A Content Analysis of Cultural Representation in Selected Television Advertisements
Objective of the study
The objective of this study is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of cultural representation in selected television advertisements in Nigeria. The specific objectives include:
- Examine the portrayal of Nigerian culture in television advertisements, focusing on the representation of diverse ethnic groups, traditions, and cultural practices.
- Identify positive examples of cultural representation in Nigerian advertisements that celebrate and promote the diversity and richness of Nigerian culture.
- Identify problematic representations in Nigerian advertisements that perpetuate stereotypes, biases, or cultural appropriation, and analyze their potential impact on societal perceptions.
- Evaluate the authenticity of cultural portrayals in television advertisements, assessing the accuracy and respectfulness in representing Nigerian cultural identities and values.
REVIEWED OF RELATED LITERATURE
The definition of culture varies depending on the context of its use. Since there is no universal definition which applies to each situation, the interpreter needs to consider the complexity of the term, or concept of, culture when discussing it. Eagleton (2000) argues that the concept of culture is associated both with what surrounds us and what is cultivating inside of the individual (pp. 5-6). Furthermore, Eagleton states that the word culture is essentially too broad, yet too narrow, to have a specific function. Similarly, McCarthy et al. (2003) argue that the view on culture as the production and circulation of meaning “remains inadequate” (p. 452). According to Eagleton (2000), culture covers everything between typical hairstyles to how the husband’s second cousin should be addressed (p. 32). Therefore, culture transcends physical appearance and actions, and regards such aspects as speech and linguistic features. Mesthrie (2009) argues that language is a powerful tool which may be used to accentuate or highlight cultural differences (p. 329). Nevertheless, as the present study aims to analyse the representation of culture in fictional texts, a suitable definition of culture must be chosen to be able to discuss the findings. Eagleton (2000) defines culture as the “complex of values, customs, beliefs and practices which constitute the way of life of a specific group” (p. 34). This definition signifies 6 the basis of which the analysis will be formulated. However, as the analysis is based on cultural representation and portrayal in coursebooks, the definition of culture must be considered through educational perspectives. According to McCarthy et al. (2003), when regarding the teaching of culture in education, culture from a postcolonial perspective is often taught in terms of opposites. They argue that cultures are perceived based on the East or the West, First or Third world, as well as colonial master or slave. (pp. 461-462). Therefore, how the coursebook authors have chosen to depict the included cultures is relevant when analysing the portrayal of culture in educational material. How cultures are depicted should thus be viewed through a critical perspective while analysing coursebooks.
Television commercials are persuasive methods advertising and marketing organizations put together to persuade viewers and consumers to have a preference for a specific service or product on behalf of corporations by means of television. Mcluhan (1964), asserts that television advertisement is usually measured as the most superior mass market advertising and this is reflected by way of the unwarranted fees television networks charge for advertising and marketing airtime during well-known television programmes. In other words, television advertisement is the preferred mode by many producers in reaching out to the potential consumers. Whether consumers agree or not, they are frequently influenced by using television adverts when they want to make a choice of a service or product. This is stated by Krugman (1975), where he specifies that the public lets down its guard to the monotonous industrial use of the television standard and it easily changes its way of seeing stock and brands without much consideration as at the time of television contact. As a promotional strategy, advertising serves as a most important tool in growing product awareness and situating the idea of a conceivable client to take eventual buying decisions. Advertising discourse is a sub-set of Discourse Analysis. According to Cook (2001), although discourse evaluation is normally about language, its area of coverage goes beyond that. It is additionally involved with conversation normally in the society as regards who is speaking with whom and in what circumstance. When different modes mix with language, discourse analysis is still involved. Discourse, therefore, is viewed by distinct scholars from the standpoint from which they are working. Scholars who have worked in this area include: (Cook, The 12 discourse of advertising, 2001)(Goddard, 2002) and (Fairclough, Language and power, 2001). The former two deal with discourse in connection with advertising. Their scopes of evaluation differ. Cook (2001), analyses printed adverts, TV advertisements and Internet adverts; whereas Goddard (2002), analyses printed adverts. Nevertheless, they both examine company names and logos. Fairclough, on the other hand, tackles discourse in a broader social context. He perceives discourse as a shape of social practice (Fairclough, 2001). His centre of attention is in most cases, upon a face-to-face interaction, such as in a doctor-patient encounter, in a job interview or a prison investigation. Nevertheless, he also pays attention to the non-verbal components of conversation such as gesture, facial expression, motion (and) posture and other kinds of discourse, such as media. Moreover, Cook views discourse as a symbiosis of text and context. He says that an advertisement is an occasion of complex discourse, a dynamic and intangible entity made of many factors (Cook, 2001, p. v). He defines textual content as: “linguistic forms and context as a set of components. Context, for him, consists of substance (primary, i.e. sound waves, paper, screen; secondary, i.e. radio waves, book, celluloid film), paralanguage (i.e. voice quality, gestures, facial expressions and contact in speech, choice of typeface and letter sizes in writing), scenario (the relations amongst objects, people and text)”, While Cook (2001), offers a full account of his method in a structured manner, providing idea first and then illustrating it with examples, in the case of Goddard (2002), the technique is reversed. She does not supply a specific definition of discourse; however, 13 it may also be inferred from her analyses. What she makes specific is the way she sees advertising as a shape of discourse and, consequently, discourse, in accordance to her, encompasses texts (considered as being visible artefacts and verbal language in one) which are seen as potentially involving the complex idea of audience, where readers have to work tough to decode messages and recognize specific relationships. Goddard starts her analysis with describing the position of images, layouts and typography. She goes on to discuss the relationship between the participants. Also, she concentrates on language use, its prosodic and pragmatic features. All in all, Cook (2001), seems to pick out advertising and marketing discourse as an interaction between textual content (defined in linguistic terms) and context (with the contributors as one of its constituent parts). Goddard (2002), on the other hand, seems to become aware of advertising discourse as an interaction between text, defined as visual and linguistic aspects of an ad, and the participants.
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried to examine A Content Analysis of Cultural Representation in Selected Television Advertisements. NTA Ibadan form the population of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain A Content Analysis of Cultural Representation in Selected Television Advertisements.. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing A Content Analysis of Cultural Representation in Selected Television Advertisements.
This study was on A Content Analysis of Cultural Representation in Selected Television Advertisements.. Three objectives were raised which included: 1. Examine the portrayal of Nigerian culture in television advertisements, focusing on the representation of diverse ethnic groups, traditions, and cultural practices, Identify positive examples of cultural representation in Nigerian advertisements that celebrate and promote the diversity and richness of Nigerian culture, Identify problematic representations in Nigerian advertisements that perpetuate stereotypes, biases, or cultural appropriation, and analyze their potential impact on societal perceptions and evaluate the authenticity of cultural portrayals in television advertisements, assessing the accuracy and respectfulness in representing Nigerian cultural identities and values. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from selected staff of NTA Ibadan. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).
In conclusion, this content analysis emphasizes the importance of accurate, respectful, and inclusive cultural representation in television advertisements. By promoting authentic portrayals of culture, challenging stereotypes, and avoiding cultural appropriation, advertisers can contribute to a more inclusive society, where diverse cultures are celebrated and valued. This analysis serves as a foundation for further research and dialogue, encouraging advertisers to reflect on their practices and strive for positive cultural representation in advertising.
Based on the findings of the content analysis of cultural representation in selected television advertisements, the following recommendations are suggested to improve cultural representation and promote inclusivity in advertising:
- Promote Cultural Sensitivity: Advertisers should prioritize cultural sensitivity when depicting diverse cultures. This involves conducting research, consulting cultural experts, and engaging with community representatives to ensure accurate and respectful portrayals of cultural practices, traditions, and identities.
- Avoid Stereotypes and Biases: Advertisements should avoid perpetuating stereotypes and biases associated with specific cultures or ethnicities. Advertisers should challenge preconceived notions and embrace diverse representations that go beyond limiting stereotypes, showcasing the full spectrum of talents, aspirations, and experiences within cultural groups.
- Engage in Authentic Storytelling: Advertisements should focus on authentic storytelling that reflects the experiences and realities of diverse cultures. This involves portraying genuine narratives, highlighting cultural values, and showcasing the diverse voices and perspectives within communities.
- Foster Inclusivity and Representation: Advertisements should strive to include a wide range of cultural identities and backgrounds, representing the diversity within Nigeria. Advertisers should ensure that individuals from various ethnicities, religions, genders, and abilities are represented, fostering inclusivity and creating an advertising landscape that reflects the rich tapestry of Nigerian society.
- Consult and Involve the Target Audience: Advertisers should actively seek feedback and engage in dialogue with the target audience to understand their perspectives on cultural representation. Incorporating the voices and perspectives of consumers can help advertisers better meet their expectations, avoid cultural misinterpretation, and ensure advertisements resonate with diverse audiences.
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