The beginning of the twentieth Century witnessed an outburst of advertising efforts the bottling companies. This outburst was necessitated by the desire to outsell the other in the consumer market, since soft drinks are competitive products. In order to maintain a stronghold of their various market segments, or even to widen an existing market, different advertising strategies erupted prominent among them are sales promotions, sales campaign, point of purchase displays, media advertising e.t.c.
This rampant use of various advertising strategies in eliciting consumers’ response has credited a stiff competition between the manufacturers of soft drinks of which 7up is one. Constant inundation of consumers with multifarious advertising slogans has even created confusion in the minds of helpless consumers on which products to buy or leave.
Pride and fewel in their book “marketing” explained that an advertisement may a times be informative, or entertaining yet it may fail to get the audience to purchase the product they were of the opinion that the ultimate effectiveness of advertisement is determined by its ability to cause product adoption and high purchases among the potential buyers.
The extent of patronage of any advertised product does not entirely depend on the effectiveness of the advertising strategies. It might sometimes, depend on extraneous factors like economic status of the prospects, belief system, culture, climate, level of education e.t.c. For instance, it will be an exercise in facility to advertise liquor in a predominantly Moslem state of Kaduna and Zamfara. This is because the consumption of liquor is against their Islamic belief system.
Similarly, advertising of such luxury goods like vacuum, cleaner, TV set, electric cooker to a predominantly nomadic population will be a wasteful venture. In the above cases, values and economic status respectively play vital roles in changing the people’s behaviour towards accepting advertised product(s).
Advertising is a communication between sellers and buyers with the sole aim of changing the attitude of buyers. From the above definition, it could be deduced that advertising is communication especially from the producers to the target market about a product or organization with the hope of creating awareness, interest, desire and a patronage of the product.
Erickson (1962) defined advertising as “Truth well told”. The American Marketing (AMA) said that advertising is “any paid non personal presentation and promotion of ideas goods and services by an identified sponsor”.
This means that advertising messages are beamed at a group of people that are not personal in nature. Note worthy is the fact that an advertising channel is selected according to its suitability in researching the prospects. E.g. Newspapers and Magazines advertisement may not be helpful in researching an illiterate segment. According to this research, the Nigeria Mineral water industries Limited Markets of 7up have used almost all the advertising channels mentioned above to reach their audience. However, in order to arrive at a satisfactory result, only Television may be analyzed here as it affected 7up consumption.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria Mineral Industry Limited established in 1959 by the ENDC (Eastern Nigeria Development Cooperation) the company commenced production in 1960 with Pepsi range of products. The productions operation of the company halted for three years due to Nigeria / Biafran War – (1967 – 1970). The company started operating in 1971 after restructuring with product of Tango brand of soft drinks. In 1976, the company stopped the production of Tango and changed over to sun sweats range of products. In 1987, Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) launched an aggressive sales promotion campaign on one of their product called SPRITE with their Animal Kingdom Game. The 7up Bottling Company in 1989 came up, with “it is Raining Again” slogan, which came after the 1988 “Naira Ram” and the 7-up Bottling Company with the intention of maintaining its stronghold, increasing sales, penetrating into new markets and increasing shares of the entire market among the competing firms. In the Animal Kingdom Game, the slogan my choice is clear – Sprite! Rent the air and some incentives were provided to the buyers or consumers of Sprite, this advertisement strategy seemed to have had an adverse effect on the 7-up brand of soft drink hence a greater segment of the market was thought to have been won by the Nigeria Bottling Company. Consequently, the 7-up Bottling Company launched a counter attack in 1989 with the slogan. “The difference is clear” 7 – up.
With the above slogan, it appears as if buyers’ attention was shifted to the product. As a result, the competition between the Nigerian Bottling Company and 7-up Bottling Company became so keen that both of them today engage in under use of various advertising strategy to market their products and return their customers. Some critics are of the opinion that acceptance of a product is a multi – step process and since promotion advertising is only one part of the marketing mix, single promotional activity can rarely cause an individual to buy a previously unfamiliar – product. However, it is generally believed that advertising is necessary in the product – adoption process. More especially now that there are several product manufacturing companies, with each jostling for attention. The awareness of the existence of such product can only be created through venous advertising strategies. In line with the aforestated, the Nigeria Mineral Water Industries Limited markers of 7up soft drink in 2000 launched an extensive sales campaign titled “7up pop a top promotion”. The intention was to widen an existing 7up market through incentives. Consequently, the objective was realized as 7up recorded higher sales and increased preference after the advertisement and sales campaign.