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This research work is aimed at isolating the effects of television advertising on consumer behaviour in Owerri Imo State, using Omo detergent as case study, Consumer behaviour is one of the most exciting areas of marketing. Marketing and advertising personnel put into consideration so many variables when pencilling down the strategies to be used in advertisement of different products.
In chapter one of this work, we traced the origin of advertising as an economic activity, locating it in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. We also tried to have a working definition by looking at what some experts in the field have said about the subject. After this, we stated the problem of the study, the objectives of the study, the significance of the study, the hypothesis, and we also tried to give a historical background of the company whose product is used in the research – Unilever Nigeria Plc, and the product Omo detergent, and lastly, we gave the definition of some terms used.
We tried a review of some related literature in chapter two. This was done in order to see how much work had previously been done in this area. Works of authorities in the fields of marketing and advertising were reviewed which enabled us find our bearing.
In chapter two, the theoretical framework on which the work is based was enunciated. We tried to bring in the various theories on consumer behaviour, communication (one step flow and two step flow), personality and motivation theories by authorities like Sigmund Freud and Abraham Maslow.
Chapter three laid down the scope of the research, the methodology used in conducting the research, the research instrument used and the research design.
In chapter four we analysed and interpreted the data collected from the field. We also tested the hypothesis with the response from our respondents in order to see whether our hypothesis agreed with the views of the sample population or not.
Chapter five is the conclusion and summary of the work. Here also we made some recommendations based on the result of the research and what our respondents fielded in the questionnaire, and their responses to the unstructured oral interview held with them.


Advertising is as diverse as its marketing parent. It occupies a very high position in the marketing configuration. Advertising is one of the sub-elements of the promotion element of the marketing mix of product, price, promotion and place. It is subsumed in marketing communication.
The chambers English dictionary defines advertising as the act of giving notice of something or act of giving public information about merit claimed. Also the American marketing Association defines advertising as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, or service by an identified sponsor. Advertising basically is a marketing tool and means of communicating the availability of products and services to the general public. Dunn and Barban (1978:4) state that almost everyone admits that advertising is a vigorous, often obstructive form of communication that influences us both directly and indirectly. In defining advertising, Dunn and Barban (1978:-8) argues that advertising is paid, non-personal communication through various media by business firms, non-profit organizations and individuals who are in some way identified in the advertising message and who hope to inform or persuade members of a particular audience. In the main, the ultimate purpose of advertising is to announce the arrival, availability, benefits and price of products or services with a view to selling it.
There are primary and selective advertising. By primary advertising we mean that type of advertising that aims at promoting demand for generic products or services of the entire industry or organization. On the other hand, selective advertising promotes demand for a particular product of a company or firm. Another differentiating factor is that primary advertising is often used by organizations so as to attract patronage for their range of products as in the case of Unilever Nigeria plc in sponsoring say football tournaments or other sporting events. This is done in order to stimulate demand for their products by consumers.
Selective advertising can be used to maintain an established brand. Selective advertising is also called direct action advertising. For instance, the Omo detergent action advertisement during the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Network special programmes, e.g. Superstory. In such instance reference is always made about the price of the product or service so advertised.
There is also another type of advertising called institutional advertising. This type of advertising is geared towards creating favourable impression of an organization in the mind of the society or business community rather than the products or services such an organization produces. The advertising message here is centred on the organization’s name.
Advertising as an economic activity has been with us right from the ancient times. In ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome there were advertisement posters, paintings, signboards and drawings on the walls of buildings about products of different kinds (Age et al: 1982). Also during this period vendors of different products carried their wares along announcing the availability of such products just like today’s hawkers. This was advertising at its rudimentary and crude level.
Until the nineteenth century, advertising played an insignificant role in conducting of business. Business transactions were based on personal selling at this period. When Johnann Gutteberg invented the printing press in about 1440, handbills, posters and then newspapers were used to advertise goods and services. Advertising was at its miniature stage until advertisings appeared in Newspapers in America (sand age and fry Burger: 1763). But this new development was limited owing to the low level of trade. However, from 1840, the volume of advertising increased as the volume of trade increased.
When in the 1920s Radio broadcasting established its presence in the United States of America, broadcast advertising reared its head and thus enhanced trade.
About two decades after the invention of radio, television appeared and consequently increased broadcast advertising and later stole the lead from radio. Ziegler and Howard (1984: 10-11) stresses the place of television advertising in the United States of America asserting that television’s gross adverting revenues were totalling approximately seventy-five percent of broadcastings total receipts. The remaining twenty-five percent was spent on radio. This situation could be the same in other countries. Television has since then dominated the broadcast advertising, which was formally monopolized by radio.
The main purpose of advertising is to affect the psyche of the people with the sole aim of drawing them towards a particular good or service. Ikechwu Nwosu (1990) defines advertising as mass communication which is aimed at helping to sell goods, services, ideas, persons and institutions or organizations. Many modes are used in the process of advertising. Thus, we have print advertising comprising newspapers, magazines, journals, billboard, or outdoor and mail order; and broadcast advertising comprising radio, television advertising which has in a way eclipsed all other types of advertising. This is because in the television medium, sound, colour, and motion are combined which the other media lack.
Modern advertising started in Nigeria in 1929 with the establishment of West African Publicity limited (W.A.P) by United African Company (U.A.C). West African publicity concentrated in placing posters and other advertising products exported to West Africa by British manufacturers in newspapers like the Daily Times. The newspapers increased their readership thereby creating avenues for increased advertising of products.
Radio broadcasting was introduced into the country in 1932. But the impact was not felt until 1959 when the western regional government of Nigeria under the premiership of the late chief Obafemi Awolowo established the first television station in black Africa. Thus, television advertising was born. The eastern and northern regional governments followed the western region in establishing television and radio stations in 1960 and 1962 respectively. The federal government of Nigeria established her own television station in April 1962 known as the Nigerian Television Service (NTS) in Victoria Island, Lagos. Since then, there has been a steady increase of television stations in the country. According to Amechi (1991:5) as at 1991 there were about thirty-nine television stations but in the recent years there has been an increase in the number and Nigeria should have over 60 TV stations currently. Privately owned television stations like AIT, Silverbird etc have sprung and are now competing with consumer attention with the largely government owned television stations that dominate the broadcasting landscape in Nigeria.
Audience size has also increased tremendously and this in turn has increased the advertising volume. Advertisers have discovered in television a virile and viable medium for selling their goods, services and ideas as the Nigerian economy becomes more and more industrialized and complex.
Television is the fastest growing advertising medium in the world today. It also has the best appeal. Concurring to this view, Seigler and Howard (1984:17) state that most important, of course, is the visual component, which permits the transmission of sight, motion, and colour on an instantaneous basis. Through television, advertisers can demonstrate products, focusing attention on their most visually appealing attributes and emphasizing packages and corporate logos through close-up camera shots. With both visual and sound capabilities, television comes closer to the ideal of person-to-person salesmanship than any other mass medium. The uniqueness and strength of television lie in its ability to combine many of the functions performed singly by other media put together.
Television advertising can create drama, suspense and emotion. It is a powerful behaviour shaping and modifying force. Because it combines visual and auditory stimuli with movement and drama, it has the power to arrest attention, generate interest, inform and teach by illustration and example. Television advertising has a dynamic vitality and an enormous capacity to attract and hold large audiences. Thus, for television advertising to be effective and achieve its objectives, there should be information, stimulus values, and emphasis.
This is because information is news, while stimulus values provokes a customer to evaluate, judge and reach a decision to single out a particular product from all the other advertising messages surrounding them. The ultimate purpose of television advertising is to affect the way television advertising viewers think and act, their behavioural patterns, with the ultimate goal of selling a product or service. Unilever Nigeria plc, makers of blue Omo detergent as one of the leading organizations producing consumer products has employed television advertising extensively to sell its range of products.

The company, Unilever Nigeria plc is a member of Unilever group – a multinational corporation. Unilever is one of the largest producers of consumer goods in the world. It has over five hundred affiliate companies in about seventy countries carrying out a wide range of business activities.
Unilever Nigeria plc was established in Nigeria in 1923 under the name West Africa Soap Company Limited. The name was changed to Lever brothers Nigeria limited thirty-two years later. In compliance with the 1977 indigenisation decree, sixty percent of its equity shares are held by Nigerians leaving forty percent to Unilever.
Lever brothers Nigeria limited merged with Lipton – a tea manufacturing company – in July 1985 making Lipton, part of the food and drinks division of Lever brothers which has invariably enhanced the company activities in the food and drinks industry. With the 1989 amended company decree, Lever brothers. Nigeria limited became Lever Brothers plc. The company is quoted in stock exchange market and now bears the name Unilever Nig. Plc.
The company’s head office, principal factory and Lipton divisions are located in Apapa, Lagos, where soaps such as Asepso, Lux and astral brands are manufactured.
Here, the company manufactures Omo, Vim and food drinks such as Roy co, tree top, squash, tea and coffee; and personal care products like close-up tooth paste, pepsodent toothpaste and astral cream. The company’s second factory is situated at Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia state where soaps such as sunlight, lifebuoy and key brands are manufactured. Omo, a non-soapy detergent is also manufactured here.
Unilever Nigeria plc has its third and ultra-modern factory situated at Agbara industrial estate, Ogun state where edibles such as blue band and planta margarines as well as Breadeen and Marva which serve the bakery industry are produced. In the main, Unilever Nigeria plc produces about twenty four brands of consumer goods in about fifty-six pack sizes. The company has consistently won Standard organization of Nigeria’s (son) quality award. Since 1991 Unilever plc has been wining gold laurels for its high quality products.

Unilever Nigeria plc is one of the leading companies in the detergent industry in the country. Its product – Omo – has been enjoying favourable patronage in the market. The company has sponsored many network television programmes such as the defunct “village headmaster”, “behind the cloud”, “checkmate”, “ripples”, and the last world cup tournament in Nigeria “Nigeria 99”. Currently, it part sponsors the super story soap opera. These programmes attracted large audiences when they were on the tube. The “world tournament” at present draws a lot of people from different age bracket. The company advertised Omo detergent during this programmes in order to capture the Nigerian detergent market. This means that Omo detergent advertisement is a network advertisement. And considering the Nigeria television authority’s (NTA) 2007 study, which claims that 50 million people watch Nigerian television authority’s programmes, Omo detergent television advertisement is thus exposed to 50 million Nigerians’ every week.
Unilever Nigeria plc started the manufacture of Omo detergent in 1958 – thirty-five years after the establishment of the company. Since the birth of the product, it has been doing well in the market. Omo has about 12 pack sizes and has been undergoing series of changes in terms of quality. This is to enable it compete favourably in the market so as to meet consumer’s expectations.

Television as a medium of communication has gained importance in the marketing of products, services, persons, ideas, and corporate entities. It has become a prime medium with its motive force of sight, sound spectacle, colour, and motion. Yet most television viewers do not know the extent of the influence television has on them in their purchase behaviour.
The study is therefore undertaken out of the concern that television viewers in Owerri L.G.A may not be aware of the effects television advertisement has on them in their purchase of detergents such as Omo.
Recent observations have shown that detergents come under the generic name Omo. This study then will determine whether the real product, Omo, is consumed or not in Owerri urban and environs. It is not certain whether the television advertisement of Omo is responsible for this. From available literature, there has not been any attempt to find out or ascertain the effects or impact of television viewership and consumers in Owerri.
There are also the problems of establishing if the Omo detergent television advertisement has been able to tilt some potential consumer’s disposition towards Omo detergent. This is predicated on the fact that the news adjacency of the Omo television advertisement exposes it to some if not the estimated 50 million viewers of the Nigerian Television Authority.

The prime objective of this work is to find out the effects and impact of television advertisement on consumers of Omo detergent in Owerri. In specific terms, we shall find out the following:
i) Whether television viewers in Owerri are influenced by television advertisements
ii) Whether television viewers are influenced by Omo television advertisement.
iii) To find out what aspects of Omo television advertisements that influenced television viewers most.
iv) To establish whether there are aspects of Omo television advertisements that put them off.
v) To find out the effects of Omo television advertisements vis-à-vis other Omo advertisements in other media on the behaviour of consumers in Owerri.
vi) In the light of the foregoing, to suggest ways in which Omo television advertisement could be improved in other to enhance its effect on consumers.

The life of every corporate organization is primarily dependent on the good will of consumers who patronize its products.
The attitude of consumers to a product or service determines whether or not that product will stay in the market.
Consequent upon this, the study will be of great importance to Unilever plc – makers of Omo detergent – with regards to Owerri market Imo state, in particular and Nigeria in general when advertising Omo detergent.
It is also expected to be of immense importance to makers of other brands of detergent in the country as it will help them determine the best way to advertise and position their own products.
The study will also be of help to research firms, advertising practitioners, and research students in advertising and marketing in the area of consumer behaviour.
It will also be of help to marketing and media planners in corporate bodies involved in the manufacture of detergents when buying air time for the advertisement of their products.

Based on the statement of the problem and research objectives as stated above, the following hypotheses were formulated;
Ha: Television advertisement of Omo detergent has positive effects on the choice of detergents by consumers in Owerri, Imo state.
Hb: Majority of detergent consumers in Owerri, Imo state prefer television advertisement of Omo detergent to other detergent’s advertisement.

1. A CONSUMER: – He is an individual who buys goods, or has the capacity to buy goods and services which are offered by marketing bodies or corporate entities so as to satisfy personal needs, wants and desires.
2. ADVERTISEMENT: – it is the message expressing the qualities of a particular product to the target audience.
3. ADVERTISING: – This is the process of preparing the message contained in an advertisement, and the presentation of the advertisement in the media.
4. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR: – This is an aspect of human behaviour that has to do with actions involved in the purchase of goods and services for the satisfaction of human desires, wants and needs.
5. NEWS ADJACENCY: – this is the period before, during, and immediately after news in the radio or television for advertisements.
6. INSTITUTIONAL ADVERTISING: – this is the kind of advertising that is solely for the creation of favourable impression of an organization or corporate body in the mind of the society or business community as opposed to advertisements on products and services. This is more of public relations.
7. NETWORK ADVERTISING: – This is the type of advertising that cuts across the whole country.
8. REGIONAL ADVERTISING: – It is the type of advertising that is limited to a particular region or part of a country.
9. PRIMARY ADVERTISING: – This is that type of advertising that aims at promoting demand for generic products or services of the entire corporate body.
10. SELECTIVE ADVERTISING: – This is that type of advertising that promotes demand for a particular product of an industry or firm. It is also known as direct action advertising.


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