Public Relations Project Topics

Student Perception of the Effectiveness of Advertising on Reality TV, Using Big Brother Titan as a Study

Student Perception of the Effectiveness of Advertising on Reality TV, Using Big Brother Titan as a Study

Student Perception of the Effectiveness of Advertising on Reality TV, Using Big Brother Titan as a Study

Chapter One

The Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate student perception of the effectiveness of advertising on reality tv, using Big Brother Titan as a study. Specific objectives of this study include to:

  1. Find out the perception of the audience about the Big Brother Naija reality television show.
  2. Discover the content of the Big Brother Naija reality television show that captures the audience’s interest most.
  3. Ascertain the factors responsible for the growing popularity of Big Brother Naija reality television show amongst its audience.



Conceptual Review

The Concept of Reality Television

In the majority of academic studies, it is practically impossible to come up with a description of what reality television is and what it is not (Deller, 2020). According to Ikoro,  Omessah & Ekevere (2019), limiting the notion of reality television obscures its true meaning rather than serving the concept. Due to the emanation of realism and unpredictable nature, they offer, reality shows have developed into a separate genre of television programming that distinguishes them from movies and other forms of material (Deller, 2020).

Reality TV is filmed utilising hidden surveillance while relying on the camera to capture everything as it happens, or it is shot in a genuine location with real people in front of a studio audience engaging in the programme (Arulchelvan, 2019). The defining characteristic of reality television is that regular people (nonprofessional actors) appear as the show’s main characters (Reiss & Wiltz, 2004). Reality television gave common people an alternative path to making money through entertainment that they otherwise would not have had (Skeggs  & Wood, 2018).

Nwafor & Ezike (2021) investigated 239 adults in research on the attractiveness of reality-based programmes using consumer motivation and the sensitivity theory’s 16 core desires. According to the sensitivity theory, people are prone to ignoring stimuli that are unimportant to their core purposes and caring for sensory input to fulfil those intentions. The study discovered that reality television watchers were more driven to feel important, sociable, immoral, safe, romantic, and less justified (Nwafor & Ezike, 2021).

Papacharissi & Mendelson (2019) assert that when producing reality television, the participation element is essential for attracting the audience. They added that it is advantageous to employ an audience voting method that gives viewers the chance to select the competitor they find most appealing.

Reality television is currently subject to criticism for its originality. Today’s reality television programmes are sometimes written and edited for entertainment, yet they appear authentic to the audience. Young individuals appear to think, act, and withstand their apparent characters, which allows them to lose their profound inner thoughts and vitality in actual circumstances (Ogunnubi & Akinlolu, 2020).

Reality Television Shows, Audience Interest and Social Media

The concept behind reality television has always been how entertainment content is filmed in a genuine environment with real people. On-screen depictions of reality television have typically focused on live studio shooting, audiences in the background, or competitions between players based on capturing their movements and emotions with security cameras (Das, Sarkar & Hussain, 2021). The phenomenon of reality television is not new. From its humble foundation in the 1950s, it has come a long way. Allen Funt’s lone work is credited with creating the concept and idea. Children of the U.N., a programme created by Funt, included interviews and on-location footage of young people from many countries attending an international school in New York City (McCarthy, 2019).

Without a doubt, viewers of reality television programmes have grown increasingly popular in modern society and time. Reality television has become a possible global phenomenon with noticeable intensity thanks to its continued rise around the world (Skeggs & Wood, 2018). The reason reality TV shows have dominated the television programming landscape in Nigeria may not be implausible. Nowadays, reality television is the focus of many television programmes, mostly because it offers viewers, advertisers, and producers certain entertainment benefits that scripted programmes from cinema and home videos would find challenging to match. The popularity of these shows is such that television stations and networks find themselves scrambling to place more reality programmes on air to keep up with audience demands (Wilfred, Grace & Joy, 2019).

Arulchelvan (2019), on the other hand, pointed out that reality television shows have turned into a contradiction by highlighting a deviation in principle and practice regarding them along with their increasing popularity. He claims that as the real element is progressively fading, it is now of considerable concern that reality television shows have diverged from what they were originally supposed to be. He continued by saying that the formats of reality television programmes are no longer fluid, with a greater emphasis on how to present the programmes as real-life interactions between participants. In addition, Arah (2017) highlighted that the leverage provided by digital technologies and new media for user-generated content for the show raises important issues regarding quality assurance and control for reality television.

Although reality television shows have been criticised for not being realistic or authentic, nothing has stopped the viewers from contributing to its enormous viewership, which has reached record numbers (Das, Sarkar & Hussain, 2021). If anything, reality TV has taken a more prominent place at the centre of modern television culture. It has been supported by reports from all around the world. According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (2021), reality television is one of the most-watched genres on Australian television, right behind the live sport, and frequently garners strong viewer rating numbers. In China and India, Pahad, Karkare & Bhatt (2021) reported huge interest in the shows with reality television attracting a large audience. In Sierra Leone, Conteh (2021) reported that reality television shows like Big Brother Naija have dominated the entertainment television landscape as well.





This chapter will cover the research design, the study’s population, the sample size and technique, the sources and method of data collection, and the data analysis method that will be applied.

Research Design

The research design is the general plan selected to integrate the several study components logically and coherently.  It serves as a guide for data collecting, measurement, and analysis(Kamangar & Islami,2017). A descriptive survey research design was adopted for this study. In other words, information will be collected from a host of respondents. This will be done to analyse the qualitative and quantitative information that was obtained.

Population of the Study

This is the summation of the characteristics that are of interest in a statistical investigation. It comprises every unit that can be used to apply research findings. In other words, a population is a grouping of all the units that have the variable attribute that is the subject of the study and for which general conclusions can be drawn(Shukla, 2020). A population size of seven hundred (700) respondents was adopted for this study.



Data Presentation




Summary of Findings

According to the research done for this study, 86.7% of the questionnaires that were sent were completed and returned, while 13.3% were either not completed or not returned. According to these data, the majority of the administered research instruments were submitted in their entirety. This demonstrates that the study’s research participants were very motivated to answer the questionnaire’s questions. This study indicated that 30.8% of respondents were between the ages of 16 and 20; 39.4% were between the ages of 21 and 25; 19.2% were between the ages of 26 and 30; and 10.2% were between the age of 31. This study found that the majority of the study’s respondents were between the ages of 21 and 25.

According to the empirical analysis conducted for this study, 63.5% of respondents were women and 36.5% were men. These data reveal that women made up the majority of the study’s research subjects. This demonstrates that female respondents participated in the survey to a greater extent than male respondents. It was discovered that 16.3% of respondents held an HND, B.SC., or BA, and 7.7% held other degrees, whereas 54.8% of respondents were undergraduate students and 21.2% had SSCEs. This analysis shows that the majority of the study’s research participants were undergraduate students who frequently watched the reality television programme Big Brother.

According to the study’s findings, 79.8% of poll respondents said they watch the reality television programme Big Brother, compared to 20.2% who said they don’t. This information indicates that a sizable portion of the study’s participants always watches the reality TV programme Big Brother. So, their answers to the questionnaire they were given closely matched the study’s stated research objectives.

The results of this research project’s analysis revealed that 34.6% of respondents thought watching Big Brother was entertaining for viewers, 11.5% thought it was educational, 31.7% thought it gave people a chance to showcase their talents, 11.5% thought it gave contestants social and economic benefits, and 10.6% thought it only benefited the contestants. This analysis demonstrates that the Big Brother Show provides a platform for the display of talent in addition to providing entertainment.

It was found that 14.4% of respondents agreed that Big Brother exposes people to social issues, 8.7% agreed that Big Brother promotes western culture, 22.1% agreed that the reality TV show encourages immorality among young people and viewers, 18.3% said that Big Brother is a platform for advertising goods and services, 10.6% said that the show has a negative impact on African culture, and 26% agreed that Big Brother promotes western culture. This analysis shows that the majority of respondents believed the Big Brother programme should be banned.

The study found that 23.1% of respondents think reality TV shows are entertaining, 27.9% think Big Brother keeps viewers up to date on pop culture, 12.5% think reality TV shows bring like-minded people together, 1.9% think reality TV shows make viewers forget about real-life problems, 18.3% think reality TV shows let viewers learn about hot topics like fashion and events, and 16.3% think real-world events are more interesting than fictional ones. This study found that reality TV shows like Big Brother help viewers stay up to date with pop culture.


Nigerians are no doubt divided about the moral, educational and emotional value of the BBN to the audience while wrestling with the dilemma of the programme’s survival on the public airwaves. Reality television programmes of other categories have more positive values to the audience but the BBN categories are void of the requisite moral status necessary for Nigerians at a time the nation is battling to redeem its battered global image within the nation and the international community. The benefits of fame and economic enhancement from the BBN programme are accrued only to the housemates, and most specifically to those who survive eviction from the beginning to the last day of the show. It means that the fame and economic benefits go to only a very few housemates who emerge in first, second and third positions. Further studies can examine the major drawbacks of theoretical applications to understanding media audience viewership of reality television programmes such as Big Brother Naija.

Much as the programme is of some benefit even only to a few housemates, the BBN television reality show is expected to be of more benefit to the audience. Sadly, the BBN reality programme on television has less significant values educationally and otherwise, apart from being merely entertaining. Consequently, Nigerians feel that a programme with more display of immorality and less educational value is capable of corrupting young people and should be scrapped. However, amidst the calls for the ban on the BBN show, a significant member of Nigerian audiences still insist that the programme should stay notwithstanding the anti-social attitudes of housemates and the absence of values that accompany the programme. The BBN programme is therefore an experience of the dilemma of survival. For a cross-section of Nigerians to support the sustenance of the BBN despite the criticisms means that the programme still has something to offer to its audience.


The BBN reality television programme producers, hosts and sponsors should save Nigeria and Africa in general, the rupturing image by cautioning the housemates against forms of decency and immortality in forms of sex, nudity and use of foul language. Producers can guide against these uncensored and unpleasant images which appear as the spectacle of attraction for the programme and encourage insightful and spectacular acts among the housemates; acts such as debates and quiz competitions on topical issues (intelligence tests), dance competitions and other games that can be of more educational and informative values to the audience. This implies that the programme should stay but with modification of house rules.

The Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation should initiate a massive orientation of Nigerians on the need to avoid viewership of some channels that may offend their taste of morality because the policies of privatization and satellite communication cannot easily allow for the scrapping of the programme. The ministry can embark on advocacy to programme producers and request them to key into the local content and values policies of Nigeria by encouraging cultural information dissemination among housemates and their audiences to build up a more responsible and self-disciplined youth, men and women of integrity shortly.


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