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1.1       Background of the Study

In a capitalist society like Nigeria, trade and industries are controlled by private owners for profit making. This implies that anyone is free to venture into any business as long as it is legal. Based on the above statement, it is a common phenomenon for one to notice many people in the same line of business in Nigeria. When this happens, there exist some form of competition between customers and inventors. This is when advertising comes into play.

According to Maduka (2006), advertising presents the most persuasive possible setting message to the right prospects for products or same at the lowest possible cost.

The influence of Billboard Advertisement on the growth of an organization can better be imagined. It serves as a marketing function by helping and services sell their products.

“A business of a product without advertising is like a man wirking in the dark even through he known that he winks, nobody else knows but him”

The above statement made this renowed public speaker shows the importance of advertisement on the success of goods and services in nay society.

It has always been a difficult propositions to show precisely how advertising affects the consuming public. Many people hold that its effect on consumers choice is highly limited, which some others are of the view that advertisement has a stronghold on consumers choice having a clearer view of the what advertising implies would determined its impact on consumers said by Abraham Muslow (2003).  

Advertising has grown increasingly popular as an object of academic inquiry, a field of professional practice and an index of modern business. It has come to assume the centre of modern marketing and it is one of the major form of promotion in product and service marketing.

Billboard advertising has assumed a wider and prominent position in product promotion in recent times in Nigeria. Despite electronics media, billboard advertising got product promotion on the increase.

This new discovery in product promotion has not only give rise to advertising agencies that specialized only in billboard advertising, and also a strong association of billboard advertising in Nigeria which is recognized by advertisers as a subsidiary of the advertising practitioner council of Nigeria (APCON). But as has been articulated by Adeyemi (2009), the constitutional provision on freedom of expression can be said to amount only to an ordered freedom of which cannot be used as a license to spread communication that debased public morality.

However, many of these ethical principles have in the course of time grown to become statutory regulation codified laws. Decree 55 of 1988 among other provisions provides that APCON show regular and control the practice of advertising in all aspect and ramifications. It is in immense aid wide power conferred on it, that APCON developed a code of  ethics to guide and regulate the practice of advertising in Nigeria.

The increase in billboard advertising under scores the effectiveness of billboard on project promotion. Billboard ensure frequent and repeated exposure to the advertisement. Billboard are usually located at points with high vehicle and human traffic. Consequently, users of such points are regularly exposed to the advertisement in the board. Secondly, billboards also offer a high degree of location flexibility. In other words, the boards can be placed where the advertisers actually intended them to be. In addition, they tend it has lower cost per thousand than most of other media. They usually with a small budget. Billboard offers the advantage of very good colour reproduction and at the same time it is an effective reminder medium offer serving as a catalyst for buyers who buy in impulse.

According to Philip (2004) Advertising encourage or persuade an audience viewers, readers or listeners, sometimes a specific group of people to continue to take some new action.

Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior which repeat of a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common.

The statement above points to one fact advertising is meant to influence consumers choice of purchasing. In other word, MTN leading to tele-communication company in Nigeria, is known to become organization that spends millions of naira on its advertisement with the view of sourcing for more subscribers (customers) in a highly competitive telecommunication sector.

The evidence increase in billboard advertising under sources the effectiveness of billboard in project promotion. Billboards ensure frequent and repeated exposure to the advertisement. Billboard are usually located at points with higher vehicular and human traffic.

Consequently, users of such points are regularly exposed to the advertisement in the board. Secondly, billboard, also offer a hogh degree of locational flexibility. In other words, the board can be placed where the advertisers actually intended them to be. In addition, they tend to has lower cost per thousand cost efficient, especially for the advertiser with a small budget.

Bisade (2007) states that advertisement help a business to introduce itself into the market, grow in the market and remain in the market. This further implies that without constant advertising, a business is a goal as deal.

It is worthy to note that other tele-communication network operators exist in Uyo urban and MTN subscribers are only a fraction of network subscribers in Uyo.

Basically, billboard advertising perform so any promotional function that is information persuading and reminder to the public.

However, advertising goes beyond publishing and broadcast in the media, it involves the direction of message to the right audience in order to ensure that the required impact is made.

These observations necessitated the researcher to conduct the research in order to examine the influence of MTN Billboard Advertisement on subscriber in Uyo Local Government Area.

The researcher intents to draw conclusion on the issue of advertising being a driving profit in MTN services.   

1.2       Statement of the Problem

There has been an appreciable growth in product and services promotion activities by MTN marketers in Nigeria, especially through advertising. Recently, below, the line advertising especially Billboard has gained tremendous popularity. Going round the major roads and street in Uyo metropolis particularly strategic location will reveal the degree of usage advert number of colourful billboard of various sizes carrying manufactures.

They are located in strategic traffic points. Why this sudden increase in the use of MTN Billboard? Could it be that billboard has acquired new potency for product promotion? This and many were ignited the researcher, to look into the effect of MTN Billboard Advertisement on subscribers with special emphasis on Uyo metropolis as a case study.

1.3       Objective of the Study

This study has among objective the following:

(i)           To find out whether residents of Uyo are exposed to MTN Billboard Advertisement.

(ii)          To determine theeffectiveness of MTN Billboard on resident of Uyo.

(iii)        To ascertain why MTN Billboards appeal to resident of Uyo.

(iv)        To determine the influence of MTN Billboard Advertisement on residents of Uyo.

1.4       Research Question

For this study, the following question are raised:

(i)           Do the residents of Uyo exposed to MTN Billboard Advertisement?

(ii)          How effectiveness are MTN Billboard Advertisement on residents of Uyo?

(iii)        Does MTN Billboard appealed to residents of Uyo?

(iv)        Do MTN Billboard Advertisement influences subscribers in Uyo Local Government Area?

1.5       Significance of the Study

This study brings to our knowledge the degree of influence other product promotion activities and advertising exerts on billboard advertising.

The research was upon in order to embarked on its research project in order to assess the impact of billboard advertising on MTN subscribers in Uyo Local Government Area.

The study will also serve as a guide to manufacturers and advertisers in their day-to-day via the billboard advertising. On the other hand, this study serve as literature/good feasibility study for prospective investors in Billboard Advertising sub-sectors.

1.6       Scope of the Study

This study is on the influence of MTN billboard advertisement on subscribers in Uyo Local Government Area. Therefore, all research effort will be focused on the entire MTN subscribers in Uyo Local Government Area.

1.7       Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this research, some challenges were encountered. First, the researcher has limited fund to carryout the research effectively. However, this situation handed through financial and from family friends.

Secondly, time was a challenges due to a cumbersome academic time table. This was handled through effective time management by the researcher.

Finally, the respondents posed a serious challenges to this work. Most of them were reluctant and unwilling to respond to the questionnaires. The researcher was able to tackle this by telling them that the information gathered was strictly for academic purposes.

1.8       Definition of Terms

In order to do away with ubiquity and enhance understanding, some operational term are hereby defined:

MTN: An abbreviation for Mobile Telecommunication Network. A telecommunication company that has establish its presence in may states in Nigeria including Uyo Local Government Area.

Billboard: Consisting of large pieces of printed paper attached to a durable backing on a structure especially at the side of a road.

Advertisement: This can be defined as a commercial solicitation designed to sell some commodity, service or similar.

Impact: This simply means the effect something has on another thing.

Subscribers: This can be described as the users of MTN Telecommunication Services.