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AUDIENCE PERCEPTION OF THE PORTRAYAL OF WOMEN IN BEER ADVERTISING

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Abstract: The main objective of this study was to explore perception of consumers in Lagos regarding the portrayal of women in Guinness Stout’s advertising campaigns. The study employed Reception Theory and Standpoint Theory as theoretical frameworks. Employing a cross-sectional survey research method, the study distributed questionnaires to gather responses from respondents. The collected data underwent analysis using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage), and the data were organized and presented through tables. The results of the study revealed a prevalent perception among the majority of respondents that women were depicted in a somewhat sexualized manner in Guinness Stout’s advertising. This observation highlights the significance of understanding how consumers interpret and receive advertisements, emphasizing the impact of cultural nuances on these perceptions. Also, the findings emphasize the importance of considering cultural diversity and sensitivity in advertising practices, as consumers’ interpretations can vary widely based on their cultural backgrounds. In conclusion, the study underscores the need for advertisers to be mindful of the potential implications of their portrayals of women in different cultural contexts. In light of these findings, the study recommends that companies and brands should be attuned to the cultural context and sensitivity when crafting advertising campaigns, particularly recognizing the diverse interpretations of sexuality across various cultures, religions, and ethnicities.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

            Advertisement is one of the key elements for the development, expansion, and growth of industrial sector and ultimately for the economic development. Advertising campaigns are unavoidable by consumers in the 21st century. Researchers have studied and will continue to study the effects of advertising and its influence on attitudinal change, emotions, modification of lifestyle choices and its significant role in the consumption/ usage of goods and services (Olayinka, 2021).

            It should be recalled that advertising is a persuasive non-personal communication about products, services, or ideas usually paid for by identified sponsors through the various mass media. Today, individuals are exposed to advertisement everywhere including in the bus, while walking on the street, on the highways, even while travelling, also,, in the newspapers and on radio and television, SMS advertisement receive on smartphone, mobile phones, email advert/marketing that get into email and particularly when surfing the internet or playing game or in apps (Abolarin, 2018).

            Thus, advertising is one of the ingredients in sustaining business whether the company is dealing with products or services. The entire business of a commercial organization or company starts and ends with advertising. That is to say, the rise and fall of a profit-oriented company partly depends on the expenditure incurred on advertisement.

            However, beer advertising has been a prominent aspect of popular culture for decades, utilizing various strategies to capture the attention of consumer, one of the strategies is the use of women in its advertising campaigns. Meanwhile, the portrayal of women in beer advertisements has often been a topic of controversy, with concerns raised about the potential reinforcement of gender stereotypes and objectification. .

            To understand the audience perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising, it is crucial to examine its historical context. Historically, beer advertisements often depicted women as sexual objects or passive accessories to men’s enjoyment. societal perspectives have evolved, and there has been a shift towards more inclusive and empowering representations.

            Beer advertisements can reinforce or challenge existing gender stereotypes. A study by Gierl et al. (2021) found that women in beer ads were often portrayed as young, attractive, and sexually available, perpetuating the objectification of women. Such depictions can reinforce traditional gender roles and contribute to the marginalization of women.

            The portrayal of women in beer advertising can significantly influence viewer perception. Research by Smith and Cooper-Martin (2022) revealed that exposure to sexualized representations of women in beer advertisements led to increased acceptance of rape myths and negative attitudes towards women. These findings suggest that the objectification of women in beer advertising can contribute to harmful attitudes and behaviors.

            Recent years have seen a rise in advertisements that challenge traditional stereotypes and empower women. Advertisements featuring women as knowledgeable beer enthusiasts, brewers, or independent individuals have emerged. These portrayals aim to break gender norms and encourage inclusivity and diversity within the beer industry.

            Audience perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising can impact consumer behaviour. Research by Johnson and Pratt (2023) indicated that individuals who identified as feminists were more likely to boycott or switch brands due to negative portrayals of women in beer advertising. This finding highlights the importance of aligning advertising strategies with evolving societal values to maintain a positive brand image.

            The portrayal of women in beer advertising has evolved over time, reflecting shifting societal perspectives and expectations. While traditional representations have often objectified women, recent studies suggest that such portrayals contribute to negative attitudes and behaviors towards women. To this end, this research is on the thrust to investigate audience perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising particularly focusing on Guinness Stout among consumers in Lagos metropolis.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

            The portrayal of women in beer advertising has been a subject of concern and debate due to its potential impact on audience perception (Resul and Erzë, 2019). While some argue that it objectifies and marginalizes women (Jones and Reid, 2011; Lee and Swim, 2009), others contend that it can empower and challenge traditional gender norms   (Middleton and Turnbull, 2021; Atkinson, Meadows, Emslie, Sumnall, 2022).

Although, there are lots of empirical studies that have been conducted on women image and portrayal of women generally but a very few or none has been carried out specifically on the audience perception of the portrayal of women in Guinness Stout advertising among consumers in Lagos.

            Similarly, the majority of the research on audience perception of the portrayal of women in advertising has been conducted in developed countries (Resul and Erzë, 2019). There is a need for more research on this topic in developing countries, such as Nigeria, where Guinness Stout is a popular brand.

            Many of the researches on this subject matter have often focused on the negative aspects of this portrayal, such as the use of stereotypes and objectification. There is a need for more research on the positive aspects of the portrayal of women in advertising, such as the representation of women in leadership roles. It is against this background that this research is on the thrust to investigate audience perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising particularly focusing on Guinness Stout among consumers in Lagos metropolis.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

            The main objective of the study is to investigate audience perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising. The specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the extent to which respondents exposed to Guinness Stout advertising with women.
  2. To investigate how consumers in Lagos perceive the portrayal of women in Guinness Stout’s advertising campaigns.
  3. To ascertain how the portrayal of women in Guinness Stout’s advertising campaigns influence the choice of Beers among Lagosians.
  4. To investigate the extent to which the use of women in Guinness Stout advertising campaigns affect gender stereotypes.

1.4       Research Questions

In order to explicate the aforementioned objectives, the listed questions provide answers to the research problem:

  1. To what extent do respondents exposed to Guinness Stout Advertising with women?
  2. How do consumers in Lagos perceive the portrayal of women in Guinness Stout advertising campaigns?
  3. How has the portrayal of women in Guinness Stout advertising campaigns influence the choice of Beers among Lagosians?.
  4. Does Guinness Stout’s advertising campaigns featuring women affect both gender alike?
  5. To what extent does the use of women in Guinness Stout’s advertising campaigns affect gender norms and stereotypes?

1.5       Scope of the Study

            The study which investigates the audience perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising shall be narrowed in scope to Guinness Stout and residents of Lagos metropolis. Hence, the geographical scope of this study is within Lagos metropolis. The choice of Lagos metropolis are due to its proximity to the researcher, inadequate funds, because Lagosians have tendency to be exposed to Guinness Stout advertisement due to lots of channels of media availabilities in Lagos. Also, the time frame for this study is between July to December 2023. However, the demographical variables of the Lagosians will be examined before the administration of the data collection instrument.

1.6       Significant of the Study

 The study on audience perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising holds significant importance for several reasons:

Gender representation: Beer advertising has long been criticized for its portrayal of women, often depicting them in stereotypical and objectifying ways. This study allows researchers to examine how these portrayals are perceived by the audience and whether they reinforce or challenge gender stereotypes. It will shed light on the impact of such advertisements on societal attitudes towards women and their roles.

Cultural influence: Advertising plays a significant role in shaping cultural norms and values. By investigating the audience’s perception of the portrayal of women in beer advertising, this study provides insights into how these advertisements contribute to the overall cultural landscape. It helps researchers understand the influence of advertising on societal attitudes, gender roles, and expectations, and potentially guides advertisers in creating more inclusive and empowering campaigns.

Consumer behaviour: Understanding how consumers perceive and respond to beer advertisements is crucial for advertisers and marketers. By examining the audience’s perception of the portrayal of women, this study provides valuable insights into consumer attitudes and preferences. It helps advertisers gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns and make informed decisions about the content and messaging they employ to engage their target audience.

Social impact: The portrayal of women in beer advertising can have wider social implications beyond consumer behavior. It can influence perceptions of women in general, impact gender equality efforts, and contribute to a broader culture of objectification. By examining audience perception, the study can contribute to the ongoing discussions on gender representation, social responsibility in advertising, and the need for more inclusive and equitable media portrayals.

Academic Community: The findings of this study complement the academic community as it provides a valuable starting point for further research on women in advertising and provides empirical evidence for others interested in conducting similar studies.

1.7       Brief History of Guinness Plc

            Guinness, founded in 1886 by Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd., is known for its distinctive dark stout. The company merged with Grand Metropolitan PLC in 1997 to form Diageo PLC, headquartered in London. Guinness’s success led to its expansion to Great Britain and becoming the largest brewery in Ireland by 1833 (Britannica, 2023).

            Meanwhile, Guinness Nigeria Plc, a Nigerian limited liability company, was incorporated in 1950 as a trading company importing Guinness Stout. It has since become a manufacturing operation, focusing on brewing, packaging, marketing, and selling various spirits. In 2016, it acquired the rights to import, market, distribute, and sell Diageo’s International Premium Spirit brands in Nigeria. The company also installed PET production lines and began producing products in PET format in 2018. It also acquired the right to manufacture mainstream spirits brands in Nigeria (Guinness Nigeria, 2018).

1.8       Operational Definitions of Terms

Advertisement: In this study, a promotional message or content are disseminated by Guinness Stout through various media channels (radio, television, newspaper, and magazine, social and other platforms.

Advertising: In this research, these are all Guinness Stout advertising campaigns, which typically appear on billboards, radio, television, and social media. 

Audience Perception: In this study, it simply means the feeling or view of Lagosians regarding the featuring of women in Guinness Stout advertising campaigns.

Beer Advertising: It means the various promotion of bear usually through the new media and traditional mass media such as social media, YouTube, radio, Tv, billboards, newspaper Internet generally

Portrayal of Women: In this research, it means the use of women in Guinness Stout advertising campaigns.

Residents of Lagos: These are the people living in Lagos metropolis usually from 18 years and above.

Women: In this study, it refers to the adult human individuals who identify as female or are biologically female usually aged 18 and above within Lagos metropolis.


PROJECT DETAILS:

Format = MS Word, Price = ₦4000, Chapter = 1-5, Pages = 52, References = Yes, Questionnaire =Yes, Table of Contents = Yes and Abstract = Yes


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