1.1 Background of the Study:
Advertising is one of the tools used for persuasive communication to target audience. Advertising is the communication relayed from companies to persuade an audience to purchase their products. This communication is usually through various forms of paid media…. TV and radio commercials, print advertising, billboards and more. Every communication is advertising is intended to be persuasive. This becomes clear with the definition of persuasive communication by Osubiyi (1999), which is a conscious attempt by one individual to change the behavior of another individual or groups of individuals through the transmission of some messages. Persuasive communication relates the intention of the communication with resultant behavior of the receiver. Successful persuasive communication produces the desire and behavior while failed ones don’t.
Simply put, advertising is any form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services usually paid for by identified sponsor. The key points to note are:
i. Advertising is non-personal directed to a range of anonymous people.
ii. Usually paid for, this fact differentiates advertising from publicity which is not usually purchased.
iii. For obvious reason, the sponsor of the advertisement is identified. In fact, in most instances, identifying the sponsor of the advertisement is the prime purpose behind the advert, otherwise why advertise? This is so because by putting their names behind their products or goods, advertisers try hard to fulfill the promise thy claim.
Basically, advertising seek to establish, modify or reinforce attitudes, causing consumers to try a new product, buy more of it or switch brands. Brand advertising seeks to create an image or personality for a product out unique position for it.
The rate of advertising in society is a controversial one, largely because opinions associated with it are heavily interwoven with more fundamental vows and beliefs about how a society does and should operate. Aaker and Myers (1989:503): advertising performs some basic functions in the society, first, it serves the marketing function by helping companies that provide product and service and ideas, sells their products in conjunction with personal selling and sales production. Some advertising however maybe aimed at providing public service because it gives us information about goods and services. No wonder the International Advertising Association states: “to be properly informed, the consumer needs advertising”.
Also, advertising help people learn about new products and service and improvements in existing ones through advertising. Agu (1990) asserts that advertising creates awareness, stimulates demand and encourages greater production and ultimately leading to improvement in the standard of living. Hence, advertising provides consumer education as it ensures national and freedom of choice by consumers. The promotion of free and rational consumer choice is a very important aspect of the informative role of advertising. Practical advertising cannot be complete without a clear understanding and application of the principles of consumer’s behavior.
Advertising has grown as a tool of academic inquiry, a field of professional practice and an index of modern business. It has come to assume the center of modern business marketing strategy. Billboard advertising has assumed a wider and prominent position of product promotion in recent times in Nigeria.
Despite electronic media, billboard advertising got product promotion on the increase and has been dominating the forms of advertising. A result of billboard advertising has emerged as it is recognized by the advertisers as a subsidiary of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). But has been articulated by Adeyemi (1969) the constitutional provisions on freedom of expression can be said to amount only to an orderly freedom of which cannot be used as a license to spread communication that debased public morality.
However, many of these ethical principles have in the course of time, grown to become statutory regulation codified laws. Decree 55 of 1988 among other provisions provides that APCON show regular and control of the practices of advertising in all aspects and ramification. It is in this immense and wide power conferred on it that APCON developed a code of ethics to guide and regulate the practice of advertising in Nigeria which accommodated in no small measure the use of billboards as a way of communicating messages to the masses.
The increase in billboard advertising underscores the effectiveness of billboard on product promotion. Billboards are usually located at point with high vertical and human traffic. Consequently, users of such points are regularly exposed to the advertisement in the board. Secondary, billboards also offers a high degree of locational flexibility. In other words, the boards can be placed where the advertisers actually intended them to be. In addition, they tend to have lower cost per thousand than most of the other media. They are usually more cost efficient, especially for the advertiser with a small budget. Billboards offer the advantages of very good colour reproduction and at the small time, it is an effective reminder medium offer servicing as a catalyst for buyers who buy in impulse.
The greatest problem encountered by advertisers and their agencies with regard to billboard is site monitoring is usually deficient and so when posters get torn or washed out, it takes a while to discover and repost. This is because the site are usually scattered around very far geographical locations.
The posters used on the boards are usually tedious to print and post especially when numbers of sites to be covered are too many. In other words, boards make intense creative demands on the agency because they are usually seen in a fleeting second, they have to be powerfully executed so as to intrude on the passer-by’s consciousness. In this case, they tend to function better as a reminder media and execute the primary and the sole medium for an advertising campaign. Aside its cost efficient, it contributes to environmental aesthetic and enduring feature of landscape of towns in the country.
Again, if one glances down the major lengths in the streets in Enugu metropolis, you will notice the presence of 7up bottling company advertising billboard just to help the flag flying and to make sure that the consumers will remain and always patronize their products.
The seven-up (7up) bottling company PLC is one of the largest independent manufacturers and distributors of the well-known and widely consumed brands of soft drinks in Nigeria. Their brands are Pepsi, 7up, Miranda, Teem and Mountain dew.
A Lebanese Mohammed El-Khalil who came to Nigeria for the very first time in 1926 founded the company. Mohammed is the father of the company’s current chairman Faysal El-Khalil.
The company metamorphosed from a very successful transport business (El-Khalil transport) in a bid to diversify the then largest transport company in the then entire west of Africa. On October 1st 1960, the exact day our great country Nigeria won her independence, Nigerians also experienced the birth of a soft drink giant as the first bottle of 7up rolled out from their factory located in Ijora. Since then the company continued to grow in the leap and the bound.
Outdoor advertising has become a major advertising medium by advertising firms in Enugu metropolis using 7up as a study and it is an indispensable source of revenue for Enugu state government while advertisers buy space in newspapers and magazines, for outdoor advertisers, he rent cites as 7up usually points every corner in Enugu metropolis with its billboard.
In executing this research, the researcher will try to identify why billboard advertising seems to be more popular than other means of advertising in terms of product promotion of 7up bottling company billboards in Enugu metropolis. Also this study will try to find out the acceptability of billboard advertising in the society. Among other things, this study also helps to establish the contribution of billboards to product promotion, acceptability of billboard advertising in the society. This study also hopes to establish the contribution of billboard to promote business.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
The problem of this research work deals mainly on how billboard advertising can develop the print media. We know advertising revenue is one of the strongholds and pillars supporting the various print media and that without advertising revenue most print media houses will collapse especially private media houses.
The research works explains how billboard advertising sustains print media and to which extent and level do billboard advertising promote products and services advertised.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of the study:
i. To find out if advertisers in Enugu metropolis patronize billboard advertising.
ii. To determine the effectiveness of billboard advertising on 7up bottling company product provision and promotion.
iii. To find out whether it carries the same message with other media in the same product.
iv. To find out the contribution of billboards to environmental beauty or otherwise.
1.4 Research Questions
For this research work, the following questions were raised by the researcher:
a. Do Enugu advertisers patronize billboard advertising?
b. How does billboard advertisement influence consumers of 7up bottling company in Enugu metropolis?
c. To what extent do billboard advertising messages reinforce electronic and print media messages?
d. How far does billboard advertising contribute to environmental beauty?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses are seen as follows:
H1: Enugu advertisers do patronize 7up bottling company billboard advertising. H0: Enugu advertisers do not patronize 7up bottling company billboard advertising.
H2: Billboard advertising does influence consumers of 7up bottling company in Enugu metropolis.
H0: Billboard advertising does not influence consumers of 7up bottling company in Enugu metropolis.
H3: Billboard advertising message do reinforce electronic and print media messages. H0: Billboard advertising message do not reinforce electronic and print media messages. H4: Billboard advertising do contribute to environmental beauty.
H0: Billboard advertising do not contribute to environmental beauty.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study brings to our knowledge the degree of influence other product promotion activities and advertising exerts on billboard advertising.
The study will also serve as a guide to manufacturers and advertisers in their day to day management of product promotion via 7up bottling company billboard advertising. On the other hand, this study will also serve as good feasibility study for perspective investors in billboard advertising sub-sector.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The study is limited to the Enugu metropolis. It is chosen as the area in carrying out the research in this project and all research done within the study are limited to Enugu metropolis.
Due to the problem of time and money, the researcher may also encounter certain other limitations such as the problem of having to manage class work with the research work as well as
the problem of gathering enough materials for the study. But in spite of this, the researcher will make sure that all this problems are managed well in order to come up with a good result that can be a plus to the area of study.
1.8 Definitions of Terms (Operational)
a. Impact: This refers to the average number of Enugu residents that the picture and wording of 7up bottling company billboard have made a striking impression on.
b. Billboard: This refers to a large sign used for advertising of products and services.
c. Promotion: This is the publishing and advertising of product tangible or intangible. This is the placement of 7up bottling company billboard in strategic places in Enugu metropolis.
d. Product: This is a bundle of utility offered to the consumer by a profit and non-profit organizations.