ABSTRACT: The study investigated the influence of women’s image in products and services advert campaigns because today, there are varieties of images, or representations of females in newspapers, magazines, televisions, posters, billboards, and product labels. The study used the Hierarchy of Effects Model, Source Credibility Theory, and Learning Theory respectively to give scholarly points of view to this research. The research used a survey method while the questionnaire was designed to collect data from the selected 120 respondents; out of which 112 copies were returned and analyzed using frequency and percentage tables. It was realized that women’s image plays a significant role in newspapers, magazines, product labels, and television advertisements as it entices people, especially women and men. Also, people become influenced by an advertisement that involves women because people like to see women in advertisements. Similarly, despite the fact, the faith of most people is against the use of seductive women in showcasing products yet they watch show adverts. It is recommended that the Seductive women image should be used with caution because some cultures and religions negate its use or publicize it, particularly among the Muslims while the body that is saddled with the responsibility to control and see to what people advert such as APCON should be thorough in the discharge of their duties.
1.1 Background of the Study
It is rare these days to see adverts on either print or broadcast media without women playing prominent and visible roles, which range from complimentary, subjective, and subordinate to major actors in most television adverts. These roles may be ascribed by men who may not only enhance the product being advertised but add color, glamour, and pleasant feelings to viewers whose interest, attention, and patronage are very much sought after ( Olayinka, 2014).
Thus, women could be seen oftentimes in the background performing seductive roles in Delta soap. The sole attraction and the major actors were the women shown at the pitch where the glamour was most manifest. Although there were men there, women were usually the first attraction. Women are, therefore, beginning to get involved in adverts not only as subordinates but also as major characters and most time found themselves in decision-making positions.
Most of the advertisements that showcase women have women as the users of the product, such as in the Harpic toilet washer, Sunlight detergent soap, body creams, and toilet soaps such as Delta soap, Lux soap etc. Similarly, the terms advertising and advertisement can be defined in many different ways. One widely used definition appropriate for many years no longer so was simple “salesmanship print”.
Perhaps a more precise definition of the subject would be advertising, the paid use or adoption of a product, service, or idea. An identified sponsor. Okunna (2002) writes that advertising is a form of communication through the media about products, services, ideas, personalities, or organizations, paid for by an identified sponsor.
Bovee and Arens (1985) give a more widely accepted definition of advertising as the non-personal communication of information, usually paid form of persuasive information about products (goods and services) or ideas by an identified sponsor through various media. It is an exciting, dynamic, and challenging enterprise. Gillran (1990) says that, in its simplest sense, the word “advertising” means drawing attention to something or notifying or informing somebody of something.
According to the understanding of advertising by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), “advertising is a form of communication through the media about products, services or ideas, paid for by an identified sponsor”. In the same vein, Nwosu defines advertising as a group of activities aiming at and including dissemination of information in fulfilling paid-men-person form, concerning an idea, product, or services, compel action in accordance with the intent of an identifiable sponsor.
The purpose of Advertising, Jefkins says (1976) is to make known in order to sell or buy goods or services. He explains further that it is the means by which we make known what we have sold or what we want to buy. The American Marketing Association (AMA, 1977) cited in Adeagbo (2012) says; “Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of goods, services or ideas by identified sponsors”
From a marketing point of view, Akinrosoye (2013) writes that advertising is a marketing tool whose sole aim is to build preference for advertised brands or services”. Although, modern advertising is only about 100 years old and the use of advertising actually dates back at least to the 10th century BC. The use of pictures in advertisements is necessary. Advertisements with names and symbols on them are always easy for both illiterates and literates to identify with the developments of printing, advertising made its first appearance in a form more nearly related to its present one.
A small poster by William Claxton in 1450 promoted the sale of a service book published. The first known newspaper advertisement also was a book notice which appeared in a German News book in 1591. It is of note that the common forms of advertising at that time were newspapers, street signs, posters, and handbills. The use made of by the United States Government of advertisement during the civil war to sell bonds.
The radio made its incursion into the advertisement world and began to challenge newspapers and others seriously. Television became very controversial because it changed the role of radio, as it became the major source of in-home entertainment since the 1950s. The scientific nature of advertising perhaps has created a broad and wide room that impropriated the womenfolk and exploitation of their intricate characters and quality women traditionally are seen in terms of their appearance, and sexual and domestic relations.
Accordingly, feminist researchers like Inchman and Busty, conclusively submit that women are portrayed largely in terms 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 earlier on was mere subordinate to men. As it has been the practice until perhaps recent times, the makes take major decisions, handle senior executive parts, and think and map out strategies for execution plans on a complimentary basis.
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 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 adverts and the sale of products. The argument here reveals a situation of attraction and sustenance as a major factors in any advertisement. These agencies use renowned women since men and even women alike admire television advertisements.
Also, product adverts like Delta soap, Joy soap, etc call to mind what effects womanish roles in advertisements can play on the audience. The impact of women in advertisements and indeed other endeavors are perceived differently, from community to community and according to the position of women in the traditional society to which they belong.
To African and Nigerian society, women should remain in their traditions and remain in their background, unseen and unheard. The African society perceives exposure of women as a most unwelcome thing. In certain parts of African traditional society exposing a female’s body is termed a taboo, just like the Muslim community forbids women from exposing themselves to certain practices which they term evil and ungodly.
Thus, it is not only in advertising by in other fields of endeavor where pronounced roles are unseen at not for women. But in modern times, women are beginning to be exposed and can now engage in activities without much criticism. This research, therefore, appraises women’s image in products and services advertisement messages.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There are enormous varieties of images, or representations, of females in newspapers, magazines, television, posters, billboard, product libel e.t.c advertising, ranging from pictures of women in with wrenches, sexy attire, porno, e.t.c Other problems are:
- Using women or females in public, particularly in adverts is against some culture or religion, especially among Muslims and such advertisements will not be accepted.
- Young people also learn a great deal about sexual attitudes from the media and from advertising in particular. Advertising’s approach to sex is pornographic; it reduces people to objects and deemphasizes human contact and individuality.
- Advert, poster, libel e.t.c showcasing women, female folks. Beauty industries create negative effects on women’s body image as people especially youths and teenagers love to imitate and be like the image used in the media beauty advert.
- Beauty factories create higher self-esteem and make teenagers become unsatisfied with their physical appearance after being exposed to beauty industries’ adverts.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether the use of women in advertisement influence consumers’ buying habit.
- To x-ray audience perception towards women in advertisements.
1.4 Research Questions
- Do women in advertisements influence consumers’ buying habits?
- What is the audience’s perception of women in advertisements?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The research investigates the influence of women’s image in advertisement campaigns has been narrowed in scope to consumers within Lagos metropolis. Hence, the geographical scope of this study is Lagos metropolis. The choice of Lagos metropolis is because all Nigerians cannot be studied due to the inadequate time, funds among other logistics. However, demographic factors of residence in Lagos state was examined before the administration of the questionnaire.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The research is significant because is beneficial to business firms, schools, government, individuals, and researchers. Difference companies will find this research very interesting as it will keep them aware of the benefit and some challenges of using women in advertisements.
People that will be carrying out research in relation to this will find the materials useful as it will provide them with a clue to their own research. It will form part of academic materials that students, lecturers, researchers, and the company can turn to when looking for solutions to advertising as regards women.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Impact: It refers to the contribution or influence of women in advertisements on people.
Women: This is the female or use of feminine in the advertisement of products and services.
Advertisement: This is a persuasive and informative message about goods, products and services on television.
Product: This means goods or services of a company that have been advertised on television such as toilet soaps, body creams e.t.c
Television: It refers to the type of broadcasting media that create massive awareness about a particular product such as toilet soaps, body cream e.t.c