INFLUENCE OF ADVERTISING MESSAGES ON CARITAS UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATES’ PATRONAGE OF GOOD MORNING CORNFLAKES

Abstract

The main purpose of this study is to find out the influence of advertising on Caritas University undergraduates´ patronage of Goodmorning cornflakes. The study adopted the survey research method using the questionnaire as its research instrument. Out of 100 copies of questionnaire distributed to the respondents who were undergraduate students of Caritas University, 100 copies were retrieved. The study asked among other questions: what type of influence do advertising messages have on your patronage of Goodmorning cornflakes? The findings revealed that advertising has great influence on he respondents purchase of Goodmorning cornflakes. The study recommends that the manufacturers should increase their media for advertising from radio and TV to billboard, posters and pamphlets so that their advertising messages will reach many people.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Etymologically the word Advertising is derived from the Latin word advertere which means to draw attention. It‟s all about drawing a person’s attention to buy a product or seek for services. This is why scholars like Hark and O’Connor in Eluwa, (1999), define advertising as the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcement. This definition is similar to Frank Jefkins definition cited in Eluwa, (1999), as the means by which we make known what we want to sell or buy. But it is limited from the angle of the media of communication. However, advertising has always been defined by other different scholars in their own perspectives. According to Bovee and Arens (1992, p.7), advertising is a “non personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products (goods and services) or ideas by identified sponsor through various media. Wikipedia, sees advertising as “a form of communication used to encourage or persuade an audience (viewers, readers, or listeners, sometimes a specific group of people) to continue or take new actions.” The American Marketing Association defines advertising as “any paid form of nonpersonal communication about an organization, product, service or idea by an identified sponsor. “Answer.com sees advertising as the activity of attracting public attention to the product or business as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast], or electronic media. Aliede in Okunna, (2002), is of the opinion that advertising is “a form of communication through the media about products services, ideas, personalities or organizations paid for by an identified sponsor.”

Although advertising has been limited to communicating the product with the aim of selling the products by urging and convincing the targeted audience to do something through the use of traditional communication, which covers the communication process by the media which include the radio, television, cinema, newspaper, magazines, bill boards, posters and the internet which of course is the recent advertising media. Every advert message performs and creates brand awareness about the product. Since the internet became commercialized, large and small businessmen saw it as a great opportunity to increase the awareness of their business and, at the same time to increase sales. Advertising may also be to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful. It also seeks to generate increase consumption of their product or services through „‟branding‟‟ which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate certain qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers.
Advertising provides numerous benefits to the society. These include making media less expensive and contributing to a large and diverse economy. While advertising has existed in the United State since colonial times, it was industrialization, urbanization and the growth of national transportation network in the 19thcentury that allowed it to become a major industry. Advertising uses a variety of strategy to reach their audience; they may attempt to understand their needs, wants and motivations of audience members through psychographic research. They also target products to specific demographic groups. Advertising has being traced to have started since through the word of mouth which is the basic (and still the most powerful) form of advertising. Advertising has been ever since humans started providing each other with goods and services. Also advertising as a discrete form is generally agreed to have begin alongside newspaper in the seventeenth century. (Wilson, 2000, p.12).

Hussain (2012} in his own view stated that the exact beginning of modern advertising can be traced to weekly newspapers in London that began running adverts in the 17th century. He further explained that the prolific businessman, inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin published notices of “new advertisements” of products and services as early as 1729 in his Pennsylvania Gazette and the fact that it was still a revolutionary concept is evidenced by the fact that many papers refuse to run adverts. Highlighting its existence in Nigeria advertising has been part of commercial activities even before the arrival of white men remarks Abayomi in Okunna (2002, p.86}. Quoting Ogbodo (1990}, Abayomi in Okunna pointed out the common practices in our localities like what the town criers do, hawking and displaying of available wares were the earliest method of advertising in Nigeria. This is still obtainable in the free market as sellers cry above their voices to draw the attention of buyers wares.

The introduction of modern advertising in Nigeria was made possible in 1859 by a newspaper called “Iwe Irohin.” It was an eight page newspaper with four pages English version and four pages “Yoruba version” owned by an English reverend gentleman known as Henry Townsend. The newspaper attracted a lot of readership, this created space for advertisements on births, weddings and obituaries, vacancies for houseboys, and maids, church activities, ship schedules and other social events.

Abayomi in Okunna (2002, p.86} records that other newspapers such as Lagos observer, The Eagle, The Lagos critic and others joined the activity. The business of advertising experienced a great boost in the 1920s as notable companies such as Raleigh Bicycle, Pz Lever Brothers, Cadbury, Oval tine and others sprang up to patronize the services of the west African Publicity (WAP} which provided advertising services like radio and television. There was considerably advancement in radio/tv establishment for over four decades. These began with the establishment of western Nigerian Broadcasting Services (WWBS} and Western Nigerian Television (WNTV} by the defunct western region. (Okunna, 2002). The legalization of advertising in Nigeria was masterminded by Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) which was established by decree no. 55 of 1988 and amended by decree no. 93 of 1992.

APCON as produced by the code of advertising practice is charged among other things with the responsibility of;
1. Determining who advertisers are.
2. Conducting examination in the profession and
3. Regulating and controlling advertising in all this aspects and ramifications. The strict adherence to the provision of this code has really made advertising an interesting, fascinating and fantastic profession.

In recent years, the practice of advertising no longer enjoyed its good essence. Following the introduction of fraudulent and unethical practice in the business of advertising, the profession is fast losing credibility and interest.

The code of advertising practice catalogued the essence of good advertising as follows, that all advertising in Nigeria should;
1. Be legal, decent, honest, truthful and respectful of Nigeria‟s culture.
2. Be prepared with a high sense of social responsibility and should not show disregard for the interest of consumer and the wider Nigeria society.
3. Conform to the principles of fair competition generally accepted in business and fair comment expected in human communication.
4. Enhance public confidence in advertising.

A brief history about Caritas University

Caritas University is a private catholic university in Amorji Nike Enugu state Nigeria. The second of its kind after Madonna University Okija which by the grace of God the second private university to be approved by Federal Government of Nigeria and was opened in 2005. The school enjoys both state and ecclesiastical approval. It strives to revive in its community, the-age long tradition of catholic education and the exacting demand of contemporary society for sound education rooted in promoting morality. Its principal objective is to remain in the frontline of centre of learning, teaching and research. Caritas works for the improvement of her local community as well as for an active contribution to the needs of the international community in the aforementioned areas.

Caritas University was approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria on December 16th 2004 but was officially opened on January 31st 2005 by the Federal Ministry of education, Prof. Fabian Osuji. While on 28th May 2005, the pioneer students of 250 matriculated in a beautiful ceremony that attracted both church and state dignitaries. It is the second catholic university in Nigeria founded by Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Emmanuel Mathew Paul Edeh CSSP OFR. Although he founded the school, but the proprietor is the congregation of nuns founded by him.

A brief history of Good Morning Cornflakes

Good Morning Cornflakes is a popular breakfast cereal manufactured by C. Hahne. Muhlenstrasse Gmbh and co. L.td through the process of maize or corn. This cornflakes cereal has a count among most consumed breakfast items in most part of the world including Nigeria but most especially in Caritas University Amorji Nike Enugu of which 100% of the students are boarders.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In order for business to yield profit, so many entrepreneurs indulge in illegal advertising so as to get what they want in business. By so doing, they introduce fraudulent and unethical practices that mislead the public, customers, or consumers into leaving the better brand to the worse brand and also into buying the wrong products known as imitations. This practice makes advertising profession lose its good essence, credibility and interest. It also discourages consumers from paying attention to advertising messages. Bearing in mind the problem mentioned above, this study seeks to answer the question; how has advertising messages influenced the patronage of Caritas University students in their purchase of Good Morning Cornflakes?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The study had the following objectives
1. To find out the frequency of exposure of Caritas University undergraduates to advertisement on Good Morning cornflakes product.
2. To find out the type of media Good Morning cornflakes uses in advertising their product.
3. To determine the influence of advertising on the patronage of Good Morning cornflakes by Caritas University undergraduates.

1.4 Research Questions

The study formulated the following research questions.
1. What is the frequency of exposure of Caritas University undergraduates to advertisements in Good Morning cornflakes product?
2. What type of media do Good Morning cornflakes use in advertising their product?
3. What influence does advertising have on the patronage of Good Morning Cornflakes by Caritas University undergraduates?

1.5 The scope of the study

This study is focused on the influence of advertising messages on Caritas University undergraduates’ patronage of Good Morning Cornflakes, a product of C. Hahne. Muhnestrab Gmbh and Co. Ltd. that also produces other quality and valuable products like biscuits, milk, drinks, canned food cereals, soaps, creams, e.t.c. The researcher has chosen to limit the study because not only that it is within the reach of the target population but also to the reach of the researcher to enable her do thorough work without much hindrance.

1.6 Significance of the study

This study hopefully will help to enlighten the students on how to make judicious use of advertising messages. Secondly the findings would help to encourage the students to stick to their choice of brand and never allow themselves to be deceived by unethical advertisements.
The study would be useful to intending researchers, scholars, potential and prospective users, students, consumers of goods and services, policy makers, advertisers, advertising agencies and every other person that needs it because, it would serve as a reference material to all.

1.7 Operational Definitions of Significant Terms

1. Advertising: It is the activity of attracting the public’s attention to a product or business by a sponsor through the use of mass media.
2. Messages: It is an information which is sent from the media (source or sender} to a target audience to keep them aware of a product or service.
3. Undergraduates: It means students in Caritas University Amorji Nike Enugu who has not yet received their bachelor‟s degree from the school.
4. Good morning cornflakes: A popular cereal used by Caritas University undergraduates for breakfast.
5. Influence: The degree of impact that advertising message have on Caritas University undergraduates patronage of Good morning cornflakes.
6. Patronage: It means the support or encouragement that Caritas University undergraduates give to Goodmorning cornflakes.

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Unpublished project works

Ezeanioma, A. (2010). The Effect of Advertising on the Consumers of Nigeria Breweries PLC Products and the Society at Lareg. Unpublished B.Sc. project, Caritas University, Enugu

Uzonwa, H. (2011). The Impact of Advertising on Consumers Choice of Soft Drink.(A study of the coca-cola soft drink) unpublished B.sc project Caritas University, Enugu

Journal

Olise, F. (2006). The Influence of Advertising Through Communications Technology Channels on Consumers Buying Behavior International journal of communication, no. 5 (14-29)