An Evaluation Of Portrayal Of Female Gender In Selected Television Advertisement In NTA Ilorin

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

An Evaluation Of Portrayal Of Female Gender In Selected Television Advertisement In NTA Ilorin


Abstract


This research focuses on the portrayal of female gender in television advertising in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin. The study tends to stop the indecent portrayal of women in television advertisement is what promoted this research. The research examines some advertisements in NTA Ilorin so as to carefully deduce the true portrayal of women in television advertisements. Ten advertisements were studied using content analysis method and survey method was used to find out the perception of Ilorin west local government Area of Kwara state. The study used social construction of reality theory and social learning theory. It was discovered that women are portrayed in television advertisement as domestic workers and weak being.


Table of Contents


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Theoretical Framework and Literature Review

  • 2.1 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.1.1 Social Construction of Reality
  • 2.1.2 Social Learning Theory
  • 2.2 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2.1 Advertising
  • 2.2.2 Television Advertising
  • 2.2.3 History of Television Advertising
  • 2.2.4 Portrayal of Female Gender in Advertising
  • 2.2.5 Evaluation
  • 2.2.6 APCON and Advertisement regulation in Nigeria
  • 2.2.7 Advertising Media
  • 2.2.8 Brief History of NTA
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Method of the Study

  • 3.1 Research Method
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample size and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Research Instrument
  • 3.5 Validity of the Research Instrument
  • 3.6 Reliability of the Research Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of administration of the instrument
  • 3.8 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four:

Data Analysis and Results

  • 4.1 Field Performance of Research Questions
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data on Research Questions
  • 4.3 Discussion of Finding

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Limitation
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • 5.3.1 Recommendations to various Stakeholders
  • 5.4.2 Recommendation to Future Research
  • References

List of Tables


  • Table 1, 2 and 3 answers research question one.
  • Table 3 Women are stereotyped in television advert
  • Table 4 answers the research question two
  • Table 5 answers the third research question
  • Table 6. 7 and 8 answers the fourth research question

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Advertisements are generally characterized by their persuasive nature. Television advertising is characterized by the ability of the medium to transmit content to a mass audience simultaneously (Barker and Angelo 2006:12). These characteristics of television advertising have been the subject of concern, criticism, and continuous study (Jones 1999: 165). Bignell (2004:210) explains that it is the perception that television has connections to the real world of culture and society in which it exists that makes it critical in research. Bignell (2004) also states that television is fascinating to study because it seeks to provide the audience with elements, issues and events that they are currently experiencing.

Bolland (2005:11) defines advertising as the “paid placement of organizational messages”. Cook (1992:5) states that, “advertising can tell us a great deal about our own society and our own psychology”. Cook (1992) like many other researchers in this field (Branston and Stafford 1999, Kim and Lowry 2005) acknowledge that advertisements can serve as a gauge of social norms, values, as well as the interests of society.

Bovee and Arens (1992) define advertising as ‘a non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature, about products, service or ideas by an identified sponsor’.

Research has shown that television advertising often uses stereotypes gender specific roles of men and women thereby reinforcing existing clichés, (Kim and Lowry 2005). Olabisi (2002) asserts that in the world of television advertisements, women are more negatively stereotyped thus undermining the struggle for gender equality. She added that men and women are aware of the cultural prevalence of traditional gender stereotypes (mostly in women) and television contributes to this awareness. Bardwick and Schumann (1976) analyzed the portrayal of women in television commercials and concluded that to an amazing extent women are preoccupied with dirt, and the television woman in commercials is shown as housebound. (p. 18).

This shows that people watching televisions are bombarded with images and slogans through advertisements. In a 2000 Nielsen Media Research and Radio Advertising Bureau survey it was found that on average, U.S. households watch more than seven hours of television per day (Albarran, 2000).

People memorize slogans and absorb images without questioning them. More importantly people do it without thinking. This is what Gerbner, Gross, Morgan and Signorieli (1980) called the cultivation effect. The effect of all this exposure to the same messages produces what has been called cultivation, or teaching of a common worldview, common roles and common values. (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan & Signorieli, 1980, p.10).

According to Gerbner, one of the most common findings from media and cultivation studies is that increased television viewing is associated with more stereotypical views, especially of gender (Allan & Scott, 2006). Gerbner, Gross, Morgan and Signorieli (1980) argued that for heavy viewers, television virtually monopolizes and subsumes other sources of information, ideas and consciousness. Furthermore, the heavy viewers perceive the world as what is shown on television (Gerbner, et al., 1980).

Based on Gerbner’s findings, it can be argued that if on average an American household watches over seven hours of television a day, this can lead to heavy indoctrination of television stereotypes. People are likely to perceive the world as what is depicted through television.

Hence, the cultivation theory suggests that persuasion and learning can occur without comprehension or deliberation. If people admit to themselves the power of advertising, it becomes reasonable to argue that the stereotype, which works so well for the advertisers, could be harming its audience. For just as this stereotype has the power to convince people that the advertiser’s message about the product has value, it also has the power to convince them that the stereotype itself has value and that it is real and somehow right. In fact, previous research has suggested advertising which stereotypes women can form unconscious and unthinking attitudes about women and their abilities in society (Geis, Brown, Jennings & Porter, 1984).

On the other hand, researchers have also found that stereotypes can have a negative effect on women themselves. Women may perceive the stereotype as a cultural directive which in turn may lead them to put aside their own desires regarding career and personal life and replace them with the ‘ideal’ presented through popular culture including advertisements (Kim and Lowry 2005).

Feminists and others concerned about the image of women in popular culture have long placed much of the blame on advertising (Dominick & Rauch, 1972). Feminist Germaine Greer berated the media for concentrating on advertisements for things to squirt on women to stop them from being so offensive. (Dominick & Rauch, 1972, p. 259). Marijean Suelzle pointed out that commercials endlessly show women helpless before a pile of soiled laundry until the male voice of authority overrides hers to tell how brand X with its fast acting enzymes will get her clothes cleaner than clean. (Courtney & Whipple, 1974, p.252). However, even if advertising could portray women as self-confident and career oriented, it would still be difficult to change the minds of all those who believe in the stereotype.

Advertising is a powerful tool for selling, but it can also be a powerful tool for attitude change and behavior. Hence, the danger of advertising which stereotypes women is that it can lead to forming notions that undermine women and their abilities. It is against this background that the study seeks to find out the portrayal of women selected adverts on NTA Ilorin.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Media representations of minority groups particularly representations of women has been a popular and contested area of research and an important issue in public debate, (Viashali 2003). These issues in Nigeria continue to feature prominently in state policy and initiatives that emphasize the point that many of the issues that have faced women in the past require constant revisiting to understand the current state of women in the society. Part of the reason for this is because findings like Janus 1997, Strinati 2003, and Hassim 2006 consistently over the years have found similar if not the same themes and patterns in advertising content; that female characters are represented stereotypically. This is the overall finding of studies that have also looked at how female characters are portrayed in advertisements. There is a consistency in the findings of the studies that confirm that female characters are not realistically portrayed in the media at various times and across different mediums. This is why it is important to replicate this research trend in Ilorin, Kwara state by evaluating the state of women as depicted and portrayed in the media using NTA Ilorin. This study therefore seeks to find out the portrayal of female in selected adverts on NTA Ilorin in order to find out if similar results will be gotten.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To determine the extent to which women are portrayed in Television Advertisements in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin.
  2. To find out how women are portrayed in Television advertisement in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin.
  3. To find out the patterns and themes portrayed in television advertisements in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin.
  4. To find out the perception of Nigerians on portrayal of women in television advertisement in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent are women portrayed in television advertisement in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin?
  2. How are women portrayed in television advertisement in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin?
  3. What patterns and themes are portrayed in television advertisements in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin?
  4. How do Nigerians perceive the portrayal of women in television advertisement in Nigeria with respect to NTA Ilorin?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The result of the study will be of immense benefit to the advertising agencies that use such tactics as indecent portrayal of women to realize the extent to it can spell doom for any product, and how they can be cautious and take proper measures in advertising messages.

Also, this research will also be of benefit to the Advertising Practitioner’s Council of Nigeria (APCON) which is the apex regulating body of advertising in Nigeria on how to censor adverts portraying womanhood as objects; informs the body the status of gender portrayals in Nigerian television advertisements and also help to increase the dim images of women in Nigeria television advertisement in order to take actions where necessary.

The study will also be of benefits to Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and women activists who are tirelessly on the move to ensure the emancipation of womanhood as the study will give a sense of direction on how to tackle the problem faced by women.

Similarly, the study will be of benefits to Association of Advertising practitioners of Nigeria (AAPN) on the current tactics used by advertising agencies in selling their products through the appeal of portraying women in a negative light. By so doing, they can be able to censor the adverts before being aired.

Also to the Broadcasting association of Nigeria, the study will bring their attention to how women are sexually symbolized or decorative role in print and broadcast media. The study will also be of benefits to media practitioners to proffer professional solutions to the advertising agencies on the portrayal of women in mass media advertisements.

This study is also of benefits to future researchers who are interested in conducting research on related topic as it will serve as reference material.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is limited to women portrayal in television commercials and not any other content. The study is also limited to NTA Ilorin and not any other television stations in Nigeria.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Portrayal:

This is used in the study to mean presentation of women in advertising, either as mother, children and so on.

Advert:

As used in the context of the study is a form of communication design to promote the sale of product service or a message on behalf of the institute, organization or candidate.

Advertisers:

This means, in this study a person or company that advertises or make awareness of a product.

Evaluation:

In the context of this study evaluation is the appraisal of something to determine its worth or fitness.

Female:

This is use here to mean someone of feminine sex or gender that attracts attention. Gender: This refers in this study to mean the biological sex of an individual either male or female.

Female Gender:

This herein means someone who is showing the characteristic traditionally associated with been female.

APCON:

In the context of this study APCON is an Acronym for Advertising Practitioner’s Council of Nigeria.

NTA:

As used here is the Nigerian Television Authority


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Limitation

The study was limited to the portrayal of female gender in television advertisements. The researcher had difficulty during the collections of questionnaires and limited number of adverts to be examine. financial and geographical location is also a great challenges to this study.


5.2 Summary

This research project was aimed at “assessing the portrayal of female gender in television advertisements, looking at some selected advertisements”. This study came to being as a result of the way women are presented in television advertisements. The study was supported with social construction of reality theory and social learning theory. It also consider various variables such as the history of advertising, television of advertising, evaluation, portrayal of female gender in television advertisement and soon. The empirical review was anchored on four studies which are studies by Muyiwa Popool (2011). On influence of Advertising sex appeal on product consumption and service patronage behaviors of consumers in Lagos state,Hassim (2006) on the depicition of women in gender specific roles, Nerisa Pillay (2008) on the portrayal of women in television advertisements on SABC3, and Alozie Emmanuel (2012) on the portrayal pf women in Nigeria mass media. Survey method was used to select the sample from Ilorin west local government area, kwara state to look at the perception on people on the portrayal of female in television advertisement and content analysis method was used to see how women are being portrayed in television advertisement. Questionnaire and content codding sheet was used as research instrument of gathering data.

Statistical package for social science was adopted to analyze data, while frequency tables and simple percentage were employed in data presentation. The findings of this study reveals that women are consider as domestic workers and weak beings in television advertisements.


5.3 Conclusion

Every one in the society has role to play. But when such roles becomes a fixed idea carried by people or society that certain role must be played by one gender or consider weak than the other, and enforced by TV adverts, it becomes stereotyping. In this study and analysis, women are considered as domestic workers and weak being.


5.3 Recommendation

5.3.1 Recommendations to Various Stakeholders
  1. APCON should pursue a more invigorated and strict enforcement to the advertising code of ethics and standards. More stringent effort must be adopted to check the excesses of those bent on tarnishing the image of the profession. In this light, adverts should be thoroughly checked before they are aired or published and penalty should be given where necessary.
  2. NGO`s as regards to women`s right must be commended such as women right Advancement project (WRAPA), National council of women society (NCWS), Women in Nigeria and soon. To this end, they should continue in the fight for women`s emancipation and not relent in the struggle.
  3. Very crucial also is needed to target the intellectual platform on which many gender ideologies are fashioned. therefore, we need to target the curriculum of universities in Nigeria.
5.4.2 Recommendation to Future Research

It is suggested that future research should examine the following areas

  1. In order to fully understand the issue of stereotyping in Nigerian television advertisement, it is important for researchers to examine portrayal of children in advertisement.
  2. Consequence of the usage of female gender in television advertisements.
  3. What is the implication of gender portrayal of children in television advertisements?

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