The Impact Of Testimonial Use On Advertising Effectiveness

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1.1            Background of the study

Advertising is a powerful and persuasive machine. It is an exciting, dynamic and fully challenging enterprise. It is a subject that cannot be ignored in our day to day life; infact “a world without advertisement is a bleak world” Awake 1988 Pg 1-6. Advertising is always ahead of us to greet us, Infact it has almost become a thorn in the flesh that the average individual cannot do without. He or she is exposed to several kinds of advertising messages right from the moment he wakes up in the morning until he goes back to bed.


Advertising is a form of mass communication that puts businesses in touch with consumers though paid, controlled, identifiable massages that try to persuade the receiver to make a specific decision towards buying a product.


Advertising has proved to be the cheapest and most successful means of making known goods and services in order to sell them effectively. It is capable of influencing human behaviour towards the purchase of a particular product.


One of the main purpose of advertisement is the imparting and extracting the materialistic virtues of consumption by exploiting achievement derived and emulative anxieties, employing tactics of hidden manipulation, playing on information, etc.


The primary concern with the content of advertising is the question of the degree to which the advertisement is able to convey the selling message; bearing in mind that people buy a particular product to satisfy the needs and wants of the consumers. The advertiser achieves this though a will designed, produced and properly placed advert cope.


The aim of the advertiser in most cases is to induce and create awareness of the values of the advertised products. It also helps to make consumers have the urge to want to possess the product. In essence the advertisers finds out what crates the urge to want to possess a particular product. The aim of every advertisement is to create awareness and sell product and services; it is also used to attract consumers where such product and services could be got.


Owing to this reason, Bernstein (1974: Pg 2) saw advertising as “the originator and communication of ideas about products in order to motivate consumers towards purchase”.


Advertising can also be said to be controversial, it has been praised and yet lambasted. Advocates see advertising as a boost to the economy. “For there to be more jobs in the society, there must be an increase in demand for goods and services, advertising contributes to the accomplishment of this goal. (wright et al,1982 Pg. 6) Advertising can generate and stimulate an economy and create a market where non exist.


The detectors of advertising on the other hand feel, it is a wasteful enterprise. According to them, advertising consist of exploiting human weakness though the use of punchy, persuasive high pressure and aggressive words known as the “hard sell” concept coin by the British advertising association Advertising according to them force people to buy product they had had no intention of buying or something not in their best interest.


Advertisers on the other hand, should always bear in mind that whatever they put in an advertisement affects the consumer’s buying habit as they should be careful about the advert message.


The peak advertisement for example shows that any consumer of the product will have energy for active way of life and also look healthy. This message inspires the consumer’s buying behaviour, this in effect means the consumer’s buying behaviour is greatly influenced by the message he sees or hears. Whatever the case may be advertisers should be able to know what the consumers real needs and wants are, and as such they should be able to make effort to satisfy them.


The bottom line of the consumer’s level of satisfaction to a large extent depend on his behaviour and what really motivates him. Since consumers satisfaction is the goal of every advertiser, pre knowledge of consumer’s buying behaviour will help to facilitate effectiveness and efficiency in advertising.


In most advertisements, advertisers try to match product with the consumers but for this method to be effective, the reason that make people react to certain product should first be considered. The advertiser should also be able to know what appeal to his consumers to enable him know which means would be most appropriate for him to use as his medium to get the consumer to buy his product. The consumers are the main targets of the advertisers, they use different means and weapons at their disposal to induce people into buying products and services, and one of such weapons is through testimonial use. This has become the in thing, in advertisement both at the national and international levels. Testimonial use is the use of stars or well-known public figures in endorsing products or services.


The origin of testimonial use is not documented, but Radolph in (1947) cited it in one of his study. However; among the six types of advertising copy compared, testimonial advertising was found to show the highest readership scores.


The testimonial is usually a well-known member of the public. He can be an actor, actress, sportsman/woman, etc. He is usually known for his achievement in his area of specialization, outside the area he is been used to endorse. The advertiser uses testimonials in endorsement of product to reduce the psychological risk of the consumer by portraying to the prospective consumer that the testimonials are typical users of the product to be advertised.


In Nigeria, the use of testimonials in advertisement is thing that has come to stay. Examples are Kano Nwankwo in peak, Jaja Okocha in Pepsi, Genevive Nnaji in Always Pad’ etc. Advertisers believe using testimonials in advertising helps to boost the testimonial of the product and induce the consumers to buy it, especially when the endorser is the consumer’s model. This can influence the consumer’s buying habit.



1.2            Statement of problem

The aim of advertisement is to create awareness for goods and services to consumers and promote the sales of such goods and services.


Based on this, the hurdles of this research are:

1.                 To find if the use of testimonials in advertisement influences the buying pattern of the consumer. Eg the use of Kanu Nwankwo in Peak Milk Advertisement.

2.                 To find out if the presence of these testimonials have any impact on the retentive memory of the consumer.

3.                 To find out the credibility of such advert messages as a result of cure use of testimonials.

4.                 To find out the impact of using testimonials on advertising on the consumers.




1.3            Objectives of the study

The study is aimed at examining the extent to which consumers can be influenced by the use of testimonials in advertising.  If the use of testimonials can make consumers to either buy or not.


It is a known fact that advertising is money generating sector to any functional media house; It helps to sustain the media houses. Everyday advertisement takes a new lift. It develops with time. Firms and corporation non makes use of their product commercial to sponsor both local and network programmes. This is done in order for their products and services to get recognition which will in turn help to promote business and sales. A

S a result of this, advertisers embark on different strategies to achieve effective advertising promotions and one of such strategy is the use of both national and international testimonials in advertisement.


1.4            Significance of the study

The significance of this study therefore is to know if this new trend in the advertising world has any impact of the consumer either in a positive of negative way. This is important because it will create and ideal scene for a healthy competition on the effectiveness of their adverts.


The effect of testimonial use has on the consumers behaviour will help the advertisers in the discovery of these products.


It will also help advertising agencies and professional advertisers in planning their advert campaigns.


1.5            Research question

This research will be used to investigate the following question that are likely to arise because of the use of testimonials in advertising and the effect they have on consumers buying behaviour:

1.                 Do consumers remember advertised product that featured a testimonial more than that without a testimonial?

2.                 Does testimonial use have any impact on consumer’s buying pattern?

3.                 Does the use of testimonials increase the credibility of the products?


1.6            Research Hypotheses

HI:     The use of testimonials influences consumers buying behaviour.

HO:   The use of testimonials does, not influence consumers buying behaviour.

H2:    Consumers are likely to remember advert that featured testimonials than those that do not feature testimonials.

HO:   Consumers are not likely to remember products that featured testimonials easily than those that do not.

H3:    Consumers interest will be more on the testimonial used in advertising the product than on the product advertised.

HO:   Consumers interest will not be more on the testimonial used in advertising the product than on the product advertised.

H4:    Testimonial used in advertising increase consumers perception of the credibility of the message of the advertisement.

HO:   Testimonials used in advertising does not increase consumer’s perception of the credibility of the message of the advertisement.


1.7            Definition of terms

1.       AVERTISER:      Any person or organization that sponsors the advertisement of a product.

2.       ADVERTISEMENT:     A public, which, especially one published in the press or broadcast over the air to promote a product or service.

3.       ADVOCATES:    One that defends or maintains a case or proposal.

4.                 A consumer’s manner or conduct of responding to products.

5.                 TESTIMONIAL:  A person that is well known and of ten refereed to; a person who has fame and honour and held in high esteem.

6.                 CONSUMER:      One that utilizes economic goods.

7.                 DETBACTPRS:   The act of speaking ill about something

8.                 INTEREST: A feeling that accompanies or causes special attention to something.

9.                 REMEMBER:      The ability to bring something to mind or to think again.

10.            PERCEPTION:    The quick, acute intuition cognition.

11.            CREDIBILITY:    The quality or power inspiring beliefs, capacity for belief.

12.            TARGET:   something or someone to be affected by a action or development.

13.            VOGUE:     The leading place in popularity or acceptance.


Operational Definitions

1.       CONSUMER:      The number of people in the research sampled area who take peak because of the presence of the testimonial figure in the advertisement.

2.       ADVERTISER:    This refers to the owner of the advertised product which is intended to create awareness of the product

3.       ADVOCATEA:    These are people who believe or defend the advertisement as avenue for boosting the economy of the society.

4.       TESTIMONIAL:  A well known member of the public in the advertisement. Eg, Kanu Nwankwo in peak advert.

5.       ADVERTISEMENT:     It is the message endorsed by the testimonial to charge consumer’s buying behaviour in the sampled area.

6.       REMEMBER:      This is the total repondent who are able to recall the advert that featured testimonials.

7.       INTEREST:         This refers to response favourable items measuring the variables in the questionnaire

8.       CREDIBILITY:    It is the total number of consumers that believe in the peak advertisement because Kanu Nwankwo endorses it.

9.       PERCEPTION:    This refers to the consumers that actually understand the concept of the advisement.

10.     BUYING BEHAVOPR:this is the total response on items measuring the reason for buying the product.

11.     VAGUE:     This is the use of testimonials in creating advertisement in or society and this happen to be the latest style

12.     TARGET:   The consumer the advertising message affect.

13.     DETRACTORS:  Those who speak ill of the advertising message and only see it as a means of forcing consumers against their wish.


1.8            Assumptions

This study is based on the assumption that residents of the coal city of Enugu known Kanu Nwankwo and have come across the peak advertisement and the result from this assumption can be generalized to others.


1.9            Limitations

The literature relevant to this study is quite limited especially in the Nigerian context and as such the research will make do with the little available related literature.


The constraints of time and limited finance will not allow this research to be carried out using a larger population sample i.e (the entire country or some states in the federation). This study will be limited to residents of Enugu.





This study will not research on other means that advertisers can use to get consumers into their products.


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