RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to investigate the types of advertising used in
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study will address three key objectives. They are the following:
1. To determine the most effective communication process and message medium of advertising that can be effectively used to gain the attention and support of the Chinese youth.
2. To determine which advertising features do Chinese youth mostly prefer and what types of themes can capture their attention easily; and also to determine which medium used for advertising (i.e., TV, radio, magazines, etc.) they usually use.
3. To increase the overall understanding in the current Chinese youth culture and to build theories through that culture on how advertising can be used effectively on them. This may also be an opportunity to build new theories in advertising to the Chinese youth.
CONTRIBUTION OF EXISTING LITERATURES
With all these market potentials in
However, despite this growth in advertising, Chillier and Denis (1999) argued that there are still many questions that need answers concerning this rapidly expanding and culturally complex market. Some of the unanswered questions they pointed out include: What is the current advertising context in
But while those questions have a definite weight in them, they are too general and broad because there are many demographic groups in
One of the issues that advertisers need to consider when addressing and capturing the hearts and minds of Chinese youth is the changing Chinese youth culture. One of these changes is that Chinese youth has already jumped into the 'cool' mentality (Smith and Wylie, 2006). In a particular study that asked Chinese university students to state what makes a company 'cool', under half of the respondents made the correct description – individuality and innovation make a company cool (Smith and Wylie, 2006). Chinese youth now wants products that will make them stand out from the rest of the crowd. Smith and Wylie (2006) stated that if companies want to succeed in advertising to Chinese youth, they must incorporate values that Chinese youth perceive as 'cool' – an image of individualism, entrepreneurship, and empowerment.
Being 'cool' among Chinese Generation Yers is also characterized by rebellion, openness, aggressiveness, and electronic music, avant-garde, dyed-hair and weird wardrobes (Min, 2004). Min (2004) stated that Chinese parents mostly do not understand the behavior of their teen offspring. It was cited from a famous Taiwanese writer that the current generation gap in
The Chinese youth's embracement of the concept of 'cool' can also be reflected from the media, specifically Chinese television shows. Recently, teen-focused television shows emerged across
Wang (2005) stated that dress code is the first priority in Chinese youth culture in order to be labeled as 'cool'. Music is not being taken as a form of self-expression unlike in other countries adhering to the concept of 'cool'. According to Wang (2005), "Music is a backseat driver, second to the dress code, in the total picture of cool culture consumption, and should not be taken as a privileged force in influencing brand adoption". In
Aside from the 'cool' concept, advertisers in
Aside from the communication approaches in advertising such as the 'cool' and 'sexual' approach mentioned above, there are also other traditional advertising approaches that may gain the attention of Chinese youth. For instance, advertisers have also been known to use emotional and informative appeal in advertising. Informative and emotional advertising are two basic types of creative strategies (Chan and Chan, 2005). Informative advertisements communicate facts about the product or the brand (Chan and Chan, 2005). The targeted response is usually a logical thinking process. Emotional advertisements on the other hand attempt to establish a favorable feeling and associate it with the brand (Chan and Chan, 2005). Currently, Chan and Chan (2005) found that the percentage of informative commercials dropped from 58% in 1993 to 55% in 2002. The research shows that the amount of information content carried by individual commercials dropped significantly. Chan and Chan (2005) explained that the continued shift of direct informative advertising to emotional or symbolic appeal advertising further illustrated that
The advertising law in
Language may also be an issue when advertising to Chinese people in general. Liu and Pecotich (2000) stated that language is a basic communication tool so it plays an important part in advertising. The concepts such as memory, recall or persuasive power will unavoidably affected by the languages. Since dialects are spoken languages, it is believed that dialects will also affect those variables in advertising. Liu and Pecotich (2000) cited that there are more than 80 languages currently used in
Aside from themes and communication approaches, another area of advertisement that advertisers should look at in addressing Chinese youth is the type of medium used for the ad. There are basically many media that can be used for advertisement. These may include: newspaper, television, radio, magazines, internet, yellow pages, and direct mail (Bruneau, 2004). Among those medium, television may be the best bet. According to the Center for the Study of Intelligence (2006), current estimates indicate that there are now about 25 TV sets per 100 people and that roughly a billion Chinese have access to television. Furthermore, an official estimate shows that there are now more than 7,000 magazines and journals in the country, which means that the usage of published materials in the country may have increased (Center for Study Intelligence, 2006). Also, it has been reported that there is a continuous increase of Internet usage in the country (Center for Study Intelligence, 2006). This also shows a great opportunity for companies to advertise on popular local internet sites in
The research strategy that the study will utilize is the descriptive method. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. (Best, 1970) In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994). This research is also cross-sectional because of limited time. This research is a study of a particular phenomenon (or phenomena) at a particular time. (Saunders et al, 2003) Accordingly, cross-sectional studies often employ the survey strategy, and they may be seeking to describe the incidence of a phenomenon or to compare factors in different organizations.
In this study, primary and secondary research will be both incorporated. The reason for this is to be able to provide adequate discussion for the readers that will help them understand more about the issue and the different variables that involve with it. The primary data for the study will be represented by the survey results that will be acquired from the respondents. On the other hand, the literature reviews to be presented in the second chapter of the study will represent the secondary data of the study. The secondary sources of data will come from published articles from business and e-commerce journals, theses and related studies on advertising and specifically advertising to the youth not only in
The survey method, also known as the questionnaire method, will be used in gathering the data for this study.
Surveys are the most common form of research method for collection of primary data (
A semi-structured questionnaire will be used for this study. Accordingly, semi-structured interviews provide the researcher the opportunity to 'probe' answers, which can be done in instances where there is a need or want for the interviewees to explain further or build on their responses, and this is important if one is adopting a phenomenological approach, where the researcher is concerned to understand the meanings that respondents attribute to various phenomena, as interviewees may use words or ideas in a particular way, and the opportunity to probe these meanings will add significance and depth to the data obtained and may also lead the discussion into areas that had not been previously considered but which are significant for understanding and may help in addressing research questions and objectives (Saunders et al, 2003). Basically, the questionnaire will contain statements that can be answered through ranking and will also contain open-ended questions. A five-point Likert Scale is the technique to be used to measure the responses of the respondents on the ranking statements.
The study will sample a target number of 500 Chinese middle-class university students age 17 to 21. The samples will be chosen through convenience sampling. Convenience sampling is picked over types of probability sampling because it will make the survey faster and easier. The total number of youth is
The criteria for the sampling is that the respondents should be Chinese citizens, Chinese in lineage, should be studying in a university, their family should have a good yearly income, and that they should be 17 to 21 years old. These specific demographic requirements have been put in the study so as to make the results more specific. Middle class youth are chosen because they are the ones who have access to different types of media and are most likely to purchase branded products and rely on advertisement for purchase guidance.
The data results of the study will be analyzed by determining their corresponding frequency, percentage and weighted mean. The following statistical formulas will be used:
1. Percentage – to determine the magnitude of the responses to the questionnaire.
% = -------- x 100 ; n – number of responses
N N – total number of respondents
2. Weighted Mean
f1x1 + f2x2 + f3x3 + f4x4 + f5x5
x = --------------------------------------------- ;
where: f – weight given to each response
x – number of responses
xt – total number of responses
One of the potential limitations of the study is the number of samples. The target number of sample is small if converted as a percentage of the total Chinese middle class youth population. However, this may also be valid because the number of sample is enough to produce a general idea on the preferences of Chinese youth in advertising. Furthermore, a recommendation for future study will be provided so as to promote the continuous investigation on this issue.
Another limitation of the study is the availability of related literature about the preference of Chinese youth in advertising or which one is most influential to them. An initial research on the internet was already conducted prior to this proposal and it was found that resources that exactly relates with the topic are scarce. However, a good contingency for this is by reviewing literatures on specific variables related to the study topic i.e. sexual appeal in advertising, cool appeal, etc. Foreign literatures can also be used as a substitute.