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Effects of Advertisement on Consumer Behavior of University Students Essay Sample

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ABSTRACT The present study was conducted to find out the effects of advertisement on consumer behavior of university students (N = 150). A self-explanatory questionnaire was used to measure the effects of advertisement. The sample was comprised of university students (University of Sargodha). Their age (18 – 24) was constant. Six brands were decided to be used as FMCG’s unit and inquiries were made with relevance to their advertisements. For results formulation chi-square, frequency and binomial test analysis were used and presented in tabular, bar graph, and pie chart form. The results revealed that advertisement persuades the consumer to at least buy the product once in a lifetime. Personality used in commercial influenced the consumers more as compare to keyword / caption. Results also revealed that consumers considered advertisement as a reliable source of knowledge as compare to others (friend, neighbors, reference group) opinions. Advertisement can effect any income group, but expensive product and repetition of advertisement did not effect the purchasing attitude. The most preferred brand was Lux and second preferred brand was Safeguard.

Consumers were influenced by the appeal and personality used in the specific brand advertisements. Advertising is almost everywhere in our daily life. Its forms and roles are both contested and admired. Some see advertising both as the mirror and the maker of culture. Even when advertisements contribute new sounds and the symbols that shape feature, its words and images reflect the present and the past. Others say advertising is purely an economic activity with one purpose i.e., to sell. Many advertisers and agencies believe that advertising creates “magic in the market place” (Russell & Lane, 1996). It is evident from definitions of advertisement that with the change in times there have been changes in the way advertising is perceived. However, in spite of all these changes advertising has always been a very strong institution, which has continued to influence our lives since the beginning of time (Wright, Warner & Winter 1971; Wells, Burnett & Moriarty 1995; Jugneheimer & White, 1980).

So advertising is a way of gaining sales effectiveness and of keeping selling expenses low. Advertiser wants to be certain that he, his store, and his product are identified in the advertisement and he is gaining benefit from it, even when he cannot be there to deliver the massage in person. And also because the advertisement must be carried by newspapers or magazines or television or radio or billboards, or by some other mass medium. The advertiser must pay the owner of those media for the space or time he used for the advertisement. (Jugneheimer & White, 1980) Advertisement has changed its form from town criers of medieval time to the internet and electronic advertisement of 20th century (David, 2001). The technique based on “hierarchy of effects” suggests that there are casual relationship between changes in person’s attitude about a product and person’s attitude to  buy that product.

The models of advertising suggest that to be effective, any piece of persuasive communication must carry its audience through a series of stages, each stage being dependent on the success on previous stage (Wilmshurst, 1985; Lavidge & Steiner, 1961; Leckenby, 1976; Colley, 1961). The theoretical formulations of the advertising, process into four groupings. These four theoretical divisions are the pressure-response theories, the active learning theories; the low-involvement theories; and the dissonance reduction theories (Tellis, 2004; Fine, 1992; Krugman, 1965; as cited in Nazir, 2001 ). Advertising is complex because many different advertisers try to reach many different types of audiences and many types of consumers. That’s why there are many types of advertising too, so that all types of consumers can be addressed. There is not just one kind of advertising; in fact, advertising is a large and varied industry and all types of advertising demand the creative, original messages that are strategically sound and well carry out (Wells et al., 1995). Researchers are agreed on these six fundamental principles on which advertising campaign run: to scure attention; to arose interest; to develop and sustain that interest; to create desire; to incite action and to create good will (Shahid, 1999).

After choosing an appropriate strategy and deciding upon the advertising objectives, media selection is the next important consideration. Media is the vehicle that is used for the delivery of the message. Some important tools of advertisement are newspapers, magazines, radio, television, direct mail and mail order, out door display and transportation (Wells, Burnett & Moriarty, 2000). As it become clear from above literature that all the efforts to make an advertisement so effective and persuasive in nature works on a sole motto to met the consumer psyche in a positive manner. Every human community develops a system by which it provides and distributes goods and services. In today’s advanced societies as the development goes on this system becomes very complex because of wide range of available goods. To understand this system fully what is required is the study of a person’s entire lifetime experiences since the consumption of economic goods because it prevails almost every activity in which humans are involved.

From this point of view, consumer behavior appears to be subsets of human behavior for the factors, which affect individuals in their daily lives, also influence their purchase activities. Internal influences, such as social class, society, family, reference group, opinion leaders and culture also affects us in our roles as consumer (Loudon & Bitta, 1994; Foxall & Goldsmith, 1994; Ralphs, 1993). Wilkie (1994) defined consumer behavior as “the mental, emotional, and physical activities that people engage in when selecting, purchasing, using, and disposing of products and services so as to satisfy needs and desires”. Consumers can be or not be the buyers. Buyers can be divided in to two broad categories: consumers and organizations. Both types of buyers go through a similar decision process to solve their problems through a process for finding the products or services most appropriate to their needs.

Many factors influence the out comes of a specific purchase decision (Loudon & Bitta, 1994; Steuart, 1970; Mowen, 1993; Engel, Kollart & Blackwell, 1973; Katona, 1963; Bells, 1967). Marketers made ads, which fulfill both consumers and organizational buyers and among them (ads) most significant are ads of fast moving consuming goods (FMCG’s) (Loudon & Bitta, 1994). All those products who’s buying is not preceded with extensive thinking and analyses on the part of the consumer and hence attitudes towards them are mainly shaped by ad evoked feeling and in this we include Fast Moving Consumer Good’s (FMCG) (Aaker, Batra & Myers, 1992 & 1996; Bovee, 1986; Mitchell, 1993). Loudon and Bitta (1994) proposed that the consumer decision process could be divided in to five stages: problem recognition; information search; evaluation of alternatives; choice and outcome (Swenson, 1990; Maio, 2000;).

Consumers do not always go through all the stages, most of the consumer may influence by the different ads, which they watch on the television or different posters in the market (Loudon & Bitta, 1994; Tellis, 1987; Hansen & Gronholdt, 1987). The advertisement effects the consumers by three key factors: appeal of advertisement, keyword / caption and personality used in the advertisement. Researches on advertisement show that personality mostly affects the consumer behavior (Engel, Blackwell, & Miniard, 1986). Customer roles (Sheth & Mittal, 1999) and consumer involvement (Mowen & Minor, 1998; Katz, 1960; Mullen & Johnson, 1990; Chiagouris, 1997; Clark, Brock & Stewart, 1994) also effects the buying behavior of consumer. Consumer innovativeness in part accounts for the timing of the decision to adopt an innovation (Foxall & Goldsmith, 1994). The most  important thing, which influences the individual behavior, is the consumer’s family, social and cultural environment (Stanton & Futrell, 1987; Loudon & Bitta, 1994; Cacioppo, Haugtvedt & Petty, 1992).

RATIONAL OF THE STUDY This study was conducted to find the impact of advertisement on consumers’ behavior with reference to their fast moving consuming goods (FMCG’s) for that purpose soap was taken as FMCG content and advertisement effects were checked out. Advertisement is everywhere in our life like on television, radio, newspaper and billboards are common medium’s through which advertisement reach to us. Advertiser and marketers are more concerned to know what are the consumer’s motives and their purchasing pattern in order to use different strategies to influence their consumer behavior and FMCG’s are the main focus of marketing researchers. The consumers use FMCG’s in daily routine and demand uniqueness and variety among them that is why marketer’s focused heavily to judge psyche of consumers; what they like, why they like and what will be appreciable in FMCG’s products.

Advertisements of FMCG’s are mostly concern about variety, upgrading of products, saving schemes to make it more influencing and effective for consumer’s psyche, so it is important to find out the elements of good advertisements as if the consumers are prone to the advertisement effectiveness then, which element of advertisement is more effective? Does the income play a role in determining advertisement effectiveness or not? Malik (1999) had done a limited research on advertisement effectiveness and consumer behavior of women university students but the present study intended to expand the sample in order to study the buying behavior of male university students either they are influenced by the advertisement or not. This study may serve in helping advertisers and marketers to know the needs, psyche and consuming pattern of various necessities of life.

OBJECTIVES OF STUDY The study aimed to see the effects of advertisements on consumers’ behavior by pursuing the following objectives: • To study the impact and receptivity of electronic advertisement on university students. • To find out the receptivity of advertisement due to appeal used in it. • To explore the impact of personality used in advertisements on consumer behavior. • To determine the impact of keyword/caption of advertisement on purchasing behavior of consumer.

HYPOTHESES A number of hypotheses were formulated in order to achieve the objectives of the study: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Appeal of advertisement will be positively related to its acceptance. There would be an association between effective appeal and purchasing pattern. Impact of appeal will be gender free. Personality used in commercial will be positively associated with persuasion. Personality used in commercials would have equal impact on both genders. Caption / keyword of commercial will be associated with persuasion. Keyword / caption will influence both genders equally.

DEFINITIONS OF VARIABLES Appeal of Advertisement: Appeal is the slogan or need-creating stanza used in advertisement. Attractive personality, commercial’s keyword/caption and some information adding to knowledge come under the appeal of the advertisement of a specific brand. They motivate the consumer to center his/her attention to the specific brand of product (Wells et al., 1995). Acceptance of Advertisement: Acceptance is the extent to which, a consumer relies on the advertisement’s information and act accordingly to the appeal, keyword / caption, stanza, slogan and model personality (Wells et al., 1995). Consumer Behavior: The decision process and physical activity individuals engage in when evaluating, acquiring, using, or disposing of goods and services (Loudon & Bitta, 1994).

SAMPLE In this research, the sample comprising of 150 students (N = 150) selected from University of Sargodha by convenient sampling technique. The sample consisted of both boys (n = 75) and girls (n = 75) students. Age level was constant ranging from 18 to 26 years. They all were viewers of electronic advertising.

INSTRUMENTS The main objective of the study was to analyze the effectiveness of advertisements on the university students of University of Sargodha. For this purpose a testing booklet consisting of demographic data sheet and self-explanatory questionnaire was adopted from Malik (1999) and used as a tool for data collection. For this study a self-explanatory questionnaire consisting of 25 fixed item responses was adopted along with the instructions. Questionnaire items contained informative queries about advertised brand and its consumption process. Question no. 1 about father’s income consisted of two-response categories i. e. highlevel income above 15,000 and low-level income up to 15,000.

Question no. 2, the brand of soap consisted of six brand names and one category of “any other”. The items no. 3-20 of questionnaire had 3-response categories i. e., mostly, sometime, and never, whereas items no. 21-25 had two response categories i. e., yes and no. The technique for coding questions was that those questions showing high level of acceptability in favor of advertisement were given high scores and those which show lower level of acceptability were given low scores. So some questions were scored in negative direction. Coding scheme for question no. 11, 17, 19, 20 having response categories of mostly, sometime and never were assigned the score of 0, 1 and 2 respectively whereas coding scheme for question no. 3-10 and 12-18 having response categories of “mostly”, “sometime” and “never” with scoring 2, 1 and 0. Rest of the questions 21-25 have “yes” and “no” response category with 1 and 0 scoring. Score range of scale was 0– 41.

RESEARCH DESIGN Present study was completed in two phases:

PHASE I (PILOT STUDY) Sample and Procedure: The questionnaire was pilot tested and distributed according to the drop off method among the survey sample of students (N =30, boys n = 15, girls n = 15) of University of Sargodha. Procedure was that willing students were given the questionnaire with some instructions to help out the filling of the questionnaire. Pilot study data were analyzed and results were formulated.

PHASE II (MAIN STUDY) Sample and Procedure: After pilot study in phase II, a sample of N = 150 was used to collect the data. Data were collected from n = 75 boys and n = 75 girls students. The questionnaires were distributed by drop off method. Procedure was that willing students were given the questionnaire with some instructions to help out the filling of the questionnaire. After data collection it was analyzed by the help of SPSS. Questionnaires were filled easily. Field experience was good, because the respondents were educated and could understand the importance of the study, so they cooperated.

RESULTS PHASE I (PILOT STUDY) The data of 30 students of University of Sargodha was analyzed on the scores of “Effects of Advertisement” scale. As the first step the reliability of the scale was ascertained by Coefficient Alpha and validity of scale was measured by content and construct validity.

RELIABILITY ESTIMATES OF SCALE The results indicated a significant Alpha Reliability Coefficient of scale for the sample of the study (r = .65). The scale Effects of Advertisement, which was used in study was content valid. The content validity of the scale was high because each and every item of the scale measured the effectiveness of the advertisement. Each item was directly related to advertisement of particular brand. The items inquired about the effective components of advertisement. The items measured different aspects of advertisement of particular brand, which might have an influence on consumers. If a procedure lacks reliability, it also lacks content validity (Heiman, 1995).

The satisfactory reliability showed that the measure had content validity because if the reliability would not significant, the measure would not be content valid. Each item of the scale aimed to measure the effectiveness of advertisement. Each item was derived from different theories of advertising like pressure response theory, active learning theory of advertising and low involvement theory given by Krugman (1965). So it was concluded that the scale used in the study was content valid.

PHASE II (MAIN STUDY) The second phase (Main Study) was carried out in order to see the effects of advertisement on consumer behavior with respect to soap brands (FMCG’s). The three basic things in advertisement that can influence the viewers were personality, caption, and appeal. Results in table no.1 showed that almost 43-82% respondents were persuaded to purchase the product due to advertisement, whereas 18% respondents were never persuaded (see Table 1). Table No. 2 showed that 28% of the respondents were mostly influenced by the appeal and 49% were sometime influenced by appeal in the advertisement whereas 23% of respondents were never influenced from the appeal used in advertisement, which means that advertisement did effect consumer behavior to a greater extent. But to find out weather its effectiveness motivates them to purchase the product at once or not further analyses were done (see Table 2). Table 3 revealed that the effectiveness of appeal and the purchase of product had non-significant relationship {χ² (2) = 2.803, p = n.s} (see Table 3). The third most persuasive component of advertisement was personality. Impact of personality used in commercial was also explored and results in the above table revealed that 38% of the consumers were mostly influenced by the personality used in advertisement of specific brand. But 26% consumers were never influenced by personality used in commercials (see table 4).

The results also indicated that only 29% – 41% of consumers were influenced by keyword / caption used in advertisement of specific brand whereas 30% had no influence of keyword / caption (see Table 5). Results in the table revealed that persuasion is highly positively {χ² (4) = 21.53, ***p < 0.001} associated with keyword / caption used in commercial (see Table 6). Results also revealed that brand mostly preferred by the respondents is Lux and on second place they preferred Safeguard (see Table 7). The rest of the soaps come after them. Preference of the brand also yields that the advertisement of Lux and Safeguard were more effective and persuasive in nature as
compared to other brands of soap.

DISCUSSION PHASE I The present study was aimed to determine effects of advertisement on consumer behaviors. Psychometric properties of scale “effects of advertisement” were also established on the sample of our study. The reliability estimate of the measure was computed to see the internal consistency of scale. The Coefficient Alpha of scale was .65, which was significant. Our scale was content valid. First of all it had face validity. All the items of scale were related to advertisement. It was very clear from one glance that each and every item of scale inquired about different aspects and components of advertisement with respect to its effectiveness. The items measured the effects of advertisement of different brand of soaps.

The scale contained the questions about effective of components of advertisement. In the process of adaptation of this scale, committee found out that either this scale met objectives of the study or not. As this test met our objectives, so it was also proved to be valid. Scale was valid because it had satisfactory reliability (.65) and according to Heiman (1995) that a test would be valid if it proved to be reliable. The scale of “Effects of Advertisement” used in the study was also proved to be valid on the basis of previous researches in which this scale was used. Nazir (2000) conducted a study “effects of advertisement on consumer behavior” using this scale. The results of the study proved that this scale measured what it supposed to measure. Malik (1999) also conducted a similar research on women university students by using this scale and gained significant results. In nutshell the scale “Effects of Advertisement” was a reliable and valid measure.

PHASE II Present study was carried out to see the effects of advertisement on consumer behavior of students of University of Sargodha. Analysis of the data revealed that advertisement persuaded the consumers to purchase the product at least once in their life. According to Wells et al. (2000) believability and trustworthiness is the essence of persuasion. In making ads more persuasive wattage is also given to psychographics along with demographics. The ads might be persuasive because firstly it had exposure to the audience; secondly once the audience had been exposed to the message, they became attentive towards it (Tellis, 1987; Hansen & Gronholdt, 1987; Gullen, Thompson & Johnson, 1987; Calder & Sternthal, 1980). For that purpose advertisers designed intrusive ads, used loud and bold effects to attract viewers attention like “Lux Star Jagay”. Next might be the function of originality to capture attention. Consumers noticed something that was new, novel and surprising like “Ab Naya Lux”.

It can be said that in order to be more effective and persuasive, ads of specific brands carried all the characteristics of a great ad, which are strategy, creativity and execution (Wells et al., 2000). There might be many reasons of this persuasion like effective keyword / caption, slogan or appeal and model personalities used in commercials of particular brand of soap. The results revealed that appeal used in advertisement of soap had an impact on majority of consumers. These findings were also inline with previous studies of Hassan and Rasheed (1994) and Malik (1999). Results also revealed that there was nonsignificant relationship between effective appeal and purchasing pattern of consumers. So it can be concluded that after watching the advertisement it is not necessary that people will rush to buy the product

unless the product seems satisfactory to them. From these results it can be argued that people used active learning process in changing their attitudes towards particular brand. A variety of factors can influence the persuasion of models that transmit marketing communications. Perhaps the most investigated factor in persuasion is credibility and believability (Loudon & Bitta, 1994). The second component of advertising is personality used in commercials. The results indicated that the personality used in commercials of particular brands of soap had the greater impact on consumers (Langmeyer & Shank, 1994; Cacioppo, Haugtvedt & Petty, 1992). According to social learning theory models are most effective stimulus and people change their attitude towards some objects after watching a model (Bandura, 1977, 1976, 1973 & 1965; Bandura, D, Ross & S. A. Ross, 1961). Researches indicate that the congruity principle is used frequently in marketing. Advertisers often use or hired celebrities to endorse brands, services and organizations.

Athletes speak against drug use among young people; movie actresses endorse various kinds of beauty aids. Of course the purpose is to have consumers who hold positive attitude towards a source (the person making such favorable statements about an object) to develop a positive value association between the source and the object (Brown, 1965). The models or personalities used in commercials were more effective because they were well-known and famous personalities e.g., (top models of showbiz in ads of Lux) or because they were experts in their respective fields (doctors used in commercials of Safeguard). Our hypothesis that personality used in commercials will have equal impact on both genders was supported. It means that now the outlook and beauty is as important for boys as for girls. In a previous research study Hovland and Weiss (1951), found that communications attributed to a credible source produced more attitude change than those from a source, which lacked credibility. In another research, Sangwan (2008) found that to make the advertisement attractive, use celebrity in the advertisements to influence the audience and consumers. As celebrities have high credibility.

Results also revealed that the keyword caption used in commercials also had great influence on consumers. Keyword / captions are used in commercials as an influential and attention gaining components. Captions like (the new); (the improved) and (better than ever) attract the attention of consumers for life long period of time. It was also clear from results that there was a significant relationship between persuasion and keyword / caption of commercial. So it means that in order to fulfill the needs of innovations of consumers, advertisers repeat the same brands with these effective captions (Englis, 1994; Schmitt, Tavassoli, Millard, 1993). It was also revealed from results that persuasion due to keyword / caption was gender free. But these findings are not inline with the results of another research which revealed that male and female consumers are influenced by key word/caption of the advertisement differently (Naikzad, 2009). To make advertisement more persuasive advertisers use “taglines” at the end of an ad to summarize the essential point of message in a memorable way such as (Lux star jagay).

According to Kiechel (1993) although only whit-collar jobs are portrayed in advertisement but still it had equal impact on all income groups. It could be explained, as consumers were not influenced by the repetition of commercials unless the advertised product seemed satisfactory to them. Ray (1973) gave the think-feel-do model, which described that consumers approached a purchase situation using a sequence of response instead of being influenced by the repetition of advertisement. Marketers should not expect continuous positive change among consumers from increased repetitions of a commercial. At some point message wear out occurs. Here, the positive effects of repetition diminish because of audience boredom, inattention and increased cognitive response activity that is less positive in content than the message. Similar findings were gained from previous researches (Munch & Swasy, 1988, Cacioppo, Petty & Quintanar, 1982, Calder & Sternthal, 1980, Cacioppo, Petty, 1979, Miller, 1976).

It can be inferred that moderate level of repetition of advertisement over time appears to influence attitudes positively. Although the environmental factors are important in decision making and getting information but the most reliable and trustworthy source is the ad of particular brand. Opinion leaders (models) work as the informative agent, so advertisement becomes a reliable source. All these issues covering appeal phenomena including attractive personality, keyword / caption and source of information concluded that advertisement had a positive impact on consumers. Consumers want new and novel things, so in order to fulfill their needs, advertisers and marketers designed novel ads just to gain their attention. In order to be more effective and influential in a positive manner, the ad of particular brand must have all the qualities of a good ad.

In nutshell it was concluded that advertisement appeal and its effectiveness was positively related. It was also found out that people form attitudes towards objects on the basis of their beliefs, perception and knowledge about these objects. According to value expressive function of attitudes (Herek, 1987) consumers preferred brand was Lux and these findings explained that consumers purchased that particular brand because it seemed satisfactory to them.

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