the advertiser’s goal is to get enough and relevant market data to develop accurate profiles of buyers to find the common ground for communication in a bid to influence consumer behaviour which is seen as, “the mental and emotional processes and the physical activities of people who purchase and use goods and services to satisfy particular needs and wants”.


2.3     Psychological effect of radio advertising on consumer’s behaviour

According to. Kotler (2003), there are four key psychological processes — motivation, perception, learning, and memory – fundamentally influencing the customer responses to marketing stimuli. Jokubauskas (2007) also attributes the cognitive aspects, i.e. senses, reasoning, language and perception, to the psychological impact of advertising, although the author does not present the hierarchy of these aspects. Therefore, based on the other authors’ hierarchical division, the cognitive aspects could be divided as follows: firstly, the customer’s attention is concentrated, then perception, cognition though the customer’s emotions and different senses, reasoning take place and then follows the advert assimilation. In Dolak’s (2007) model of the advertising stages impact Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA) are distinguished. The DAGMAR model distinguishes Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action (Keith, 2006).

All above mentioned models distinguish similar aspects occurring when the customer sees adverts. Kotwal, Gupta and Devi (2008) studied on the impact of TV advertisements on buying pattern of adolescent girls revealed that the advertisement played a vital role in introducing a new product in the family list and making better choice during shopping. Similarly, Jennifer, John, Bargh and Brownell (2009) explored the priming effects of radio food advertising on eating behavior. He found that children consumed 45% more when exposed to food advertising when we watched a cartoon that contained either food advertising for other product and a snack while watching. Mickel (1990) studied the effects of commercial radio on Iraqi consumer. They found that their radio advertisement offer knowledge about the advertising company and their products. In addition, the show time and quality of the advertisement affect directly the consumer behavior.

Burnet (1989,) opines that the process consumers go through in making a purchase varies considerably between low-involvement and high-involvement situations. Product decisions that serve high personal relevance and contain a high perceived risk are called high-involvement purchase, and they necessitate complex decision making. Products at the opposite end of the relevance/risk continuum are low involvement purchases that requires simple decision making.

Furthermore, Stephen and Tanneholz (1994) express that limited memory is a strong indent in consumer behavioural influence by radio advertisements. They argued that experience consumer receive from using a brand solidifies their perceptions can rarely be change through advertising alone”. It figures out that influence is not only a factor of advertising but equally of other variable which have already been listed by Arens (1999) and which includes the product itself. At the cover of his book Contemporary advertising, Arens observed that “advertising can create an image but a reputation must be earned”.

Thus, peak milk radio advertising can influence consumer behavior but it can only do that through the reputation of the product. Invariably it is a case of good product that needs a little push from advertising to make it exceptional.


Ibrahim (2002) declares that “advertising has become part of our society because it affects our choice of goods, our economic status and social behavior. The use of the verb ‘affect’ implies that advertising has strong influence and effect on behavior weather social, economic, or religious behavioral pattern. Like what is generally believed by scholars that even those that are illiterate, poor or who cannot read newspapers watch radio and are affected one way or the other because what is seen and heard sticks to the memory. Ibrahim further declare that advertisement are usually taken for granted but they can easily influence our purchasing decisions”, equally asserting that “not only do advertisements sell goods and services they are commodities themselves”.


Suffice it to say that, all the products used by a customer are not necessarily those of advertisements they liked. The key lies not only in the attractiveness of the advertisements, but also the interest of the target (Dubey and Patel, 2004).

2.4     Theoretical Framework

According to Sevenrin and Tankard (2001), theory is “a set of systematic generalizations based on scientific observations and leading to further empirical observations”. McQuail (2010) sees a theory as consisting of a set of ideas of varying status and origin, which seek to explain or interpret some phenomena.

Theory is a formulated general principle used for better understanding of ideas, issues or concepts. It is an assumption or system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure based on limited information or knowledge, devised to analyze, predict, or otherwise explain the nature or behaviour of a specified set of phenomena or abstract reasoning. It relates the past with the present for the sake of the future.  The theories that will help in fashioning a path way for this study are the agenda setting theory and diffusion of innovation theory.

Agenda Setting Theory

Agenda setting describes a very powerful influence of the media – the ability to tell us what issues are important. As far back as 1922, the newspaper columnist Walter Lippman was concerned that the media had the power to present images to the public. McCombs and Shaw investigated presidential campaigns in 1968, 1972 and 1976. In the research done in 1968 they focused on two elements: awareness and information. Investigating the agenda-setting function of the mass media, they attempted to assess the relationship between what voters in one community said were important issues and the actual content of the media messages used during the campaign. McCombs and Shaw concluded that the mass media exerted a significant influence on what voters considered to be the major issues of the campaign. Agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concern of salient issues by the news media. Two basis assumptions underlie most research on agenda-setting: (1) the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it; (2) media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.


Similarly, mass media, radio in this regard, help to create awareness and exert influence on the consumers who are exposed to radio advertising of a particular product.

Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Diffusion research centres on the conditions which increase or decrease the likelihood that a new idea, product, or practice will be adopted by members of a given culture. Diffusion of innovation theory predicts that media as well as interpersonal contacts provide information and influence opinion and judgment. Studying how innovation occurs, Rogers (2003) argues that it consists of four stages: invention, diffusion (or communication) through the social system, time and consequences. The information flows through networks. The nature of networks and the roles opinion leaders play in them determine the likelihood that the innovation will be adopted.

Innovation diffusion research has attempted to explain the variables that influence how and why users adopt a new information medium, such as the Internet. Opinion leaders exert influence on audience behaviour via their personal contact, but additional intermediaries called change agents and gatekeepers are also included in the process of diffusion. Five adopter categories are: (1) innovators, (2) early adopters, (3) early majority, (4) late majority, and (5) laggards.

According to Rogers (2003), Diffusion is the “process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over a period of time among the members of a social system”. An innovation is “an idea, practice, or object that is perceived to be new by an individual or other unit of adoption”. “Communication is a process in which participants create and share information with one another to reach a mutual understanding.


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