Perception Of Television Commercials And Audience Attitude To Television Programmes

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Perception Of Television Commercials And Audience Attitude To Television Programmes


Abstract


Perception of television commercials and audience attitude to television programmes is a research work carried out through scientific and empirical method in attempt to find out what television commercial interruption is all about and how it affects the audience and suggestion on what to do in order to better the performance of the media house towards the television commercial interruption. This study employed field survey method which entails drawing of questionnaire and interviewing the subjects in their environment. This method is considered appropriate because it is the most widely used by social scientists for the study dealing with attitudes, opinion and predispositions of people. The findings show that the interrupted television audience will prefer their unfavourite programmes interrupted. The researcher also finds out that commercials that tend to satisfy their needs are recalled faster that commercials that do not satisfy need. Therefore, the fact is obligatory to offer some recommendations which perhaps will be valuable to television house, federal and state governments. The underlying objectives of these recommendations are to enable the television house to improve their service generally and tailor programmes in line with audience expectations.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Television industry in Nigeria is still in infant stage comparatively to its counterparts in other parts of the developed world. However, it has metam or phosed remarkably alithin this short period of its history. There have been some achievement and new dimension in its scope and operation for the past two decades.

At its inception, television in the country was basically used for information, entertainment and educational purposes. It’s different is in it’s ability to combine sound and picture. As a result of those qualities, it is possible for it to attract a large number of viewing audiences. To number of television receivers are over 30 million people throughout Nigeria and this is a proof of the immeasurable impact this inversion has had on the lives of millions on the spread of information.

The value of television, as a medium of mass communication in fast assuming highly important position throughout the world. According to Oluola (1976) ‘All over Nigeria today, there are over one million people watching television.

Television has added another feather to it’s wing, which is that of persuasion. This singular act by television to dazzle other media of communication. It now serve as an organ through which government and other advertisers sell their goods and services. It has brought the art of product awareness to millions of house hold in Enugu state.

It has the selling power for most types of goods and services. Examples – detergents, beer, and furniture etc.

Their main impact on the country is attributable to network television advertising. Still talking about what television often, one cannot but remember educational and entertainment programmes for the television viewer like cultural dances, drama and comedy programmes. Some of the programme such as family circle, guilt, Jagwa, Mr. B and Tales by moonlight have been known to force people to go home from wherever they are, so as not to miss the next episode.

While viewers are waiting for their favourite programmes, it’s a common experience that television house often dot in commercials which break the continuity of these programmes to use annoyance of viewers whom these programmes are their favourite. The advertise often want their commercials to be aired at prime time, while these viewers want their favourite programmes to be free flow by commercials thereby reaching conflict between the interest of advertisers and the interest of viewers.

It has been estimated that well over 80% of the programmes in Enugu state Television are percepted as a result of commercial ye Nigeria television houses do not seem on AIT station Enugu. There are so many programmes for the week and of the seventeen programmes selected for promotion, none is aired without commercials perception.

According to Opubor and Ore (1979) the commercials perception of most of the programmes are of little relevance to the social realities of an average Nigerians.

Consequently, television houses often just slot in these commercials even at prime time without considering the interests and feelings of viewers. The viewers are now forced to perceive and consume these commercials when watching their favourite programmes, thereby subjecting them to the states of captive audience.

According to Nwueli (1976), many of the products in Nigeria television re raw. They display things which portray people as naughty; monsters and viewers lose sight of them some researchers have come up with evidence to show that commercial perception could induce aggressive tendencies in people.

According to Greece (1965), a former Director General of the British Corporation Television is being misused and that broadcasters are betraying their responsibilities.

There is no gain saying the fact that television station needs the money realized from these commercials to remain in business. The corporation has to undertake commercial broadcasting in order to make money to supplement the subvention given by the government. Sponsors need television station as a medium of communicating information about their goods and services to the ultimate consumers with the sole aim of capturing their interests for the goods. But as new television stations are established and more stations introduce the modern broadcasting, the need to percept programmes at the detriment of the viewers will be further aggravated. Unless something done now, this will be another ugly incident and further alienation of television audience.

The points mentioned above have acted as stimuli for this research which is to paid out the perception of television commercials, and audience attitude to television programme, using AIT Enugu as a case study to be considered.

Attitude is defined as a way of thinking or feeling toward something; in this case, toward perception of television commercials. This attitude survey is very crucial because only offer a subject has observed the effect of a phenomenon that the subject can form a reasonable attitude towards that phenomenon.

According to Parler (1974), “The sooner each new technology is studied, the greater the chance of bringing to use research results to influence policy in a meaningful way. We can deduce from these that it is necessary to examine audience attitude towards commercial by AIT station Enugu at this embryonic stage of television industry when the institutional and economic structure of broadcasting are still been formulated.

Finally, this study will also find out whether television viewer will prefer free flow programmes whether these commercial programmes increase or decrease the audience interest. In short, it will come up with suggestion on how AIT station Enugu can best serve the audience.


1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Television by virtue of sound, vision and movement offers a high degree of creative flexibility. An increasing number of people have colour television sets and this allows for greater realism of presentations in commercials. Television has achieved a high degree of penetration of the population and many people watch television programmes for several hours each day, these programmes are intermittently percepted to make way for the insert of commercial messages.

It has been estimated that well over 80% of the programmes on AIT are percepted as a result of commercial insettion, yet Nigeria television houses do not seem to see anything wrong or unusual about this situation. The situation has come to a stage where it will be logically assumed that gullibility of the television audience is now taken for granted by television houses and also that many have now become their primary consideration. Thus, this study intends to examine this attitude of television audience or viewers in Enugu state towards commercial perception of television on programmes.

By and large, attitude is a formidable factor in any communication. Its defined as a psychological predisposition that allows a person to behave in a certain way towards objects, people or action, hence the objects in this case will be perception of commercial to Television programmes. Given the situation, what the television audience has to say about the perception of commercials to television programmes. How do they feel about the perception of television programmes they are watching on their television sets, when they are percepted midway by commercial message? Will percepted television programmes appeal more to regular viewers than the non regular viewers? It is true that television will like to watch their favourite programmes free flow by commercial messages than when watching their favourite programmes? Will television audience pay more attention to commercial messages that tend to satisfy their needs than to commercials messages that do not satisfy their needs?

Finally, would television audience recall faster commercial messages that tend to satisfy their need than those that tend do not satisfy their needs?

This background will now form the bedrock of the statement of the research problem which is self – explanatory on ‘perception of television commercials and audience attitude to television programme’.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

Basically, the objectives of this study are:

  1. To examine the perception of television commercials and audience attitude to television programme in Enugu State.
  2. To know the extent to which these variables likeage, sex, educational level, and occupation will contribute to the shaping of these attitudes.
  3. To find out the relationship between media content (advertisement) and the society.

1.4 Significance of the Study

Much has been said about the quality of television as an effective communication medium in disseminating commercial massages to a large audience scattered across the country. However, the feeling of the audience towards these commercials, especially when the programmes perception to make way for them cannot be over looked. Therefore, this study is significant in the sense that it examines the attitude of people watching AIT Enugu and also knowing how they would react during commercial perception of television programmes.

This monopoly, some people argued that given impetus to the television houses in the country to conduct their affairs in the manner they like, regardless of public opinion.

Hence, the result that will be obtained from this study will perhaps guide the federal and state governments, as well as in media industry in formulating future policies regarding television broadcasting generally in Nigeria, with a view to improving their services and in line with audience expectations.

Furthermore, the advertiser will find the study in valuable because, a great deat of advertising messages is wasted. Individuals are selective about information they receive, it has been found that commercial messages which contradict or are otherwise inconsistent with individual may distort the messages and draw a meaning quite different from what has been intended in accordance with his own predisposition. This being the case, the broad goal of advertising which is to communicate information about any product, service and ideas and to facilitate, although the study will be carried out on residents of Enugu state, nonetheless, the result that will be obtained will how ever be generalized to the whole of Enugu state because of some similarities in culture and psychological makeup of the people of the state.


1.5 Research Questions

  1. Would free flow television programmes appeal more to regular audience than non regular audience?
  2. Would audience prefer their unfavourite programmes to be commercial perception than their favourite programmes?
  3. Would television audience pay more attention to commercials than that tends to satisfy their needs than those that do not?
  4. Would television audience recall faster commercial that tends to satisfy their needs than those that do not?

1.6 Research Hypothesis

  1. Ho: Free flow television programmes do not appeal more to regular audience than non-regular audience.
    Hi: Free flow television programmes appeal more to regular audience than non-regular audiences
  2. Ho: Television audience will recall faster commercials that tend to satisfy their needs than those that do not satisfy their need
    H3: Television audience will recall faster to commercials that tend to satisfy their needs than those that do not satisfy their needs.
  3. Ho: Women would like to seen commercial to be part and parcel of television programmes.
    H4: Men would not like to see commercials to be part and parcel of television programmes

1.7 Theoretical framework

No scientific study will be complete without a theory to back it up. It is based on this statement that the researcher will anchor this study on the premise that adequate knowledge of how perception of television commercials programmes

According to Ndolo (2006:p.32), “The agenda setting theory explain the effect of commercial perception of television programme. And he also explained how television programmes survive with the use of commercials. Agenda setting theory is an issue whose importance is amplified by coverage in the media. Even issue of considerable importance may remain of modest or negligible significance in public perception of they suffer media neglect.

As far as media are concerned one might say that media agenda is synonymous with audience agendas; that is, what is of most importance to the audience appears top of media agenda.

This theory make us to know that the perception of television commercials affect the audience attitude to television programme.

Finally explained the audience attitude to perception of commercial on a particular television programme.


1.8 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study covers all the aspects of perception of television commercial in Enugu. The researcher chose this scope of study to focus on those things that make audience angry when it comes to television programmes and its perception by commercials. The scope of the study will also be geared toward accessing how the audience feels during perception of a particular programme by commercials using AIT Enugu as a medium of concentration.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Conceptual and Operational

1. Perception
  • Conceptual definition: It mean the ability to see, hear or become aware of some thing through senses.
  • Operational definition: It is refer to a way of regarding, understanding or interpreting something.
2. Audience
  • Conceptual definition: Audience mean a gathering of persons for the purpose of hearing a speaker or a singer. It also means persons within hearing whether they are together or not.
  • Operational definition: The audience include men, women, young, old adults and children.
3. Commercials
  • Conceptual definition: It means pertaining to commercials.
  • Operational definition: It refers to advertisements on a television programme just to create awareness.

Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summaries of Findings

Since the main objectives of this study is to asses the attitude of television audience in Enugu to perception of television commercials. This study being an attitude survey seeks to find out the relationship between the media content and the society.

The analysis has proved that most respondents do not like their favourite programmes to be interrupted by commercials. A focus on consumers behaviour which given insight into customers attitude, beliefs, perception and culture.

However, a survey of this nature does not lay aim to determine the whole audience attitude to perception of television commercial but we have factors on the first hypothesis the result shows that only those who watch television daily prefer their programmes to be free flow but also non-regular audience despite the fact that they are not television addicts. The second hypothesis which state that television audience would prefer their unfavourite programmes to be percepted by commercials than their favourite programmes. The third hypothesis which states that television audience will recall faster commercial that tend to satisfy their needs. Finally, the forth hypothesis states that women would like to see commercials as part and parcel of television programmes as opposed to men is not supported. Majority of the people want commercials not to be part and parcel of a progamme. From research, it is proven that commercials are positive part of audience experiences.


5.2 Conclusion

It is been seen that commercials are very important parts of every programme, but most respondents like their unfaviourite programmes to be interrupted by commercials.

After summarization of different studies showing that the positive qualities of commercials clearly outweigh the negative ones and concludes that commercials are positive parts of audience experience.


5.3 Recommendation

In the light of the result of significance and limitation of the study, there is no gain saying the fact that a lot has been revealed on the perception of television commercials and audience attitude to television programme.

Therefore, the fact that it is obligatory to offer some recommendations which perhaps will be valuable for television houses. Federal and state owned television as well as private, on the underlying objectives of these recommendations is to enable the television houses to improve their services generally and tailor their programmes in line with audience experiences and expectation.

In the instance, the findings both regular and non-regular audience prefer their programme to be free flow by commercial messages. That majority of television audience feels irritated when their favourite programmes are perceted by commercials. Additionally, most audience prefer commercial messages to be slotted either at the beginning or at the end of programme but not in the middle of the programme as has been the rules. It is in the light of the above that we make these recommendations.

However, considering the fact that commercials sustain television houses irrespective of ownership in both developed and developing nations of the world because television broadcasting is very expensive. Therefore, it will be erroneous and unjust to suggest the stoppage of commercials by television by houses this will equally amount to infringement on the freedom of expression of the sponsors.

Secondly, it is an incoutrovertible fact that programmes are meant for human consumption, for people with feelings, people who are believed to think and reason rationally further, considering the fact that this is attitude study, a survey of this nature does not lay claim on determining a whole range of perception of television commercials and audience attitude to television programmes.

This is because attitude is a complex phenomenon on all embracing world that needs further examination in respect to commercials perception of television programmes. Finally, the research is recommending for a follow up research on audience, this time on radio listeners to perception of commercial to radio porgrammes. This is based on the premise that the problem of commercials perception cannot be concluded with a survey of television audience alone. Radio, as an electronic medium has a common denominator with television and equally there is commercials perception of radio programmes. Therefore, the findings of radio listeners are worth researching on by other researchers.


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