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ISSN: 2319 – 7285
Dr. Oluwole Iyiola & Joy Dirisu
Department of Business Management, College of Business and Social Studies,
Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria.
The average American is exposed to 61,556 words from mass media each day which works out to just under 4,000
words per waking hour, about 60 words per waking minutes per person per day (Herbig and Kramer, 1994).
Advertisements are everywhere. In recent years, the number of television (TV) advertisements, directed towards kids (18
months to 12 years old), has increased tremendously. Kids as young as 18 months recognize product logos. This fact is
not lost on advertisers, who spend over $15 billion yearly pushing products and services aimed at children. Kids now
watch an average of 40,000 TV commercials a year (Bigda, 2005). As a primary market, kids have considerable spending
power: children between the ages of 4 and 12 are estimated to have spent $29 billion in 2000 (McDonald and Lavelle,
2001). Kids are also taken very seriously as a future market; hence, the emphasis is on building brand loyalty with the
hope of creating a lifetime customer.
Television (TV) advertisements have become a part of children daily lives. The questions now are: Why are so
many television advertisements directed towards kids? How do kids react to these advertisements? How do they go about
getting the product in the market? How do these TV advertisements modify the behavior of kids as consumers? and what
role should parents play in their children’s TV watching behavior?. Questionnaire were distributed to 100 households in
Cannanland, Ota, Nigeria (a University community), only 90 were useable. Chi square statistics were used to analyse the
data; p<0.005 with a df of 4 and a chi-square value ranged from 15.000 to 29.222. The study showed that children advertisements have great impact on children, because they are easily influenced by advertisements which in essence consciously or unconsciously affect the family’s purchase behaviour; as a result of children demanding for the product(s) seen advertised on TV. Keywords: Children Advertisement, Family budget, Purchase Behaviours, Nigeria. Introduction In recent years, the number of television (TV) advertisements, directed towards kids has increased tremendously. Kids as young as 18 months recognize product logos. This fact is not lost on advertisers, who spend over $15 billion yearly pushing products and services aimed at children. Kids now watch an average of 40,000 television (TV) commercials yearly (Bigda, 2005). The intension of this article is to look into the reasons why many television advertisements are directed towards kids, and to answer the question if this is a fair practice. The authors examined, how kids react to these TV advertisements, how they go about getting the product in the market, how these TV advertisements have modified the behaviour of kids as consumers, and what role parents ought to play in their children’s TV watching behaviour. Since early 1950s, television has become part of our culture and advertisers are taking full advantage of it. The purpose of advertisement is to position relevant products to target market and to make sure the cash registers keep ringing. Kids are important segment of the market and should be advertised to; however, the question is why so many advertisements? Are the advertisers taking advantage of the emotions of the kids? Are they just putting these adverts out so kids can ‘pressure’ their parents to buy? Are the advertisements hazardous to the health of the kids? Should the government regulate this industry? What can the parents do to curb these ‘epidemic’ of TV advertisements syndrome? Should schools be held responsible to some extent? Is peer pressure playing an important role in all of these problems? These questions were fully investigated by this article. It is the intension of the authors to offer quality suggestions to both parents and kids so as to minimize any controversy that will arise within the family and the impending danger that is ahead of the kids. The 21st century generation makes room for children to be exposed to a wide-range of advertisements beyond the control of their parents. According to Robertson (1980), new studies must be initiated to explain the nature of parent-child exchanges about advertised products and children’s purchase requests. The extent to which children make demands on their parents is inversely related to the age of the children, which is negatively related to the requesting behavior (Robertson, 1980). The job of an advertiser is to get a consumer to recognize an advertisement and motivate the consumer to buy the product being advertised. This can be achieved by creating a distinct advertisement, or advertisements that pose a change or contrast due to their isolation, size, contrast, intensity, movement, position, or colour (Andrews, Akhter, Durvasula, and Muehling, 1992). The gradual increase in the broadcasting of children advertisement causes the curiosity of how these advertisements affects a family and its purchasing behaviour. In essence, a family’s budget is often disrupted by the children in the family. The reason for this action is due to the fact that children who watch advertisements are mostly attracted to the items or products that are being advertised leading them to have of understanding on what is needed and 9 G.J.C.M.P.,Vol.3(2):9-17 (March–April,2014) ISSN: 2319 – 7285 what is not; as children have a constant urge to want whatever that is being advertised to them. Therefore, “the charge that advertising attempts to persuade buyers is surely true” (Demsetz, 1974). A marketer’s concern is on how advertisement communicates to the majority (children) while the consumers are only aware that the purpose of advertisement is to sell a product (Telser, 1974). Children of today are accustomed to accessing information easily and faster with little or no effort at all which in essence, contributes to their present attitude towards advertising, a resource to be consumed for their personal interests to prove that they are in control. Most children between the ages of 5 and 8 years have the ability to discriminate between commercials and programs but may not understand the purpose of the commercials (Butter, Paula, Robert, and Roger, 1981; Stephens and Stutts, 1982). According to Goldberg and Gom (1978), television advertising encourages children to choose material objects over more socially oriented alternatives, increases the rate of parent-child conflict and is likely to return in making a child unhappy and disappointed. Robertson (1980) suggests that the strain on child-parent relations will be greatest among the economically disadvantaged, who will have to deny more of these requests. This may result in maladaptive behaviour, with parents changing their family’s consumption patterns to meet their children’s demands. Some of the advertisements being viewed by children may be misleading and may not communicate the information they send out. The use of nude people amongst others, in advertisements is a major problem which depicts a violation of ethics directed to the advertising department. The main purpose of this paper is to educate both parents and their children on the effects advertisements may have on the family budget, while also using the same medium to scrutinize the patterns of children's requests for products, and the parental reactions to those requests. In other words, this paper sets out: i. To examine the effect of advertisement on children in relation to their behaviour in the marketplace. ii. To highlight the benefits and dangers children bring to family purchases, iii. To investigate the difference between commercials and television shows, iv. To access the importance of a relationship between buyers and the consumers. Research Questions and Hypotheses The following under listed research questions have been raised for this study; i. Is there any relationship between advertisement and consumer behaviour? ii. How do children affect family purchases? iii. In what ways can television commercials be differentiated from television shows? iv. What is the relationship between buyers and consumers? In view of these questions, the following Hypotheses are formulated: H01: There is no direct correlation between advertisement and consumer behaviour. Ha1: There is a correlation between advertisement and consumer behaviour. H02: There is no relationship between children and family purchasing behaviour. Ha2: There is a relationship between children and family purchasing behaviour. H03: There is no difference between television commercials and television shows. Ha3: There is a difference between television commercials and television shows. H04: There is no difference between buyers and consumers. Ha4: There is a difference between buyers and consumers. Literature Review Advertising entails promotions and awareness. An act of advertising is to gain the attention of the target audience or market. “It is a paid, non-personal communication through various media about a business firm, non-profit oriented organisation, product, or idea by a sponsor identified in a message that is intended to inform or persuade members of a particular audience” (Kurtz, 2008). A company therefore, decides to go into advertisement to promote their product new or existing as well as to make viewers or the public aware of the product. Advertisement allows for individuals to know certain functions and use of items or products. Advertising can be done through the medium of television, radio, magazines, outdoor signage, newspapers, direct mail, websites and text messages. Another new medium is called viral advertising, which is a recent market strategy using either a novel or a form of entertaining online marketing message (Krizan, Merrier, Logan, and Williams, 2008). Advertisement is of great importance to the public at large. According to MacRury (2009), “We understand advertisements to be crucial elements in contemporary processes towards the dissemination of information”. According to Rossiter (1998), the functions of advertisement suggests that; they are not just for entertainment but also for market attention, they are means of influencing that enhances attract activeness and the desirability of the product, they enable the target market or buyers to have current, knowledgeable and positive information in consumer decision, they change the attitude of people regarding the product and they are generally known for seeking the attention of its target market, stimulating desire and purchase in order to fulfil the AIDA model. According to Sunil and Sandra (1977), parents are likely to seek out opinions of older children about purchases in most cases; therefore, the opinions of their older children are likely to be considered. Forms of Advertisement According to Robbs (2007) advertising can be divided into two broad categories namely; consumer advertising and trade advertising. Consumer advertising is directed at the public while trade advertising is directed at wholesalers or distributors who resell to the public. The focus is on consumer advertising because it is the form of advertising that is familiar to most people. Consumer advertising includes; institutional, product, reminder, pioneering and competitive. 10 G.J.C.M.P.,Vol.3(2):9-17 (March–April,2014) ISSN: 2319 – 7285 Institutional Advertising is aimed at developing goodwill for a firm and creating a good attitude towards the company instead of selling the exact product. It is aimed at improving the advertiser's appearance or image, status, and associations with the different kinds of groups the company agrees to (Anonymous, n.d.). It not only includes the ultimate consumers and the distributors, but also the suppliers, shareholders, employees, and the community at large. Institutional advertising however concentrates on the name and reputation of a company. It is occasionally used by large firms with numerous partitions to connect those partitions in the minds of the customers. It is used also to connect other products of the firm to the prestige of a leading product in the market. Product advertising unlike institutional or corporate advertising, product advertising has the intentions of selling a product. It is the stimulation of a market about the subsistence of a certain product. It may focus on the ultimate consumers or at potential agents and distributors (Atkin, 1975). Reminder advertising is aimed at presenting the products name to the public. It is therefore of great importance if the product has achieved a market domination. The agent may use a method that may be categorised as a light selling advertisement based on stating or displaying the name as a reminder. Reminder advertising can hereby be seen as a mode of conservation for a product with the potential to occupy a leadership position in the market (Robertson, 1979). Pioneering advertising develops primary demand for a product category instead of an explicit brand. It is therefore needed in the early stages of the adoption process to notify potential customers about a new product. The initial company to introduce a new technology to its industry has no reason to be worried about a competitive product since they have the technology to themselves. They have to sell the industry in merits of the new technology itself. Pioneering advertising basically is usually done in the early stage of the product life cycle by the company which introduces an innovation (Wright, 1973). Competitive advertising is a form of advertising aimed at developing a selective demand. The demand is for the purpose of a specific manufacturers’ product instead of a product classification. The competitive advertising usually compels an innovating company into the product life cycle (PLC) as it moves on. The innovator is compelled to sell the merits of his or her explicit design ahead of the competitors, after the pioneering technology is acknowledged and competing products are being supplied by most manufacturers being a common situation in a mature market (Devereux, Urie, and Robert, 1969). Advertising often uses psychological pressure an example is a situation whereby the intention of the advertisers is to appeal to the feelings of inadequacy on the proposed consumer, which is most likely to be harmful. Children Advertisement and its Effects: Marketers estimated that kids under the age of 12 years old directly spent over $200 billion each year; recent estimates placed the figure as close to $300 billion for 2000 (McDonald and Lavelle, 2001). By the late 1960s and well into the 1970s, there were increased attentions to the fact that kids are also spending their own money in significant amounts. In the mid-1980s, children are perceived as: influential, with significant spending power. As a primary market kids have considerable spending power: children between the ages of 4 and 12 are estimated to have spent $29 billion in 2000 (McDonald and Lavelle, 2001). Kids are also taken very seriously as a future market. The emphasis is on building brand loyalty with the hope of creating a lifetime customer. The process of branding consumers starts early. For example, Griffin Bacal, a New York advertising agent surveyed the mothers of preschoolers to find out how old their children were when they first requested specific brands by name. He found out that the answer was consistently two years or earlier. Specific brand names are likely to be among a child's first words. Other studies have suggested that children recognize brand logos as early as six months (Jacobson and Mazur, 1995). One strong argument as to why TV advertisements were geared towards children has been the fact that children have a lot of money to spend. Since the advertisement is to position products to the target consumers; therefore, advertisements to kids are appropriate. Children as observed represent a huge, profitable, and developing or growing market to advertisers (Maher, Herbst, Childs, and Finn, 2008). Advertising to children below the age of 16 is governed by some clear rules. Advertisements featuring children must contain nothing that is likely to result in their physical, mental or moral harm. Children are bound to develop considerable abilities to counter-argue against commercial messages. Television advertising has a powerful influence on children’s product preferences and choices and at least a moderate role in perception and usage of products such as cigarettes, alcohol and heavily sugared or non-nutritious foods. According to Keeney, Cannizzo and Flavell (1967) “children who watch four or more hours of television (TV) a day are more likely to believe claims made by advertisers”. According to the Committee on Communications (2006), various inquiries and findings have shown that young children known to be younger than 8 years are cognitively and psychologically unprotected or powerless against advertising. In the late 1970s, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held some trials, studied the existing research and came to the conclusion that it is a discriminating and deceptive act to advertise to children less than 6 years. While carrying out this research accordingly, there was a realisation that a foetus although undeveloped and unborn, responds to sounds that emanate from the television. Children should not be banned entirely from watching television only because of the harm it may cause to them but they should be encouraged to watch channels that are strictly for them and educative. These channels are well monitored because the agents are aware of their target audience. The use of cables are also encouraged because of the advantage of pass codes that bar children from watching channels that are likely to damage their psychological thinking. It has therefore been observed that children pick up a lot at a tender age and if right precautions against explicit materials from the television are taken, a child is at an advantage of picking brain enhancing messages and having the privilege of increased vocabulary most especially. Positive Effects: i. Commercials make children aware of new products existing in the market which increases and broadens their knowledge about the newest innovations, in technological terms and other aspects. 11 G.J.C.M.P.,Vol.3(2):9-17 (March–April,2014) ISSN: 2319 – 7285 ii. Productive advertisement which centre around healthy food products, may improve the diet of a child, if made attractive and appealing. Negative Effects: According to Nixon (2004) children show increasing signs when there is an issue in controlling their weight of being the worst generation yet. Nixon goes on to illustrate how advertisement could be harmful to children through the under listed points: i. Advertisements encourage children to persuade their parents to buy products that are being shown in the commercials irrespective of whether they are of good use or not. Although the younger ones have the tendency to be obstinate if the products they want are not being bought for them. ii. Children have the tendency to misunderstand the messages that the commercials are trying to pass across. They disregard the positive side and base their concentration more on the negative side. iii. Most advertisements viewed by children now include; dangerous tricks or stunts, which usually are performed only by experts. Even though the commercials broadcast the statutory warnings with the advertisement, children often try to practise the stunts at home which usually end up disastrous. iv. The catchy advertisement broadcast in television allows for compulsive shopping by ... Purchase answer to see full attachment

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