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ADVERTISEMENT ON STUDENTS CHOICE OF TOOTHPASTE IN NIGERIA

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Abstract: The major thrust of this paper is to examine place of advertisement on consumers’ choice of toothpaste i.e Oral B and Closeup among students of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). It is believed that for any profit-making organization to succeed in this competitive society there is a need for advertisement. Advertising has formed part of the successful promotion device that any profit-making organization must not toy with if such a company wants to succeed. The study was anchored on Persuasive Theory and Cultivation Theory respectively. A survey research method was adopted in which 100 copies of questionnaires were administered to respondents in (ESUT) through accidental sampling technique and 90 copies were retrieved. Data analysis and interpretations of findings were based on frequency and percentage method. It is deduced that the majority of the respondents still use Closeup more than Oral B. It is recommended that companies should strive on the quality and ensure that their products perform as advertised because consumers can only be deceived once.


INTRODUCTION

The essence of being in business by any commercial organisation is to produce for sales and profits. For an organisation to continue to be in business such organisation must generate enough sales from its products or services to cover operating costs and post reasonable profits. For many organizations, sales estimate is the starting point in budgeting or profit planning. It is so because it must be determined, in most cases before production units could be arrived at.

In an industrial and free competitive market economy, where the interplay of economic variables dictates the market, the problem of survival of business becomes a very nightmarish one for producers and manufacturers. The singular desire of manufacturers becomes how to create awareness and market for their goods. Advertising is then one strategy that fulfils the desire completely. The desire to be buoyant in business and to increase profit has given advertisement an irrevocable reputation.

Advertising is not undertaken by management just for fun or to keep products or services. It is principally involved in persuasion or advocacy even apparently just giving us information, using media that are paid for it to get through to the mass audience with the identity of the advertisers being clear. Advertising has the mandate to sell the advertiser’s goods and help the consumers to shop wisely (Okoro, 2005).

Similarly, of all marketing weapons, advertising has a leading impact on viewers minds, as its exposure is much more felt (Katke, 2007). The marketing mix has four subsets i.e. product, price, place and promotion. Advertising is a component of the promotional mix, which is used to create awareness about products and services for making purchase decisions (Akinrosoye, 2004).

No company can become a market leader unless they invest lots of their investment in promotional purposes (Hussainy, 2008). The major aim of advertising is to impact buying behaviour; however, this impact on the brand is changed or strengthened frequently people’s memories. Memories about the brand consist of those associations that are related to the brand name in consumers’ minds. The major objective of consumers’ behaviour analysis is to determine the factors that influence consumers’ behaviour in a particular circumstance. Consumers’ behaviour analysis is helpful for advertisers to understand the behaviour of consumers in buying different situations.

Meanwhile, competition is becoming high among major brands in Nigeria and the world over because remaining in business requires serious efforts and a proactive approach which advertising is one. Meanwhile, one of the competing brands in Nigeria is toothpaste. Toothpaste is a gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush in order to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth. Toothpaste is used to promote oral hygiene; it functions as an abrasive agent that helps to remove dental plaque and food from the teeth, works to suppress halitosis, and delivers active ingredients such as fluoride or xylitol to the teeth and gums to help prevent tooth decay (cavity) and gum disease (gingivitis).

Ekwujuru (2017) writes that in Nigeria there are over 32 toothpaste brands in the market, and oral hygiene has been their top priority over time. The brands that flood the market today are the most effective in preventing oral disease and consumers can find pastes that do much more than just fight cavities.

Ekwujuru (2017) highlights few toothpaste brands that are rocking the market:  Pepsodent and Close Up from Unilever Nigeria Plc, Macleans by Glaxosmithkline Nigeria Plc, MyMy from Daraju, Colgate from Colgate Palmolive, Oral-B from Procter and Gamble and Dabur from African Consumer Care Limited (AFCC) to mention but a few. Each boasts of a strong war chest of operating brand assets (strong pedigree, good products, strong distribution network and heavy advertising and marketing support).

There is no doubt about the fact that toothpaste manufacturers have been trapped in a rivalry that has seen them at each other’s throats, across Nigeria. According to Philip Kotler, a marketing professor, the challenger should not challenge the leader, but the threat by Oral-B has shown in the last five years that the postulation by Kotler is no longer relevant, particularly where the challenger has the financial muscle, and required finesse to fight the leader. No wonder that Oral B was able to challenge the Closeup, Macleans and others (Ekwujuru, 2017).

It is against this background that the research examines the influence of advertising on consumers’ choice between Closeup and Oral B toothpaste among ESUT students with the view to know why they prefer one over another.   

Problem Statement

Toothpaste brands have similar Unique Selling Points, USP, but what sets them apart is the important strategic and tactical activity they must constantly engage in. Vanguard newspaper investigations reveal that the gap between Oral-B and other toothpaste brands show a slim leadership margin, particularly for the leading brand including Closeup, Pepsodent, Dabur, Maclean etc

Although, lots of studies have been carried out on competing brands few or no studies have been specifically carried out on toothpaste brands particularly on Oral B and CloseUp and what informs consumers choice among other buying motives.

It is against this background that this paper examines the influence of advertising on consumers’ choice of toothpaste particularly between the CloseUp and Oral B respectively.

Objectives of the study

  1. To examine the extent to which students of ESUT are exposed to Closeup and OralB advertisements.
  2. To ascertain whether students of ESUT are patronizing either Closeup or Oral B.

Research questions

  1. To what extent are students of ESUT exposed to Closeup and Oral B advertisements?
  2. To what extent are ESUT students patronize Closeup and Oral B?

Scope/limitations of the study

The paper which examines the influence of advertising on consumers’ choice has been narrowed in scope to Oral B and Closeup among students of Enugu State University of Science and Technology. (ESUT) due to time, funds, materials and other logistics since it will not only be difficult but impossible to study all competing brands in Nigeria.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this paper will enable advertisers to package their campaigns in such a manner that will sell their product beyond imagination irrespective of the numbers of the competitors and how strong they are.

The findings will also help manufacturers to discover through consumers research what the consumers want, how they want it and why it is wanted, these are other variables that will guide their advertising campaigns.

It will form part of the academic materials that will be useful to other researchers and students while it will educate consumers on the best ways to respond to advertisements while advertisers will learn to understand the need to follow the ethics of the profession by avoiding advertisements that are subversive. 


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