THE IMPACT OF WOMEN IN ADVERTISEMENTS
(A CASE STUDY OF DELTA SOAP TELEVISION ADVERTISEMENT)
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
It is rare these days to see adverts broadcast on television without women playing prominent and visible roles, such roles range from complementary, subjective, subordinate to major actors in most television adverts. These roles as may be ascribed by men, not only enhance the product advertised, but add colour, glamour and pleasant feelings to viewers whose interest, attention and patronage are very much sought after.
Thus, women could see oftentimes in the back grand 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, but women was first of there sole attraction.
Women are, therefore, beginning to get involved in adverts not only as subordinates but also as major characters and most times found themselves in decision-making positions. The term advertising and advertisement can be defined in many different ways. One widely used definition appropriate for many years by no longer so was simply “salesmanship print”.
Perhaps a more precise definition of the subject would be: Advertising, the paid use of any channel of communication to identify, explains or urges the use of adoption of a product, service or idea. An identified sponsor could also define it as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services.
Although, modern advertising is only about 100 years old, the use of advertising actually dates back at least to the 10th century BC. The use of picture in advertisements is necessary. Advertisements with names and symbols on them are always easy for both illiterates and literates to identify. With the developing of printing, advertising made its first appearance in a form more nearly related to its present one.
A small poster by William Claxton promoted the sale of a service book published in 1450. 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 newspaper, street signs, posters, hand bills. The use was made of by 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, seriously, newspapers and others. Television became very controversial because it changed the role of radio, as it became the major source of in-home entertainments since the 1950’s.
The scientific nature of advertising perhaps has created a broad and wide room which impropriated the women folk, and exploitation of their intricate characters and quality. Women traditionally are seen in terms of their appearance, sexually and domestic relations.
Accordingly, feminist researchers like inch man et al and Busty, conclusively submit that women tend to be shown as submissive, passive and are portrayed largely in term 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 ccariler on were mere sub ordinate to men. As it has been the practice until perhaps to recent times, the males take major decisions, handle senior executive parts, think and map out strategies for execution plan on a complementary 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 the 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 advert and sale of product.
The argument here reveals a situation of attraction and sustenance as a major factor in any advertisement. These agencies use renowned women, since men and even women alike admire television advertised. There are advanced examples as that of monarch beer and cannon beer, which use women widely despite the fact that men actually consume the product more that the females. Also product adverts like Delta soap, Joy soap etc call to mind what effects womanish roles on 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 position of women in the traditional society to which they belong.
In a country like Greece, women basically occupy themselves with domestic chores, and keeping the family religiously alive, while their male counterparts have the duly of providing things from the outside world that deep the family alive and going.
In Germany, women play tougher role: they go to hunt with their male flock, go to war most times with them, farm and prepare the food for the husband and the family. Women here are often times treated same as men, though both do not enjoy equal rights and privilege especially in inheritance.
The American situation may perhaps be a little different; women were initially subjected to ascribed roles. This gradually began to wane as women liberation movements became rampart and the roles of women in such places became more recognized and appreciated.
To African and Nigerian society, women should remain in their traditional position and remain in the background, unseen and unheard. The African society perceives exposure of women as a most unwelcome thing.
In certain parts of African traditional society, exposing of a female’s body is termed a taboo, just like the Muslim community forbid 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 seen at not for women. But in modern times, women are beginning to be exposed and can now engage in activities without much criticism.
Perhaps, advertisements are now so negligently perused that it has become necessary to gain eloquence and glamour or for some other reasons, sometimes sublime, and sometimes pathetic, that women play these controversial roles in virtually every advertisement broadcast.
This research venture is aimed at not only x-raying the impact of women in adverts but in everyday endeavor both in modern and ancient times, outlining reasons and explanations and aligning such roles and activities of women in various parts of the globe.
The fields survey research method, which was adopted for this research was deemed appropriate considering the nature of the topic. There was the need to interview men, women and other members of the society on matters relevant to study.
The observation about the impact of women in television advertisements have for long agitated the minds of people. Sequel to this, these researchers went all out, therefore, to investigate reasons for such impact, the perception of the society towards these roles, and equally tested the pulse of the viewers, x-raying their reaction, feelings and reasons for such reactions. This was done instead of merely depending on assumptions. David Edeani, in one of his lectures stated “There is not only the need to develop onions and facts in them should be cultivated rather than depending on assumptions.
Advertisers may also be wondering occasionally about the effect of the impact and roles they have on consumers of these products advertised. Do their presence really attract attention of prospective buyers? If they do, how has it been reflected in their sales?
On the other hand, owners of products being advertised may at times wonder actually the reasons why the advertisers use women in advertising products, which at times are not even consumed by women.
According to Barbara Lyne, an American theorist on the role of women in one of her lecture session at the university of California pointed out that the fact being used to their diriment. She observed the rate at which fashion and model houses engage the services of women and their performance as most alarming with little or no benefit to the women. Yet much women were expected by their employers to perform to extreme ability, irrespective of how the public feel about such roles.
According to Mrs. Ibekwe Alice, a fashion designer based in Lagos, on the impact of women, even their attitudes in one sentence said, “The exposition on TV screens blind women from equating the pros and cons of their action and roles”. This goes to show the extent to which women like being displayed (exposure syndrome). She will, like most women, portray themselves as the most beautiful and adored female in the world.
o Are the roles of women in television adverts dependent on ascribed roles by men?
o Do beliefs, attitude and behaviour exert any influence on women’s participation in TV advertisements?
o Would the role women played be best described as seductively alluring in the background of TV adverts?
Based on the research question written above, the following research hypotheses were generated.
H1 Women’s roles in TV advert are dependent on ascribed roles by men.
H0 Women’s role in TV adverts does not depend on ascribed roles by men.
H2 The participation of women in TV adverts are influence by beliefs, attitudes and behaviour of women in the society.
H0 The participation of women in TV adverts are not influence by beliefs, attitudes and behaviour of women in the society
H3 The role played by women is seductive in TV advertisements.
H0 The role played by women is not seductive in TV advertisements.
The intent of this study is, among other things, to find out, the impact of women in advertisements based on the background that women differ from men in behavior, attitudes speech and general approach to issues, Robin (1975) pointed out that women’s speech and language differ substantially from men’s.
Women tend to use weaker excessively polite and question rather than make statements. He argued further that these differences are assumed within social structure.
Equally assumed was that women are showed in TV adverts as the seductively alluring back grand. The impact of women in advertisements was also assumed to be for reinforcement rather than reduction of prejudices and stereotypes. Assumed further was the debasing of womanhood, which their participation in advertisements often causes.
This study equally assumed that men ascribe women’s roles and mainly confined to the domestic sphere or else as secretaries, assistants and in similar roles ancillary to those of the men.
The impact of women in advertisements is an area that has been sufficiently explored by researchers. Although a lot of topics areas close to it have been worked on, very little information could be got which bears directly on the impact of women in advertisements.
Therefore, this posed a lot of problems since there were very limited sources of empirical and theoretical literature, which bears directly on the topic. Secondly, the fact that this project had a specific period of time within which it was supposed to be ready, time therefore became one big constraint to the researchers. The researcher shave not been able to lay hands on it other materials, which are relevant to the study within the short time, they have to undertake the project. This problem was also worsened by the consideration of the workload, which the researchers had to contend with.
This study also was faced with the problem of finance. Things/Materials were costly and posed serous concern.
This research is mean to discover how the society feel or perceive the impact of women in advertisements. The research is centered on Delta soap TV adverts as a case study. Though may research works have been carried out on women and there activities, none has been found to center on these.
Another distinguishing feature of this work lies in the population studied. Enugu in Enugu state constituted this research’s population even if there happened to be a research on the impact of women in adverts in Nigeria, the researchers are sure that such documented research has not been done using Enugu residents are the population.
The research also outlined the reasons women participate in adverts and why advert agencies or advertisers use women in TV adverts and societies perception of these roles.
This research work sampled the opinion of consumers of Delta soap TV advert found out their feelings and opinions towards these products, and discovered whether the way women who were used in these adverts really appended to their taste.