1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In recent times, the need for advertisers to devise more extraordinary and unusual ways to attract buyers to their brand has become increasingly crucial. One of such ways is incorporating drama and its elements (plot, music, humour) into their advertisement.
In today’s media landscape where it is very difficult to shape consumers attitude and intentions and move them to the next level of the buying process, advertisers find it even more difficult and challenging to break through the clutter of competing advertisement. The advertising industry has experienced dynamic changes over the last decades. The changes have been good in terms of technological advancement, medium, more methods to attract consumers and on creativity. (Sharma, 2012:1)
The above quotation reveals to one in a clear and concise manner, the need for advertisers to devise more extraordinary and unusual ways to attract buyers to their brand. Therefore, Nigerian advertisers have begun to introduce ingenuity and creativity into their advertisements.
According to Belch and Belch (2001), advertising is defined as any paid non-personal communication and promotion of ideas, goods or services through mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television or radio by an identified sponsor. Also, Onabajo (2011) defines advertising as making publicly known that an individual or an organization has benefits, usually products and services it wishes to offer an identified target audience in return for some other benefits usually money. Therefore, advertisers put a lot of efforts into advertisement for their products as it is their ultimate tool for sales.
Over the years, Nigerian advertisers have chosen various media for their advertisements; one of such media is television, the main focus for this work. Television advertising according to the Online Business Encyclopedia (2015) means running a commercial on television, typically between fifteen to sixty seconds in length, but television adverts can also include sponsorships and product placements within television shows. Bruneau in his book, puts it thus:
Television is often called the ‘king’ of advertising media, since a majority of people spend more hours watching television per day than paying attention to any other medium. It combines the use of sight, color, sound and motion…and it works! Television has proved its persuasive power in influencing human behavior time and time again. (Bruneau, 2012:1).
The quotation above gives an insight into the overwhelming qualities of television advertising. It also indicates that television advertising might be the most appropriate for advertisers who want to incorporate dramatic appeals into their advertisements. This is because it is a medium that combines the use of sight, color, sound and motion.
In recent times, Nigerian advertisers have seen the need to communicate to its audience through the use of drama in television advertising because of its ability to effect change in people by bringing reality on screen; and also because of its ability to mirror the society (Ekeanyawu, Igwe and Igbinoba, 2010). With the incorporation of drama into product advertisements, elements of drama such as humour, music, dance, suspense and dialogue are also tools that have become indispensible. Shrimp (2000) opines that advertisers turn to drama in hopes of achieving various communication objectives- to gain attention, guide consumer comprehension of product claims, influence attitudes and ultimately create consumer action (purchase).
Advertisers should always think outside the box and should not create advertisements that would bore or offend the audience to disillusionment and consequently create a terrible image of the organization (Ekeanyawu et al., 2010). The audience demographics and peculiarities are therefore, the first and last consideration in creating advertisements. Corroborating this, Shrimp (2000) opines that when incorporating dramatic appeals into advertisements, deference should be made to the consumers or audiences demographic and lifestyle peculiarities. Nigerian advertisers have hereby introduced elements of drama like music, actors and comedy into their advertisement in order to gain the attention of their audience, especially youths. According to Ekeanyawu et al. (2010), Dramatic television advertising in Nigeria has become such a potent force that it has the power to create its own TV personalities and run its own soap operas and thus adds to the power of repetition and continuity in the form of advertising. This explains why various Nigerian brands now use various dramatic elements in their advertisement.
According Leong, Ang and Heng (1994), what makes dramatic advertisements different is that they seek to draw viewers into the commercials as they identify with the characters thereby providing the audience with a pseudo-experience of the reward and benefits associated with using the brand. But this is only at the advertisement level, because as Ekeanyawu et al. notes, it is important to know the influence of dramatic appeal in advertisements on your audience.
This critical need to know how dramatic appeals and elements influence the audience is the focus of this research work. This study therefore aims to examine Drama as a tool for advertisement of telecommunication networks.It will also establish if dramatic appeal in selected advertisements aid retention and recall at the point of purchase.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Numerous advertisers in Nigeria have now begun to incorporate dramatic appeals into their advertisements. They use suspense, actors, comedy and ultimately conflict resolution in their advertisements, hereby leading credence to Ekeanyawu et al. (2010) claim that more advertisers have seen the need to communicate to its audiences through the use of drama in advertisements.
According to Leong et al (1994), dramatic adverts tend to draw the viewers into the commercials as they identify with the characters but they also noted how much is known about the pros and cons of lecture/argument advertisements when compared to advertisers’ knowledge about dramatic advertisements. Much is known about ‘lectures’, but our understanding of ‘drama’ is somewhat lacking (Leong et al. 1994).
Although researchers such as Deighton, Romer and McQueen (1989), Leong et al. (1994) and Ekeanyawu at al. (2010) have worked in the areas of ‘Using Drama to Persuade’ and ‘Drama and Communication in Television Advertising’ respectively and they have attempted to fill some of the knowledge gaps; the effect these dramatic appeals actually have on the consumers’ buying decisionsis still immensely under-researched. It is for this reason that Leong et al. (1994) maintains that besides Wells (1988), only Deighton, Romer and McQueen (1989) have argued for the extent of dramatization as a different form of advertising. This reason justifies this research work which attempts to determine the influence of dramatic appeals in advertisements on the buying decisions of consumers.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To help pilot this study, some questions were formulated. They are:
- To what extent do dramatic appeals in advertisements work as a factor of influencein customer’s purchasing decision?
- What is the viewers’ perception of the use of drama in television advertising?
- How does the element of drama enhance advertising?
- What are the forms of dramatic appeals in selected adverts?
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to examine Drama as a tool for advertisement of telecommunication networks. The specific objectives include:
- Determine the extent to which dramatic appeals in advertisements work as a factor of influence in customer’s purchasing decision.
- Determine viewers’ perception of the use of drama in television advertising.
- Determine the influence of dramatic element in enhancing
- Identify the forms of dramatic appeals in selected adverts.
- PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Firstly, this study aims at examining “drama as a tool for advertisement of telecommunication networks”. As Shrimp (2000) explains, introducing dramatic elements in advertisements improves communication and holds the audiences’ attention more. Thus this study intends to uncover if dramatic appeals advertisements have a positive impact on the buying decision of consumers.
Furthermore, this research work aims to ascertain the viewers’ perception of the use of drama in television advertising and how the element of drama influences advertisements. Also, this work aims to determine how the element of drama enhances advertisement for the audience.
Finally, it is intended to determine to determine the elements of drama (for example dance, music, humour) that are used in some selected advertisements.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense importance to advertising agencies; because it will examine the effectiveness of dramatic appeals in advertisements on students who represent the youth classification in audience demographics. Hence, revealing to advertising agencies the extent of the effectiveness of these dramatic appeals on the segment of their audience who are mostly youths.
Also advertisers (companies, businesses, government, individuals) will benefit from this study as it will reveal how much dramatic appeal in advertisements influence students buying decisions as regards their products. This study will also reveal to them if truly the incorporation of elements of drama into advertisements sway consumer purchase choice.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is focused on the influence of Drama as a tool for advertisement of telecommunication networks , it is has been limited to the perception television audiences have about dramatic elements used in television advertising. This research has been delimited to the study of University of Ibadan students. The study will also investigate the forms of drama embedded in the selected advertisements. The study will research if truly dramatic appeals in advertisements influence the buying decisions of students of the above named institution. The University of Ibadan students were chosen because they are media literate; also because they are consumers of these brands that incorporate dramatic appeals into advertisement. Also, since the youth form an important target audience for advertisers and advertising agencies, it will be important for these stakeholders to know the students opinions and reactions.
- LIMITATIONS TO STUDY
This study encountered some limitations in the process of its execution. First, some of the advertisements the researcher intended to analyze were not found on the internet or anywhere online. Hence, the available advertisements had to be analyzed. Then, there appeared to be a dearth of studies that contain specific elements of dramatic appeals in advertisements. Hence, this limited the content categories that were used for the content analysis of the advertisements.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The study was organized in five chapters as follows:
Chapter 1 focuses on background of the study, problem statement, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, and organization of the study. Chapter 2 deals with literature review. This chapter reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on the study. Chapter 3 addresses the research methodology used in conducting the study. It outlines in detail the research design, target population, the sample size, sampling techniques, data collection instruments, and statistical tools used for data analysis. Chapter 4 is centered on the presentation of the study. It emphasizes the data collected from the field and summarizes them in a tabular form. Chapter 5 presents the conclusion and recommendations of the study. This section summarizes the major findings of the study and based on that, recommendations were made.
This chapter reviews relevant literature to this study. The review of literature focuses on some identified variables. The chapter is broadly segmented into advertising , dramatic appeals, empirical study and theoretical review. Empirical studies has to do with establishing connection with similar research works done in this area of study. Lastly, the theoretical review explains theories upon which this found its basis and attempts to establish links to the study.
DRAMA AS A TOOL FOR ADVERTISEMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORKS