This research work centered on analyzing how advertisements affect voters choice in voting a candidate during elections. The study was necessitated due to the fact that politicians have shown over the years that they do not understand the power and do’s and don’ts of advertisements in political victory especially inNigeria. The study made use of a simple random sampling method. 398 staff of the citizens of ihiala local government area was drawn from a population of 87,798 using the Yero Yamani Formula. The multi stage sampling method was also used to arrive at the study sample. The study found out that political advertisements have great influence on voters choice and that voters prefer certain mediums and methods of adverts to others.
Advertisements have over the years remained a persuasive tool for convincing potential buyers/customers to patronize and remain loyal to a particular goods line. It was further used for persuading loyalty and patronage to ideas, beliefs and opinions thus the integration of politicians into chronic users of advertisements as a veritable tool for securing political victories as it facilitates their outreach and conviction of a large number of persons at ease and at once to key into their vision and unfathomable render their support to them. This study therefore focuses on how advertisements by political parties and candidates influence voters behavior in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The study of voting behaviour began in 1940 at Columbia University by Paul
Lazarsfeld and his group of social scientists. They conducted various studies to assess changes in individual voting intentions over the course of a presidential campaign (Bartels, 2008). Although greater focus has been invested in understanding consumer behaviour, there is an emergence of renewed interest in analyzing voting behaviour.
Political communication is one of the key differentiating tools of any democratic system and political campaigning during election time is one of the widely experienced political communications. Political campaigning involves the use of varied modes of communication to reach out to the voters to inform, as well as to persuade them for their favorable voting behaviour towards the party and the candidate concerned. As a collection of campaigning tools, political communication has grown from simple form of one-to-one communication for political candidate or the party to sophisticated technology driven strategic decision making involving the use of mix of campaigning tools.
As in many other democratic nations, use of advertising as political campaigning tool has grown in its significance in Nigeria also over the past few years. Enlargement of voters‟ size, availability of technologically advanced communication opportunities, and also the rising complexities and competitiveness in political scenario are considered as major reasons for the growing usage of advertising in political context.There has been a fundamental shift in the balance of political communication from news to advertising, and people are now exposed to huge amount of political advertising in every election cycle. As a result, the commercial use of various forms of mass media including television, radio, newspaper etc., has increased dramatically, thus bringing a significant increase in campaign expenditure.
Advertisements in electioneering period is considered as; a valid source of information about the candidates during a political campaign; a mode for retaining of knowledge and information about the candidates, such as their name, stance on issues, or image attributes, and influencing viewers‟ evaluations of the candidates . A basis for influencing voters‟ perceptions of the political process in general and their political behavior and a source of issue based learning, and agenda-setting effect, i.e., resulting in changes in the issues that respondents judge as most important; Also as a basis to effect attitude towards the candidate, to stimulate the interest in the campaign, to influence vote choice and finally the voter turnout.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is an acknowledged fact that the mass media influence how people experience their political life. Mediais used to facilitate advertisements. In spite of mass media presence in Nigeria, the level of political awareness among electorate seems very low. Majority of voters lack basic knowledge about the entire political process to take reasoned decisions on election matters. This manifests in their traditional voting pattern as they vote on the basis of religionand ethnic ties rather than on issues that are critical to human existence. Efforts therefore is intensified by those who appreciate the great impact advertisements has on voters behavior and decision making pattern to utilize the various media’s available to them in influencing voters behavior to favor them. Against this established background, the study seeks to determine the influence political advertising has on voter’s behavior amongst electorates in Anambra State.
Essentially, it determines how advertisement influenced the voting pattern of electorate in Anambra Stateduring the elections.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to look at the influence of advertisements on voter’s behavior in Anambra State. The specific objectives are:
- To examine the level of impact of advertisements on voters behavior in Anambra State.
- To determine the most effective advert medium employed by politicians in Anambra State.
- To determine the best advert strategy to be employed politicians in order to facilitate the victory of politicians in Anambra State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- To what extent where the electorate in Anambra State influenced by political advertisements?
- What was the most effective channel employed by politicians in campaign adverts in Anambra State?
- What was the most effective strategy employed by the politicians in their adverts to facilitate victories at the pool?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This study establishes the importance of advertisements in affecting the voting behavior of electorates in Anambra State.The study at the end of this research will help in creating a great level of political awareness on the role of advertisement’s in general elections and mobilization of voters.
Politicians will also identify the need for political adverts and learn how to effectively use it in communicating with and convincing the electorates.
It will also be useful to different media houses so as to know how to use the media to affect the attitudes and voting behavior of voters. The research work would be useful for academic purposes as well, so as to know how to garner information and also to understand the behavioral pattern of voters during elections.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work looks at the way political advertisements affect electorates who are resident in Anambra State and how effectively politicians in this locale utilize advertisements in reaching out to the voters.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Electorate: a collective people of a country, state or electoral district who are entitled to vote.
Influence: This is the power to affect, control or manipulate something or someone; the ability to change the development of fluctuating things such as conduct, thought or decisions. Also, it can mean a person or thing exerting such power or action.
Political Advertising:Political advertising is the use of an advertising campaign through the media to influence political debate, and ultimately, voters.
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