1.1 Background to the Study
In our society today, it is an obvious fact that advertising increasingly dominating every media outlet as a means of creating awareness to the public about a particular product or service. There are different means in which advertising is carried out today, some of which includes radio, television, magazines and billboards. According to Bovee, advertising can be referred to as the general communication of information that is paid for to the public. This information is most of the time persuasive to customers/clients in encouraging them in patronizing a particular product or service and these can be carried out through different means of media outlets1. According to an online dictionary, advertising can also be referred to as drawing people’s attention to a particular product or service through the use of a sponsored announcements media outlets like radio, television, magazines, newspapers and billboards. In our society today, it is very difficult to see advertisements broadcast on media outlets without having women playing visible and prominent roles, these roles range from subjective, subordinate and complementary to the major acts in television advertisements. Despite the fact that these roles may be imputed by men, it does not only augment the product/service advertisement but also make the products look exceptional, glamorous and pleasant to attract the attention of the populace, most importantly the ones patronizing that particular product or service. Modern day advertisement is around 100 years of age and based on verifiable facts, the utilization of publicizing truly goes back to in any event the tenth century BC. Also, the use of images in advertising is of major importance as advertisements that has indications of symbols and names are always much easier for both the illiterates and educated viewers to identify.
In our general public today, ladies are not only an image of tenderness and delicacy; they depict major roles in the field of advertisement. Ladies are likewise used to build style in the ads which in turn attracts customers/consumers towards the purchase of a particular product. It can be observed that women play a significant role in advertising today as their presence generates a lot of attraction particularly for men as it can be observed even in some television advertisements in the likes of delta soap where women can be spotted in the background performing some seductive roles. It is so very unlikely to watch advertisement broadcast on television nowadays without observing that women are playing prominent and significant roles ranging from subjective, complementary, and subordinate to main actors in majority of the television advertisements. Despite the fact that these roles can also be played by men, using women instead elevates the outcome of the product advertised as it adds more color, makes it more glamorous and way more pleasant to viewers whose interest, attention and patronage are much sought after. According to feminine researchers in the likes of inch man et al and Busty, women tend to be shown as submissive, passive and are portrayed largely in term of their sexuality or domestic city, while men tend to be shown as dominant, active and authoritative. This perhaps explains to a great extent why the role-played by women in advertising were mere subordinate to men. This research work is hereby focused on evaluating the role of women in advertising.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Advertising plays a significant role in the purchase behaviour of consumers, but in our society today, there has been a lot of problems and controversies on the role of women in advertising as regards to the effect they have on advertisements and how they are being portrayed. According to a recent article by Nancy Pilar, nowadays, the impact of women in advertisements has generated a lot of controversy in many parts of the world. Some argue that women are used as followers in the advertisements. They see women as ornaments that are used to beautify the advertisement. They further went to say that women garnish the advertisements and make the adverts appealing to the eyes. To them the seductive nature of women helps a lot in creating interest in the product. Perhaps, this accounts for why must advert agencies see or feel the impact of women in advertisements as a powerful polarized force of feminine attraction over masculine, a phenomenon well cherished for quick awareness of advert and sale of product.
Also, according to a recent data from the Publishers Information Bureau, advertisements maintain between 46 percent and 51 percent of all magazine content over the past ten years (Ad Age, 2016). In any given ad, one is most likely to see an image of the “idealized woman.” She’s most likely tall, thin, well-dressed, has beautiful skin with perfect features and hair. Not only does the “idealized woman” present an unrealistic portrayal of beauty, she is often presented in a highly sexualized and eroticized manner. As advertisers continue to flood consumers’ minds with images of objectified women, many women are left feeling inadequate, resulting in an attempt to mold herself into the “ideal woman.” Despite research that reveals that such images activate the use of gender stereotypes in social perception and behavior and create damaging mental, psychological and societal problems, the “sex sells” mentality within advertising remains pervasive. It is against this backdrop that the researcher is focused on evaluating the role of women in advertising and the effects it has on consumers, women and the society in general.
As it has been the practice until perhaps to recent times, the males take major decisions, handle senior executive parts, think and map out strategies for execution plan on a complementary basis.
According to a recent article by Nancy Pilar, nowadays, the impact of women in advertisements has generated a lot of controversy in many parts of the world. Some argue that women are used as followers in the advertisements. They see women as ornaments that are used to beautify the advertisement. They further went to say that women garnish the advertisements and make the adverts appealing to the eyes. To them the seductive nature of women helps a lot in creating interest in the product. Perhaps, this accounts for why must advert agencies see or feel the impact of women in advertisements as a powerful polarized force of feminine attraction over masculine, a phenomenon well cherished for quick awareness of advert and sale of product.
1.3 Research Questions
- What are the major roles women play in advertising?
- To what extent do advertisements using women influence consumer buying behaviour?
- What attitude do consumers have towards women in adverts?
- What are the positive and negative effects of women in advertising?
1.4 Objective of the Study
- To find out the role women plays in advertising?
- To know the extent to which advertising using women influence consumer buying behaviour
- To analyse the attitude of consumers towards women in advertisements
- To identify the positive and negative effects of women in advertisements.
1.5 Hypothesis of the Study
The following hypotheses were formulated to be tested in this study;
H0: There is no significant relationship they play in between women and the role advertising.
H1: There is a significant relationship between women and the role they play in advertising.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is a scholarly contribution to the understanding of behavior pattern of consumers towards the role of women in advertisements.
It is hoped that this study will assist advertising company to carry out effective campaign that will recognize consumers attitude towards the role of women in advertising and characteristics of the consumers also elicit favourable buying behaviour. Also, it will help other advertisers in their decision making and also serve as a reference material to the students of the department of Media Communication in Middlesex University that are interested in carrying out a research work in this area of study. Thus, it will also contribute the availability of literatures on such studies to other organization in this line of work.
The findings of this study will be relevant to the understanding of how advertising could actually enhance product acceptance ranging from awareness, purchase and repeat patronage.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study covers the role of women in advertisement; it entails the effect of women in advertising and what influence it has on consumer buying behavior with particular reference to Middlesex University, Knowledge Village Park, Dubai because it parades a large population of young adults from different parts of the country.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Advertising: is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.
Communication: can be defined as the conveying of attitudes, feelings, thoughts, emotions etc. from a source via a channel to a receiver with an expected feedback.
Consumer: somebody or something that consumes something: somebody or something that consume something by eating it, drinking it or using it up. The end user of an organizations product.
Consumer Behaviour: the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use and dispose of products, services, experiences or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.
Message: in its most general meaning is an object of communication. It is a vessel which provides information.
Purchase Behaviour: Refers to the decision and acts of people involved in buying and using products.
Consumer Preference:Consumer preference are defined as the subjective (individual) tastes as measured by utility of various bundles of goods. They permit the consumer to rank these bundles of goods according to the levels of utility they give the consumer.
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