ABSTRACT: The study assessed Consumers Believability of Television Advertisement Claims: A Study of Dettol Commercial among Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State. Television commercials are indeed an important tool for organizations to communicate, introduce and promote products such as Dettol. The study was anchored on the Cultivation Theory while a survey research method was employed with 100 copies of questionnaire were administered to the respondents within Teaching and non-teaching staff of the Redeemers University Ede who were drawn using the purposive sampling technique. A total of ninety copies of the administered questionnaire were retrieved. Findings show that all respondents (100%) have one time or the other exposed to Dettol Advert either in mass media or social media among others with substantial numbers of them agreed that they understand Dettol advertisements. Also, the majority of the respondents (66.7%) still believe and trust Dettol Brand because of the health specialists used to convey the messages whereas 15.6% of the respondents like it because of the celebrity used. Thus, many of the respondents submitted that they get maximum satisfaction after product trial and as a result, they stick to the brand due to the fact that they have been exposed to Dettol commercials several times. It is recommended that the body saddled with the responsibility of regulating what goes on air in the Nigeria mass media should police media and advertisers that promote whistle words and other tactics to a decisive audience.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Globally, adverts have been known to be a great source/or means of luring and convincing consumers to purchase various goods and services. Since the inception of adverts, there has been an increase in brand loyalty from consumers of certain products. These adverts would either influence its audience in the purchase of these goods and services positively or negatively, which could be as a result of the claims made in the advert. However, it is not new that there will always be doubts about the authenticity of adverts in their claims about the goods and services that they advertise. This means that it is either an advert claim is true or false.
The concept of advertising refers to a form of communication used to persuade an audience (viewers, readers, and listeners) to take some actions with respect to products ideas or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behaviour with respect to a commercial offering. Advertising through all mediums influence audiences, but television is one of the strongest media of advertising, and due to its mass reach, it can influence not only the individual’s attitude, behaviour, lifestyle, and exposure, but also the culture of the country (Latif and Abideen, 2011).
Ayanwale, Alimi and Ayanbimpe (2005) assert that the relevance of advertising as a promotional strategy depends on its ability to influence consumers not only to purchase but to continue to purchase and eventually develop brand loyalty. Television advertising is ideal when the advertiser intends to demonstrate the product or service; it offers great flexibility in the fact that one can combine the interaction of sight, sound and motion. These effects can be used to catch the attention of audience members and then reinforce their retention rates by repeating the message using both audio and video.
McConnell and Brue (2002) state that in order to make rational decisions, consumers need information about product characteristics and prices. Television advertising is a low-cost means of providing such information. Baran (2004) adds that television commercials, by virtue of the fact that consumers could see and hear products in action, are different from advertisements in other media. Thus, the ability to demonstrate the product to do the future test leads to the unique selling proposition (USP) of television advertising.
In as much as TV adverts are said to be the most appealing because they are audio-visual, they also tend to be the most deceptive as well. As a matter of fact, the major aim of TV advertising is to bring goods to the attention of consumers. However, in a bid to achieve this, advertisers use different claims which are either true or false in their TV adverts. Deceptive and truthful advertising has generated a lot of debate and concern among scholars and consumer rights groups. There have been arguments that organizations should make sufficient information available to the consumers to help in making decisions on what they really want. The Nigerian government has also made attempts to curb what it considers as deceptive advertising through the establishment of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
According to APCON Code, Act no 55 of 1988, Article 2 and Article 3 respectively states that,
i. Advertisements shall not use visual illustrations or words or sounds that offend public decency. Advertisement shall not be obscene or offensive”.
ii. All advertisements shall be so framed as not to abuse the trust of consumers or exploit their lack of experience or knowledge. Relevant factors likely to affect consumers’ decisions shall be communicated in such a way and at such time that consumers can take them into account”.
iii. According to NBC Code, Section 7.0.1, all broadcast advertisements shall be legal, decent, honest and truthful.
1.2 DETTOL ANTISEPTIC
Dettol is a leading anti-germ health and hygiene brand from the stables of Reckitt Benckiser (Nigeria) Ltd, located in 12 Montgomery Road, Yaba, Lagos. It is endorsed by the Nigeria Medical Association. Dettol brand has recorded tremendous growth since its introduction to the Nigerian market 50 years ago. In the last five years, the brand has achieved 216 percent growth in its market share and is now present in 63 million household in Nigeria ( Ahmed, 2014 ), which means one out of every three households in Nigeria uses Dettol. The brand is present in various product forms such as wipes, trigger sprays, surface cleansers, pourable liquids, laundry sanitizer, disinfecting sprays and bar soaps.
Over the years, the advertising technique used in the promotion of the brand has been testimonial by celebrities, satisfied users, experts and expert organizations. In Nigeria presently, the brand ambassador is Nollywood actress Patience Ozokwor. The promotional campaign is centred on educating consumers on the need for protection from germs, while offering solutions to manage the problem of germs wherever and whenever they may occur. The advertisements have been focusing on the role of a mother in protecting her family from germs.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is no comprehensive knowledge as to whether or not the advertisers of the brand, Dettol, are actually very sincere about the product when they release new TV adverts for it. There is also no proof as to whether consumers of this brand actually believe that their adverts are actually true in relation to the product or false.
Therefore this research will check whether or not the consumers of Dettol believe the claims made by the brand’s advertisers and ascertain whether the advertisers of this brand are truly being honest to its consumers through its TV commercials or not.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study will address the following research questions:
RQ1: Do consumers believe claims without trying?
RQ2: What factors lead to such belief without product trial?
RQ3: Do consumers try the product?
RQ4: Does trial lead to further brand interaction?
RQ5: Does brand interaction change such believes?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Dettol is a universal brand used by every age group. Therefore, the researcher wants to examine whether or not consumers of the product believe the claims made by the brand in their television commercials, using a cross-section of the academic and non-academic staff in Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State as a representative sample.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Dettol as a brand is very popular globally. Because of its popularity and acceptance, consumers are easily deceived by the claims made by its advertisers. Therefore, the overall motivation for conducting this study is to contribute to research on consumer believability of advertisers’ claims about Dettol as a brand.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Television Commercials: A structured and composed message on products paid for on
Television with the aim of marketing, Dettol .
Consumers: people who buy and use Dettol antiseptic.
Claims: statements about a product by its advertisers in its television commercials.
Believability: the acceptance of a claim as being true or false.