EFFECT OF BILLBOARD ADVERTISING ON CONSUMERS PATRONAGE OF COCACOLA PRODUCT

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Billboards have been used as an advertising medium for more than a century, and are still used today. Ever since Jared Bell presented large circus posters to the public in the mid-1800s, billboard advertising remains as a top medium for brand outreach (History of OOH, 2015). According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc. (2015), “billboards are the largest and among the most impactful standard-size out of home advertisement media format.” Looking at how advertising has progressed, roadside advertising has remained relevant since land transportation’s existence. Companies like Coco-Cola and Palmolive started using roadside publicity nationwide in 1900 after the use of billboards became widely recognized (History of OOH, 2015). Over the course of time, billboards remain as a top medium in the advertising world because of their power compared to other popular marketing practices, their complex strategies considered prior to creation, and their and successful design and execution elements.
Unlike television and radio advertisements, billboards cannot be turned off or skipped. Iveson (2011) pointed out how, “It has become the only mass medium capable of reaching consumers as they go about their everyday lives”. Consumers spend a great amount of time each week in the car, and billboards are there to catch their attention whether they are on the freeway or alongside the main road. Williams (2009) noted in his study how billboards are ultimately the last method of communication consumers’ fathom before taking action. It is likely for consumers to see the same billboard more than once a day in various locations. Brands with national campaigns often have multiple billboards in the same city because it is within their target market. In comparison with other print advertisements like newspapers and magazines, billboards can be geographically targeted to a precise location. For example, if Coca-Cola company is advertising a refreshing brand, the billboard may display the picture of the chilled product on the highway and hawkers/retailers can easily sell these products on the highway for drivers and passengers.
To have the ultimate turnover rate, it is best to couple billboard advertising with other form(s) of media. Using out of home billboards in combination with other media improves the decay rate, or time it takes for a person to forget a campaign’s advertising message,” (Iveson, 2011). Imagine a consumer watched TV while eating breakfast the other morning and a Coca-Cola commercial came on featuring their new Five Alive Orange. When they drove to work that day a billboard for the same Five Alive Orange displayed along the freeway. This method allowed for the consumer to remember the last time they saw the advertisement, and associate it with the most recent time. If the Five Alive Orange is associated well with the consumer, they were more likely to go to a store in the near future because they saw the advertisement in two different visual manners.
1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Since the nineteenth century, billboards have continued to compete as a top advertising channel. With such a lifespan, there is something convincing about a large, physical display that attracts a consumer’s eye for a few seconds before they return to their previous train of thought. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (2015), “Billboards stretch the boundaries of creativity to heighten advertisement awareness and grab consumer’s attention. Seventy-one percent of travelers often look at the messages on roadside billboards and more than one-third report looking at an outdoor advertisement each or most of the time they pass one,”(Williams, 2009.) These results have only increased since then. There are many elements to consider when creating a successful billboard such as the design features, geographical placement, target audience, and the goal of the campaign. The assembly of these elements to form an effective billboard for traveling consumers is formidable, but nonetheless many brands do so in a successful, creative way. However, the researcher is examining the effect of billboard advertising on consumer patronage of coca-cola products in Uyo metropolis.
1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1.  To examine the effect of billboard advertising on consumer patronage of coca-cola products in Uyo metropolis.
2.  To examine the features that will enhance consumer patronage in billboard advertising.
3.  To examine the relationship between billboard advertising and consumer patronage.
1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.  What is the effect of billboard advertising on consumer patronage of coca-cola products in Uyo metropolis?
2.  What are the features that will enhance consumer patronage in billboard advertising?
3.  What is the relationship between billboard advertising and consumer patronage?
1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HO: There is no significant relationship between billboard advertising and consumer patronage.
HA: There is significant relationship between billboard advertising and consumer patronage.
1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1.  The results from this study will educate business managers on the effect of billboard advertising on consumer patronage. It will also educate on the features of billboard that will enhance consumer patronage.
2.  This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
1.7   SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the relationship between billboard advertising and consumer patronage.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).  
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

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