1. 1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Advertising is said to be paid, non-personal communication from an identified sponsor using the mass media to persuade or influence an audience (Wells W, Burnett J, Moriarty S (2003) Richards and Curran(2002). Advertising has been in existence for a very long time and can be traced back to the very beginnings of recorded history. Archaeologists working in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea dug up signs announcing various events and offers. The Romans painted walls to announce gladiator fights. During the Golden Age in Greece, town criers announced the sale of cattle, crafted items and even Cosmetics (www.slideshare .net, accessed June, 2013).
Advertising is used to establish a basic awareness of a product or service in the mind of the potential customer and to build up knowledge about it. The need for advertising cannot be emphasized enough and as such companies, the world-over, employ it as one of the main forms of promotion which they adopt in pushing their products and services .It is mainly aimed at creating awareness and providing education about their products and services. The need for advertising is highlighted by Latif A, Saleem S, AbideenZUl (2011), as they identify that the primary aim of advertising is to reach prospective customers and by so doing, influence their attitudes, awareness and buying behavior. They further indicate that advertisers commit huge amounts of time, effort and money to this activity.
Nigerian consumers are increasingly becoming uneasily satisfied especially in the area of exposure to advertising messages. This is largely due to their expectation of good value for the money spent. Pike (2008) cited in Kofi P, Mark K A (2014), asserts that marketers are now faced with escalating media costs, often in tandem with declining advertising budget, thus leading them to increased interest in below-the-line promotional opportunities. According to Kotler (2009), marketing is totally about customers, hence the core mission of marketers is to provide the solution to customers needs and wants by identifying and meeting them.
Morden (1991) cited in Olufayo T. O., Ladipo P. A. and Bakare R. D. (2012), opined that advertising is used to establish a basic awareness of the product or service in the mind of the potential customer and to build up knowledge about it. Kotler (2002) sees advertising as one of the four major tools companies use to direct persuasive communications to target buyers and public noting that it consists of non-personal forms of communication conducted through paid media under clear sponsorship. According to Kotler (2002), the purpose of advertising is to enhance prospects’ responses to the organization and its offering.
Television advertisements have heralded an unprecedented increase in economic activities. For some, television advertisements are always one of the best things to look out for on television because of their highly captivating, dramatic, entertaining and humorous nature. For others, this form of advertisement is nothing but an interruption of a nice quiet evening at home, especially when the viewer is seriously engrossed in a highly informative news programme. However, beyond these two extremes, the advertiser must gain access to the consumer’s mind in order to win his/her purchasing loyalty. This is why the advertiser capitalizes on the glamour and potency of television to reach out to a wide spectrum of consumers in order to market his wares. Ideally, television commercials are based on the same principle as the old-time medicine show where a medicine dealer uses banjo player and magician to attract customer’s attention to his product and market his wares.
In television commercials, the advertiser uses talents (for dramatic spectacle) and music to put the audience in good humour, so that the sponsor (manufacturer of the product) who corresponds to the medicine man will have a receptive audience when he peddles his wares. The majority of television advertisements in Nigeria recently comprise brief advertising spots, ranging in length from a few seconds to several minutes. In the Nigerian media, advertisement of this sort has been used to sell every product imaginable over the years from household products to goods and services. The effect of television advertisements upon the viewing public has been so successful and so pervasive in recent times.
According to khan, Consumers’ behaviour is affected by both internal (individual) and external (environmental) factors or influences. The internal influences include the consumer motivation and involvement, attitudes, personality and self-concept, learning and memory, information processing on the other hand, external factors includes cultural influences, sub-cultural influences, social class influences, social group influences, family influences, personal influences, (khan, 2006). The way these influencing factors integrated within the consumer determines how that consumer will behave towards the product(s) which at this point is Omo detergent.
History Of Omo Detergent
Surf is the name of a brand of laundry detergent made by Unilever and sold in India, Ireland, South Africa and many other countries. In the United States the Surf product line is owned by Sun Products. The brand Omo was used when it was introduced in Australia and New Zealand, currently in Australia and South Africa, Surf as well as Omo are sold and they are both top-selling laundry detergents in Australia.
Surf was introduced in 1959 after Rinso, formerly Lever's best selling detergent brand, had declined in both sales and market share. Formulations of the detergent and the market segment targeted vary by region; in some countries Unilever also markets Persil detergent (but in others Persil is a Henkel brand).
Omo is manufactured and distributed by Unilever Nigeria Plc, which is a subsidiary of the multinational food and vitality company. Unilever whose corporate mission is "to add vitality to life" are manufacturer and supplier of consumer goods in the foods, home care and personal care divisions. Unilever Nigeria Plc was incorporated on 11th April, 1923 as the Lever Brothers (West Africa) Ltd (OceanicPearl, 2009). The company began as a trading organisation founded by Lord Leverhulme in Nigeria and West Africa.
It started as a soap manufacturing organisation and has remained over the years to become one of Nigeria's oldest surviving manufacturing organisations. The company has over the years diversified into the manufacture of foods, personal care products and non-soapy detergents.
This was done through mergers and acquisitions, some of which include the acquisition of Lipton Nigeria Ltd in 1985 and Cheesebrough Pond Industries Ltd in 1988 (UnileverNigeria 2010a). In line with the other parts of the multinational group, the company's name was changed in 2001 to Unilever Nigeria Plc. It was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1973 and 49% of its equity are owned by Nigerians at the moment while 51% is held by Unilever Overseas Holdings BV (OceanicPearl 2009).
Omo detergent powder is in its mature phase at the moment. It was introduced over 40 years ago and its early stage was marked with great acceptance as the market had very few players predominantly Elephant detergent. This established the brand and led to a very rapid growth phase through the 80s and early 90s.
By the late 90s, the product entered its mature phase. Its market share has since been fairly constant with slight increases or decreases yearly depending on marketing activities. This is evidenced by the gradual fall in market share (from 17.4percent in 2008 to 16.3percent in 2009). Unilever Nigeria constantly undertakes several activities to extend the life of the product. These include repackaging, resizing of packs, introduction of improved formulas and constant advertising.
Advertising Philosophy Of Omo
Omo is advertised with a catch phrase "Dirt is good", built around the belief that allowing children explore their environment ensures they grow and develop properly. The advertising of Omo is focused on the mother as the target considering that she is the main decision maker for the purchase of household care products like detergents.
Unilever Nigeria employs the television, posters and radio advertising to market Omo, each media used to a different degree.
Omo's main advertising is done on television since their target audience always watch television especially in the evenings. The adverts are run during a soap opera and a family breakfast show which run on Thursday (8-10pm) and Saturday mornings (9-10am) respectively weekly. These shows are almost religiously watched by most families and so have a great impact rate for the target audience (Wikipedia).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Commercials emphasizes and seeks to provide information by channeling desire and by supplying reasons for preferring a particular organization’s offer. There have been empirical research on influence of advertisement practices on rate of patronage of new products. This influence may be either positive or negative. The kind of influence depends on the kind and quality of advertisement. Since television commercials have the potential to influence human behaviour either to make them buy a product or admire it. It has been observed that since the 1990’s Omo detergent entered its matured phase and its market shares has not been steady. Since television commercial have the potential to influence buying behavior as regards buysing, to what what extent can Omo detergent commercials be said to have influenced consumers buying behavior? Most expecially in Warri Metropolis?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are;
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions of this study are;
1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
The result of the study would be of immense benefit to advertisers of Omo detergent as it would provide a guide on planning, production and placement of television advertisements for the product.
Essentially, this study makes a significant contribution to the existing literature on the influence of televistion commercial on prtoduct patronage. The study would also be of great use to mass communication and marketing students who intend to take up similar studies.
It is also envisaged that findings from this study would assist the management of Omo detergent to effectively promote their products in the highly competitive environment in Nigeria.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study would be directed at the general public of Warri metropolis, who can be classified as a consumer of any advertised product on television.
Warri metropolis is a major oil city in Delta State, Nigeria, with a population of over 366,100 people according to the National Population figures for 2011. The people of Warri are mainly the Urhobos, Isokos, Itsekiris, and Ijaws, but other ethnic groups also live within the city. Warri is regarded as a modern metropolis with expanded infrastructural development to include towns such as Uvwie, Udu Ughelli, Sapele and Okpe in recent years, with various road networks linking these places into one. Each of these towns has its own administrative structure. The city is known nationwide for its unique Pidgin English.
The people have access to the following television station Delta Rainbow Television, Delta Broadcasting Services. They also now have access to international stations with the advent of satellite and cable TV.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Frequently employed terms in this study are defined within the context of usage to avoid any misinterpretation.
ADVERTISING; Act of making something deliberately known to be people through any of the channel mass of communication such as television and persuading them for positive action towards that thing.
BUYING DECISION: The ability of the consumer to conclude on the purchase of a particular product.
BUYING HABIT: The decision process and actions of people involved in buying and usage of products.
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR: Activities, actions and influence of people who purchase and use goods and services to satisfy their personal or household needs or wants.
COMMERCIALS: An advertisement which is broadcast on television or radio
EXTERNAL INFLUENCE: This refers to the environmental influence on the consumer. Examples include family’s social structure and culture.
INFLUENCE: Power to affect somebody’s or people’s character, belief or action through example or powerful presentation.
INTERNAL INFULENCE: This connotes personal needs and motive of the consumers, his perception, the habit he had developed that influence his behaviour
TELEVISION COMMERCIALS: is a form of advertising in which goods, services, organization, ideas, etc are promoted via the medium of television. Most commercials are produced by an outside ad agency, and airtime is purchased from a channel or network in exchange for sponsorship of its programming.