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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective By

Puja Rupani

2006

A dissertation presented in part consideration for the degree of Masters in Management

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The dissertation period has proved to be a truly wonderful learning experience of my life, where I got an opportunity to meet many people and learn from them. That said there are some people I would like to thank for their assistance along the way.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my humble dissertation supervisor, Heidi Winklhofer, who served as a mentor for me throughout the dissertation schedule. Her in-depth knowledge, practical insight, energy and enthusiasm, values, and strong leadership principles were sources of inspiration for me throughout my dissertation period. She always took the time out of her busy schedule to meet with me to discuss and give guidance on various aspects of this dissertation. I admire her can do attitude and her ability to view things from different perspectives. I especially appreciate her high standards of excellence that helped to bring out the very best in my research and in me. It was truly a great learning experience working with her.

During this one year while I was in the Masters program, I worked with other module lecturers who imparted knowledge about various other things which proved very beneficial for this dissertation without which this dissertation would have been incomplete. I would be remiss if I did not thank my good friends at Business School, who kept motivating me at challenging times. I also like to thank my parents who encouraged me to overcome every hardship during my whole year and supported me during my stay in Nottingham, and waited patiently back in India for me to finish my work and come back with flying colours. I greatly appreciate how my parents enthusiastically supported my long-term goal of receiving my Masters of Management degree. I would like to dedicate this dissertation to my parents and thank them for their happiness, and balance that they brought into my life.

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

ABSTRACT

Advertising is a primary tool for communication with the public. With increasing competition, advertising aims to reach its target consumers creating an brand image. Companies can position themselves in particular market, to covey their position advertising is a good medium. Consumers are influenced by many psychological, social and personal factors that influence their perception of advertisements. This study examines how advertising effects brand image from a consumers perspective. The findings suggest that the consumers in UK are cynical about advertisements but still consider it an important medium in conveying information about the products, brands and companies.

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TABLE OF CONENTS

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Objective of the Study 1.3 Structure of the Study CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Brands 2.2.1 What is a Brand? 2.2.2 Brand Positioning 2.2.3 Importance of Brand Image 2.3 Advertising 2.3.1 What is Advertising? 2.3.2 How does Advertising work? 2.3.3 Models of Advertising 2.3.4 Semiotics and its Importance in Advertising 2.3.5 Measurement of Advertising Effectiveness 2.3.6 Advertisement Media 2.3.7 Skepticism of Advertising 2.4 Consumers 2.4.1 Personal Influences 2.4.2 Social Influences 2.4.3 Psychological Influences 2.5 Country Context: UK Consumers 2.6 Consumers and Advertising 2.7 Consumers and Brands 2.8 Brand Positioning through Advertising 2.9 Conclusion CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Nature of research 3.3 Why Qualitative Research Method? 3.4 Selection of Adverts 3.5 Why Interviews? 3.6 Questionnaire and Interview Design 3.7 Sample 3.8 Reason for the Sample Selection 3.9 Pilot test 3.10 Conclusion

3 3 5 6 7 7 9 9 11 13 15 15 16 19 23 26 27 29 32 34 35 36 42 44 45 47 49 51 51 52 52 53 54 55 58 59 60 61

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS, ANALYSIS & INTERPRETATION 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Involvement 4.3 Role of Advertising 4.4 Self congruity 4.5 Influence of Past Experience 4.6 Social Influence 4.7 Brand Image 4.8 Conclusion CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION CHAPTER 6: LIMITATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH REFERENCE APPENDICES

63 63 64 66 70 72 74 76 81 83 88 88 90 105

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction
Advertisements are a form of communication, not mere manipulation: they help make sense of the world, defining its difference and essences, filtering through its variety, making claims and constructing images. --New York Times (2003)

Advertising is time and again considered the primary tool for communicating information to the public, as advertising is understood to be a means to create and sell brands by adding value to products (De Mooij, 1998). As a consequence of increasing competition companies need to communicate their products and services competence distinctively to satisfy customer needs (Haigh and Knowles, 2004). Nonetheless, a product offering certain functional attributes is just a product, not a brand. To build a brand, a company has to offer an added level of meaning and feeling (Mitchell, 2003). A brand represents itself to the people in many ways: through the product itself, through its packaging, its name, where it is sold. The people on the other hand, interpret the brand through experience and perceptions, misconceptions to the value systems of the individual (Plummer, 2000). Hence, it is crucial for a company to develop a communication and maintain a brands image so as to survive and succeed. To develop a brand image companies seek the support of marketing activities like advertising. This research aims to

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

view how the public interpret advertisements in the UK market, thereby influencing in the formation of a brand image.

As a unique and differentiated brand image can create brand strength and growth, much of the marketing activities focussed on developing associations that are distinctive and create a favourable consumer response (OCass and Kenny, 2001). Branding is by far one of the most important factors influencing a product or services success or failure in the marketplace, and can have a dramatic impact on how the company behind the brand is perceived by the consumers. Thus, a brand is not just a representation of a companys product but it is a symbol of the company itself. Thus advertising is used to portray the brand image to the consumers. The consumers relate to a brand depending on their perceived image of the brand and if it matches their personality image.

Thus, Advertising is used in order to stimulate a response from the target audience. The response maybe perceptual in nature, for example, the consumer develops specific views or opinions about the product or brand that are altered by the ad (Kotler et al, 2005). Advertising messages are apparent in everyday life in various media. However, not every message has an effect on every consumer. What messages get through to the consumer and what makes the advertising message effective are questions that are necessary to be answered to be able to explore the underlying consumer behaviour (Arens, 1999). This will help the advertisers to understand the target consumers and be able to relate with them. With the increasing importance of advertising, companies today encounter

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

problems of how to attract customer attention to their brands and help in forming a positive image about them. The perception of an individual has been influenced by various factors such as personal influences, social influences and psychological influences, which will be studied in this research (Pickton and Broderick, 2001). A companys success depends on the way the consumers perceive the brand. Advertising works in a sequential process thereby moving consumers from a state of unawareness to the final action (Colley, 1961; Yeshin, 1999). This research utilizes the adverts of Maybelline and Rimmel cosmetics only as examples to conduct the research.

The present study is an attempt to explore the psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason and select between different brands being under the influence of print ads and specifically considering the magazines. This study is an attempt to gain a holistic view of the impact of advertising on the formation of a brand image. Hence, a qualitative study is undertaken as it aids in gaining a wider perspective (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000).

1.2 Objective of the Study

The objective of this study is to gain an understanding of the factors influencing the consumers on the role of advertising in the formation of a brand image in relation to the print media, specifically the magazines.

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

It aims to determine the informativeness and effectiveness of ads, the attributes of consumers affecting their analysis of signs and symbol and their personal image.

Therefore, it determines how much people personally enjoy the advertisements to which they are exposed, how useful and reliable they find advertising information. Thus, it explores the credibility of advertising, and the extent to which cynicism exists.

1.3 Structure of the Study

The research is structured into the following parts. The introduction to the research is provided, followed by the literature review, which forms the conceptual basis for the research providing some empirical research in this area. Then the methodology has been described in detail supporting the use of qualitative research and explaining the design on the interview. This is followed by the findings, analysis and interpretation which is drawn based on the interviews conducted. The researcher then concludes to the study and finally summarizes the limitations as well as discusses the recommendations for further research.

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction
The real voyage of discovery begins not with visiting new places but seeing familiar landscapes with new eyes. -- Marcel Proust1

Brand Positioning is a very broad concept that has been studied over the years. Brand Positioning deals in creating a brand image in the mind of the customer. This research intends to focus on the consumer based brand positioning and more specifically the analysis of advertisements by consumers thereby influencing the formation of a brand image. This study on brand positioning will focus on how consumers relate and value a brand considering the factors that influence the individuals and thereby affect the way they comprehend the advertisements.

There are many factors or attributes of consumers effecting their view and decisions. In this research the focus has been more on the psychological factors. This chapter is broadly divided into three parts. The first part consists of some relevant information on Brand - discussing what is a brand, how a brand is positioned and the importance of

Quoted by Bate (1997, pp.2)

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

brand image. The second part of literature discusses Advertising: what is advertising and some models of advertising to explain how advertising works. Then the importance of semiotic analysis in advertising in relation to the consumers, the effectiveness of advertising has been discussed. The media selection is analyzed; it should to be done carefully by advertisers to be able to reach their target audience with the best utilization of the resources and time. Though there has been an increasing interest and involvement of consumers with advertising, it has also been condemned by them, being discussed under skepticism of advertising. The third part of this chapter is the Consumer: they are the most important element in the entire process of how advertising affects brand image. This section involves the factors that influence individuals in their analysis of advertisements. It also discusses the consumers from the UK country context. Then there is an analysis of consumers and advertising, consumers and brands; and brand positioning through advertising and finally the conclusion to this chapter.

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

2.2 Brands

A product is something that is made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by a customer. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdates; a successful brand is timeless.

-- Stephen King2

2.2.1 What is a Brand?

The marketing battle will be a battle of brands, a competition for brand dominance. Businesses and investors will recognize brands as the companys most valuable assets. This is a critical concept. It is a vision about how to develop, strengthen, defend, and manage a business. It will be more important to own markets then to own factories. The only way to own markets is to own market-dominant brands. This is the perspective of Larry Light, a prominent advertising research professional on marketing three decades into the future (Aaker 1991). This illustrates the significance of brands which has existed over the years.

WPP Group, London. (Aaker, 1991, pp. 1)

The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

A brand is a trade name which is used to identify a specific product, manufacturer, or distributor. As consumers have become more sophisticated, companys place more emphasis on promoting their brands directly to the consumers, spending considerable amount on advertising the high quality of their products (Dictionary of Business, 2002). In essence, a brand is described by Kotler (2000) as a sellers promise to the consumer to deliver a specific set of features, benefits, and services constantly. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as follows: A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or a combination of them that is designed to identify the goods or service of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors (Keller, 2002). Thus the ingredients of a brand constitute the product, the packaging, the brand name, the promotion, the advertising and the overall presentation to the consumers (Murphy, 1990). Advertising uses different media to inform and stimulate consumers that products or services, branded or otherwise, are available for them to purchase (Wright and Camp, 2000). Thus to distinguish a brand in the market it should be unique features. Unique brand associations have been established using product attributes, names, packages, distribution strategies, and advertising (Aaker, 1991).

De Chernatony (2001) discussed both the input and output perspectives of brand interpretations in relation to the firm or consumer respectively. The brand image from an

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

input standpoint has been identified as a logo, legal instrument, company, risk reducer, personality, positioning, and cluster of values, vision, and identity. From an output approach, brand is distinguished from its image. This perspective encourages a more consumer-centered approach to brands as an association perceived by an individual over time, as a result of direct or indirect experience with a brand. The output perspective is further studied in detail in this research.

2.2.2 Brand Positioning

Positioning is when the companies try to understand the consumer needs and wants so as to be able to meet their expectation by providing them value.3 To survive and grow in the market this is very important for a company. The right target audience should be selected and the brand has to be positioned in a way that consumers would prefer it over the other brands in the market. The value of an established brand is partly due to the fact that it is more difficult to build brands today than it was a few decades ago. Also the cost of advertising and distribution is much higher now and the number of brands is proliferating as well. This indicates that there is increased competition for the consumers mind as well as for the access to the distribution channel (Aaker 1991; Shimp, 2003). It is important to ensure that there is a good fit between the positioning of the brand and the perceptions of the consumers in the markets.

http://www.iirme.com/product/index.cfm/Link=16

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

A brand name, which is superior to that of the competition, is an asset which a firm possesses. It is a challenge to identify the key assets and skills4 on which the firm should base its competitive advantage, to build upon and maintain them, and then use them effectively (Aaker, 1991). The question of how a brand can gain this competitive advantage has interested many scholars, who have focused on advantages and drawbacks of positioning as being global ( Friedman, 1990) or local (Steenkamp et al., 2003). A few reasons supporting the two phenomenons have been that, global brands may be associated with higher prestige and global image may enhance a brands perceived quality, whereas argument in favor of local positioning is that the local culture can generate a higher brand value as the local culture remains a central influence on consumer behavior and individual identity. The choice of a positioning strategy of a company is of great importance since it will determine the message that consumers and prospects will associate to a specific brand (Shimp, 2003). The arguments in this regard have demonstrated that there is no single approach to positioning. As suggested by Devlin et al. (1995) the effectiveness of any positioning strategy resides in the view consumers have of the image of the brand. Thus companies must consider their positioning strategies carefully with regards to their product and target market to be able to portray an appropriate image of the brand.

A skill is something a firm does better than its competitors do, such as advertising or efficient manufacturing (Aaker, 1991).

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

2.2.3 Importance of Brand Image

In todays increasing competitive marketplace, consumers often have to make a choice among a range of products or brands in the market that differ very little in its price or function. In such circumstances, their final decision depends on the image they associate with different brands. A brand can be characterized in various ways by the consumers, such as being modern or old-fashioned, lively or dull, conventional or exotic. Brand image has gained popularity as the feelings and images associated with a brand have been powerful purchase influencers, though brand recognition, recall and brand identity.5 The consumers must be able to identify a brand in order to purchase it. There are two types of brand awareness: recognition and recall. Recognition occurs at the point of purchase when the consumers recognize the brand on the shelf. Whereas recall, the consumers must imagine the brand on their own prior to purchase. Joseph Plummer (1985) indicated that there are three components to a brand image: product attributes, consumer benefits and brand personality. The dimensions of a brand personality are largely perceptual. They relate to images that have been created over time by the various aspects of marketing communications. It is possible to change the underlying perception of a brand with some advertising effort, but till the desired change is achieved, the brands should deliver to the expectations of the actual consumers (Yeshin, 1999).

http://www.asiamarketresearch.com/glossary/brand-image.htm

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

A brand image is a set of associations, usually organized in some meaningful way. An association and an image both represent perceptions which may or may not reflect objective reality. A brand association is considered as anything that can be linked in memory (recall) to a brand. The association of a brand not only exists as such but has a level of strength. A link to a brand will be stronger when it is based on many experiences or exposures to communications (Aaker, 1991). Brand image is one of the first consumer brand perceptions that were identified in the marketing literature (Gardener and Levy, 1955). Brand can be conceptualized as a set of associations perceived by an individual. These associations could be the functional qualities, or with individual people or events. Although it is unlikely that two people will have exactly the same image of a brand, their images may have common features. Such features are said to constitute the image of a brand (De Chernatony, 2001).

The brand image and brand positioning must be clear, focused and etched into the minds of the target prospects and consumers. The more indelible that brand, the more loyal your consumers will be (Shimp, 2003). The companies are trying to create a strong image of their brand in the mind of the consumer so that they can gain an important place in the market. This can be done with the use of advertising through the media communicating to their target consumers.

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

2.3 Advertising

If you make a product good enough . . . the public will make a path to your door. But if you want the public in sufficient numbers, you would better construct a highway. Advertising is that highway. -- Hearst W.R. (1992)

2.3.1 What is Advertising?

Advertising acts as a medium that helps in creating an image of a product or brand in the consumers mind. Starch (1923) postulated that for an advertisement to be successful it must: be seen, be read, be believed, be remembered, and be acted on. Thus the purpose of advertising is to provide the means by which appropriate messages are devised and delivered to target consumers who then act in appropriate ways. The consumers may, buy the product, enquire about it, receive some information, position it or simply memorize a single aspect for future action. Therefore, the role of advertising in the promotional plan is an important one. Jones (1994) discusses that advertising is a communication force, but it does not compel the consumers to purchase goods. Its purpose is to create a sate of mind conducive to purchase (Colley 1961). Advertising whether it is on an international, national, local, is important, as it can influence audiences by informing or reminding them of the existence of a brand, or alternatively by persuading or helping them to

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

differentiate a product or organization from others in the market (Fill, 2002). The advertising process is defined as the way in which the advertiser achieves his intended purpose on his intended audience (Kennedy and Corkindale, 1976, p.7).

It has been commonly accepted that the main function of advertising is to sell to the consumer (Millum, 1975; Williamson, 1978), mainly by providing accurate information that is designed to evoke a favorable impression, and a positive attitude towards the product, or more broadly towards the brand (Percy et al., 2001a). The regular use of advertising, in cooperation with the other elements of the communication mix, can be important in the creation and maintenance of a brand personality. Brand Personality describes brand in terms of the human characteristics. (Fill, 2002). Advertisements also provide manifest messages, which reflect the emotional values that the company wishes to associate with the brand (White, 2000).

2.3.2 How does Advertising work?

In this section the researcher will provide a brief introduction and overview of what advertising involves and the process of advertising. For a message to be communicated successfully, it should be targeted at the right audience, capable of gaining attention, understandable, relevant and acceptable. To have an effective communication, messages should be designed to fit the cognitive capability

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of the target audience. (Fill, 2000, pp.502). The advertising message should be able to gain attention and awareness, and be comprehensive. Reeves (1961) stated that A consumer tends to remember just one thing from an advertisement- one strong claim or one strong concept. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. A proposition must be one that the competition either cannot or does not offer. A proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e. pull over new customers to your product.

According to Mitchell and Olson (1981, adapted from Aaker and Bruzzone, 1985) a variety of theories have been advanced about how the attitude toward an advertisement acts as a mediating variable in explaining how advertising works. He said that there is a positive association between the advertisement and the brand. The more the consumer likes the ad, the more they like the brand. The concern of how advertising works has been researched over the many years approving that there is no single model to present it. As Rossiter et al. (1991) argued that there is no single way in which advertising works, but it depends on particular advertising situations like, the type of the product, the nature of the target audience, and the purchase motivation for buying the brand. A simple representation of how advertising works is given below (Refer to figure 1):

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

Advertising Input: Message content, media,

scheduling, repetition

Filters: Motivation, (Involvement) Ability

Consumer Cognition Affect Experience

Consumer behavior: Choice, consumption, loyalty, habit and so forth

Figure 1: A framework of How Advertising Works (Adapted from Vakratsas & Ambler, 1999, pp.26)

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The consumer behavior is the result of the various activities that occur influencing their decision. An advertising message is viewed and interpreted by the consumers according to the individual involvement and interest. Also their thinking (cognition), feelings (affective) and experience direct their end behavior in the direction of the product or brand as illustrated in the figure 1.

2.3.3 Models of Advertising

There are various theories and models developed on advertising over the years emphasizing the various aspects of advertising. The hierarchy of effects models, developed by Lavidge et al. (1961), represents the process by which advertising is thought to work and assume that there is a series of steps a prospect must pass through, in succession, from unawareness to actual purchase. It indicates that advertising has a direct and positive impact on sales by persuading people to buy, creating and building brands, and differentiating brands with the sequential steps that move consumers toward a purchase (Weilbacher, 2001). According to Ray (1973), the hierarchy of effects model follows a series of mental effects that must occur with fulfillment at each stage before progressing to the next stage. The hierarchy of effects model usually has three major levels corresponding to the typical attitude structure components of cognitive, affective and conative. The cognitive component includes such variables as attention, awareness,

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comprehension, and learning. The affective variables contain interests, evaluation, attitude, feeling, conviction, and yielding. And, finally, conative one relates to intention, behavior, and action (Ray, 1973).

Another model of advertising, the DAGMAR model (Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results), explains that advertising works to move consumers in a linear sequential fashion (Refer to figure 1), which begins with a state of unawareness moving to awareness, then to comprehension, then conviction, and ends with action. In other words, consumers think about something, then they form an opinion or attitude about it, and finally they take action. This model identifies three categories of effects, similar to the Hierarchy of effects model, called cognition (mental or rational), affection (emotional), and behavior (decision or action) 6 . According to the DAGMAR model (Yeshin, 1999), the purpose of advertising is to inform and bring about an action of a product or service.

http://www.ciadvertising.org/studies/student/99_fall/phd/jsjeong/theory3/adworks.html

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

Unawareness

Awareness

Comprehension

Conviction

Action Figure 2: DAGMAR Model (Adapted from Yeshin, 1999, pp.45)

At times consumers are unable to recall the brand, company or the product and some may yet purchase the unknown products, but this does not make much sales in a company. Thus it is important for advertising to seek to increase awareness of consumers, thereby increasing brand awareness, which is the first step in the DAGMAR model of advertising. The next step in the DAGMAR model is comprehension, this is when the target consumers have been made aware of the brand and to some extent understand what the brand and product is about. Then the conviction stage of advertising, which is the fourth stage, is when consumers have sufficient knowledge about a brand and the benefits of the brand to them. They are thus able to make rational or emotional purchase decisions about the product or service. The final stage of the DAGMAR communication spectrum is that of action. This is when the consumer finally makes a move to purchase the product or

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service. Colley (1961) emphasizes that the action may not necessarily mean that the consumer makes monetary exchange for the product. The consumer may just have a demonstration of the product, but Colley (1961) argues that finalizing the sale is beyond the means of the advertising agency, as a number of reasons not involving the advertiser could have hindered the sale, like, product is not in stocks or does not fit it the budget of the consumer.

DAGMAR made several potential contributions toward further effective advertising planning: it to helped center attention of advertisings impact on getting the consumer to buy, it recognized that consumers go through different stages en route to purchase, and it understood the importance of building consumer relationships (Jones, 1994).

These models of advertising do aim to achieve the advertising objective. Advertising objectives or goals involve specific communication task and a certain level of achievement to be accomplished with the target audience in a certain time frame (Kotler, 2003). Advertising objectives can be classified according to whether their aim is to inform, persuade, remind or reinforce. The advertising objectives emerge with an examination of the current marketing situation (Kotler, 2003).

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2.3.4 Semiotics and its Importance in Advertising

Semiotic analysis of an advertisement can provide better understanding and brand positioning. Holbrook (1978) was first to have successfully used the combination of semiotic analysis and advertising in a study. The research that he conducted divided adverts into two parts in the analysis. These were the logical objectively verifiable descriptions of tangible product features versus the emotional subjective impressions of tangible assets of the product (Holbrook, 1978, pp.512). As the name describes, adverts could be logically analyzed or have emotional implications.

It has been seen that the field of marketing communications is increasingly moving towards the use of semiotics. It provides an alternative to commonly used transmission of messages. As advertisements moved away from textual explanations to more visual representations, semiotics became particularly popular and useful as an analytical tool to study advertisements and how they work (Warlaumont, 1998). Semiotics is a useful tool for discovering the sophistication and depth of ads. By deconstructing an advertisement, it can be studied, how it was constructed and determine its underlying message. Also analyzing the way in which words and pictures work together to reinforce the message, how the alpha pictorial (word and picture) components make use of gesture, art, myth and symbol to give emotional impact to it (Zakia and Nadin 1987).

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The purpose of advertising is to inform and to persuade, to prompt purchase of goods and services, to socialize consumers into a culture of consumption. Advertising directly or indirectly uses semiotics (the science of signs) to provide products with meaning for a culture whose central focus is consumption (Zakia and Nadin, 1987). Semiotics is a discipline that provides a structure for studying and analyzing how signs function within a particular environment. A sign can be thought of as anything that conveys meaning, thus words, pictures, music, smell, taste, sound, pain, sculpture, architecture, film, video, dance, mime, gesture and so on are signs once they are interpreted as such (Zakia, 1985). Chandler (2002) points out that, individuals through creation and interpretations of signs can provide an understanding. It is important to realize that signs do not possess intrinsic meaning, indeed something becomes a sign only when individuals empower them with meanings. As Peirce (in Chandler, 2002, pp.17) said, nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted a sign.

A number of researchers have studied the analysis of advertisements from a semiotic perspective. For instance, De Cock et al. (2001) conducted a semiotic analysis of 131 adverts to document and describe what they call the new economy myths. Alden et al. (1999) also studied the semiotic analysis of adverts, analyzing 1267 TV adverts from seven countries. However, similar to any study, these studies had certain limitations, and therefore further research was recommended in this area.

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Signs are society-bred and have different social significance within different societies. Therefore a study on the way signs are interpreted in the UK may and will vary from other countries. The signs used in an advert are chosen appropriately thereby conditioning consumers perception of a brand. A semiotic analysis of advert can determine the positioning strategy since semiotics is devoted to the study of signs and their meanings (Mick 1986). The meaning approach (Mick, 1986, pp.201) states that consumers behave based on the meanings they ascribe to marketplace stimuli. This approach is important to further the current advertising research. It re-establishes the idea that consumers are always searching for meaning, both in brands and the adverts that promote them. With this concept, it is also to be accepted that individuals construct a variety of meaning outcomes all of which are driven by the personal interest and culture (Mick and Buhl, 1992).

Furthermore, signs are defined by relationships to other signs. Lacey (1998) also points that signs can generate more than one interpretation; they are polysemic. This means that the same sign can mean different things to different people at different times and in different contexts. Semiotic analysis does help the advertiser to work backwards, keeping in mind the consumer. Advertisers start from the point of view of how consumer will perceive an ad and thus work towards the achievement of its advertising objectives.

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2.3.5 Measurement of Advertising Effectiveness

The ultimate function of advertising was to produce sales, but now-a-days advertising is a major source of building a brand. It has been argued by Lavidge and Steiner (1961), the effects of advertising are long term. Advertising cannot be designed to produce immediate purchases by the consumers who are exposed to the ad. Immediate sales results are an incomplete criterion of advertising effectiveness. However Jones (1994) alleged that for something to happen in the long run, something must be happening in the short run (Refer to Appendix 1). This process must be measured to provide anything that is approaching a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of an advertisement.

The advertisements should be targeted at the right audience and at the right period of time to be effective. This research is going to analyze what the consumers think about advertising and how effective do they perceive them to be. Greyser (1972) discussed at length how consumers overall perceptions of advertising impact the effectiveness of advertising; this is discussed in detail later in this chapter.

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2.3.6 Advertisement Media

Many factors affect the decision concerning the appropriate media selection for getting advertising messages across to the target markets. The media available vary from country to country, and the sources of media information in each country are equally varied. The United States, Canada, and Great Britain have regular syndicated media-reporting services that include the four major media: television, radio, magazines, and newspapers (Bartos, 1989). It is commonly agreed that "the same source delivering the same message to the same audience on separate occasions might produce different effects depending on the differing programming or editorial contexts in which the message appears" (Norris and Colman 1992, pp.38). It is generally accepted that differences in the media context of an advertisement may influence advertising effects, even when other relevant factors such as audience characteristics and advertisement design are held constant (Moorman, 2002).

The internet is emerging as a new advertising medium striving strongly with the more traditional media. Despite the internet having a potential of becoming a powerful medium, there is little empirical research into the effectiveness of the internet compared with other advertising media (Huang et al., 1998). But Huang et al. (1998) argue that while the Internet does provide a new and even exciting potential for reaching people, the execution of the message has to still follow the basic principles of communication. Also

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the mobile advertising has come to be an interesting medium and is employed depending on the product, target, cost, and various other factors. Thus though there are many traditional media in advertising, new forms of communications have been appearing. Yet the most important element of advertising is to gain attention and position the brand in the mind of the consumers with the best allocation and utilization of the resources.

In the print media, magazines seem to have gained increasing importance as more and more people read the different magazines available for the different classes and age of people in the market. An advertisement is considered important depending on the perception and the attitude of the consumer towards the information provided in it. There is vast competition in each and every sphere of life and companies are trying to gain positive views of the consumers towards their brand. The importance of the advertising context in the consumer psychology, is a significant variable in explaining and predicting advertising effects (Aaker and Myers 1975; Chook 1985; New 1991). Krugman (1966-67) explains how the nature of the advertising medium affects learning, that is, the viewers' response to the actual advertisement in both the short (Refer to Appendix 1) and the long term (Harris, 1987). He considers print media (magazine and newspapers) as high involvement media because the advertising is inanimate and the reader is conscious of the matter. Also the pace of exposure is within the reader's control since the reader has more opportunity to reflect on the advertising.

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

Consumers value the information provided by advertisements depending on how they analyse the credibility of the source. It has been recognised that advertisements particularly in print media were not in particular to entertain but provide useful and interesting information. Such information that is often hard to find elsewhere. Therefore in this study, magazine ads have been selected to study the influence advertisements have on the construction of a brand image.

2.3.7 Skepticism of Advertising


You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

-- Abraham Lincoln7

Advertising seems to be everywhere. This increases the concern of many people of the potential impact advertising has on the society. Critics like Obermiller et al. (2005) in the research Ad Skepticism raise several concerns about the impact of advertising upon society. It has been observed that communicating with a target audience through

advertising can be very difficult. Even though people are infested with messages, they pay attention to very few of them. And even when they do pay attention, that does not mean they will actually learn anything from the advert, or be positively influenced by it.

www.wisdomquotes.com

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

It is not easy to communicate with advertising. This is the reason why advertisers have to go great lengths to identify a target audience where consumers are already favourably disposed towards their product and select a medium which could help in easily reaching them.

The more thoughtful question is whether advertising creates unnecessary needs. Advertising by its very nature does stimulate material, exaggerating the needs of an individual, but these needs are driven by other social forces well beyond advertising. Advertising is also criticised as being deceptive. Advertising presents products in terms of values that are more important than the product itself, and this leads to a reduction of those values (Leiss et al., 1997). There was also quite widespread criticism of advertising overload in magazines. Also some advertisements are seen as tasteless, insulting or offensive to certain people. If the advertising is seen as tasteless by the intended target audience, the advertising will be unlikely to communicate its intended message effectively. The cost of a product is said to increase due to the advertising expenses. Though this may not be the case, instead advertising helps increase consumption, which in its turn permits certain economies of scale that help reduce prices.

The idea of brand names and what their role is in todays market has been discussed in detail in the earlier parts of this chapter. From a business standpoint, a brand name is an asset, and is treated as one. In this sense advertising for brand names is often treated by a manufacturer as a long-term capital investment rather than an immediate cost (Aaker,

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

1991). This is almost universally true for the new product introductions. It is advertising that provides relative stability for a brand, building brand equity. There are many examples in almost any field of what happens to a company that does not protect its brand name through advertising. So, in real sense, advertising is one of the ways which is able to provide stability in the economy.

In 1991 the European Union created the European Advertising Standards Alliance to provide a mechanism for dealing with false or misleading advertising. While it encourages self-regulation, the EU Misleading Advertising Directive requires member countries to institute powers to protect consumers against misleading claims (Alderson, 1995). At length, the benefits of advertising outweigh its deficits.

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2.4 Consumers

Since we have to live togetherif you involve and entertain me, I in return am prepared to listen to you and to be open-minded about your product. --Gordon, 1996

Meenaghan (1995) posited that the significance of advertising lies in the notions that there is no objective reality, and that people trade in the realms of perception and image (pp.23). These are among the most important view of human understanding. The consumers insist that their attention and interest have to be earned and not taken for granted with advertisements (Gordon 1996). Advertising is a part of everyday life. Consumers are surrounded by advertisements in a variety of media (Sharon, 1998). In a study by Gordon (1996) across a wide range of brands and genres of advertising demonstrated that UK consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their appreciation and criticisms of advertising. It was observed that people held different beliefs about how advertising works. Advertising of all types has become acceptable to consumers (Gordon 1996). The use of new advertising techniques, making ads clever, interesting and intriguing is a welcomed change (Fill, 2002).

The objective of this research is to examine how advertising helps in creating a brand image based on the factors that influence consumers. This researchs focus will be on

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what consumers do with advertising, rather than what advertising does to them. This has also been studied by various practitioners and academics like ODonohoe (1993). The consumers view advertisements and semiotically analyze it obtaining a meaning from it. Also these advertisements are created to influence consumers in a specific direction by advertisers, keeping in mind the way consumers would comprehend it.

There are various factors effecting the consumers' comprehension of advertisements (Refer to figure 3), as Hoon and Low (2000); Till and Busler (2000) studied the factors which influence the feelings of an individual for a brand. There are various factors that influence individuals, as illustrated in the diagram below:

Personal Influences Demographics Situational Involvement

Social Influences Reference Groups Culture and subcultures

Psychological influences Personality Ability, knowledge and experience Attitude Perception

Figure 3: Factors influencing Individuals (Adapted from Pickton and Broderick, 2001)

This research cannot ignore the different factors that influence the consumers, but it does discuss in-depth a few factors influencing consumers vastly. These factors are the

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psychological factors and also the consumer involvement which are discussed in detail in this section.

2.4.1 Personal Influences

Individuals are influenced by personal factors such as demographics, which include details of an individuals age, gender, income and education. The surrounding environment and situation also influences the decision making process of the consumers. (Pickton and Broderick, 2001).

The level of involvement of consumers in the different aspects of communication involving products, advertisements and buying is studied by Laaksonen (1994). Involvement is explained as the degree of personal relevance which a stimulus or situation is perceived to help achieve consequences and values of importance to the consumers. (Knox et al., 1994, pp.138). The concept of involvement has played an interestingly significant role in explaining consumer behavior, and the level of consumer involvement is seen as a measure of brand loyalty (Assael, 1987 in Knox et al., 1994). Such involvement can be created by communicating to consumers through advertising, which show the understanding and appreciation of consumers personal needs and lifestyle (Wansink, 2003). According to Amine (1998) the level of involvement is presented as an indirect cause of Brand Loyalty, and his empirical research showed that

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consumers exhibit low brand loyalty when they have low involvement with the product category. On the other hand, many researchers have found that high involvement in a product category may enhance consumer loyalty to a brand in the same category (Assael, 1992). Consumer involvement is insightful in consumer research as well as current marketing judgements about a products positioning and advertising opportunities (Vaughn, 1986).

2.4.2 Social Influences

The individuals also have social influences which includes the reference groups and culture. The family, friends, neighbors colleagues have an impact on their thinking and thereby actions they take. The consumer needs are shaped by the cultural, social and economic dimension of markets (Tse, Wong and Tan, 1988) and brand management centers on satisfying these consumer needs (Park et al., 1986). Douglas and Isherwood (1978); McCraken (1986) stated that consumer goods have cultural meanings and these are provided to consumer through advertising. The culture of individuals from different countries and also from different parts of the same country would vary and therefore advertisers should study the market carefully and decide how they want to position its brand in individually in each market or globally.

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2.4.3 Psychological Influences

Individuals remember advertising that is interesting, relevant or interpreted as possessing a deep set of personal meanings. As research shows, only parts of an advertisement are ever remembered, those parts which are of intrinsic value to the recipient and are sometimes referred to as the take-out8 (Brown,1991 adapted from Fill, 2002). The implication of this is that, advertising works best through the creation of interest and likeable moments, from which extracts are taken by consumers and stored in their memory. Interest can be generated through fresh relevant ideas linking the brand and messages in a meaningful and relevant manner. This in turn allows for future associations to be made by consumers, linking brands and advertising messages in a positive and experiential way.

The nature of the individuals personality does affect the interpretation of the message. And the existence of all personality types in the market makes it is virtually impossible to construct messages that have the same meaning to all individuals. Individuals use products and brands as materials with which they can cultivate and preserve their identities. Consumer goods are capable of serving consumers in this way because of the symbolic meaning that is embedded in them (Solomon, 1983). The symbolic meaning of consumption refers to both the expression of ones personality, culture, and history

This selectivity, or message take-out, is referred to as the creative magnifier effect. (Brown,1991 adapted from Fill, 2002)

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through consumption and the interpretation of others consumption with respect to these factors (Antonides and Raaji, 1988, pp.66). In todays contemporary society, symbolic consumption may be based on popular brands and designer products.

The individual gathers a considerable store of experiences over a lifetime. The memories of many of these experiences are combined to provide frames of reference against which future activities and information can be judged. The way a consumer processes information is influenced by the various psychological factors as shown in figure 3.

Attitudes are more important than facts (Menninger 1999)

Individuals have a complex set of memory relationship which can be used to explain the current situation. From these relationships and explanations the attitude toward the situation is formed. In this increasingly crowded communications environment, consumers' attitudes toward advertising and their confidence in it are vital to assess. The influence of consumer attitudes towards advertising is an important area of study because the results have implications for the industry (Refer to figure 4). It is a process where the attitude towards an ad eventually leads on to become an attitude towards the brand. Personal attitudes toward advertising likely influence consumers' exposure and attention to advertisements, political and regulatory activities, and other outcomes that impact the advertising industry in crucial ways (Sharon 1998). Greyser (1972) discussed at length how consumers overall perceptions of advertising impact the effectiveness of advertising

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and the role of advertisers. In an interesting report, Calfee and Ringold (1994) reviewed six decades of survey data dealing with consumer attitudes towards advertising. They found a core set of beliefs about advertising that has remained relatively constant over time and across a variety of question formats.

Ad content

Emotional Response

Attitude toward the Ad?

Attitude toward The Brand?

Figure 4: Influence of consumer Attitudes towards Advertising Holbrook and Batra (1987)

Arnould et al (2004) viewed attitude as anything that can be held in mind by the consumer. More specifically, attitude is an enduring inclination or tendency to respond towards the said product or brand in a specific way (Campbell 1963, in Dubois 2000, p. 109). Thus attitude does depend on an individuals motivation, emotions, their way of looking at things and their attention, awareness, comprehension and learning (Dubois 2000). Attitude is a multidimensional phenomenon. Krech et al (1963) suggested the three components of attitude, i.e. cognitive, affective and conative attitudes, which is

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agreed by most researchers today (Dubois 2000, Arnould et al 2004). This threedimension model emphasizes the interrelationships between beliefs, feelings and behaviors, and indicates that consumers attitude cannot be determined simply by identifying one single dimension.

Attitude helps consumers cope with their environment. Attitude serves two vital functions, Value-expressive function and ego-defensive function, one function playing a dominant role (Arnould et al., 2004). These two functions usually represent different sides of selfconcept9 (Arnould et al., 2004). By contrast, the ego-defensive function emphasizes that attitudes provide defense against internal and external threats of self-concept (Arnould et al., 2004). For example, the research conducted by Hogg and Banister (2001) found that attitude functioned as a means of expressing self-concept with individuals associating themselves with liked or positively regarded objects, whilst distancing themselves from disliked or threatening objects. In one way, attitudes act as representation of self-concept; in another way, the motives of self-concept actually shape the three different components of attitudes. (Arnould et al., 2004).

Just as it is important for an advertiser to track response to its specific advertising, it is important to track attitudes towards advertising in general. Thus to understand the business of advertising, it is critical to understand the markets perception of the product advertised. Time is a constrained resource, thus the time spent in information search is
The self-concept is one of the specific internal forces composing motivation which refers to the process which causes people to behave in the way in which they do (Dubios, 2000)
9

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dependent upon the individuals perceived importance of the decision outcome (East et al. 1994).

Consumers perception refers to their attitude which is regarded as a type of bias that predisposes the individual toward evaluative responses that are positive or negative (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993; quoted from Moon, 1996). Puth et al (1999, pp.39) suggest that perception is dependent upon what consumers subconsciously add or subtract from raw sensory inputs to produce a private picture of the world thus, image is a privately constructed phenomenon built from sensory decoding within a persons conscious. (Burton, Easingwood, 2006) A mental representation of attitude may be stored in

memory and thus can be activated by the presence of the attitude object or cues related to it (Moon, 1996). Thus, Moon (1996, p.437) defined consumer attitude toward a foreign culture/country as a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating the lifestyles, values, and customs of a specific foreign culture/country in consumption behavior.

Schiffman and Kanuk (1991) in his study found that consumers act and react on the basis of their perceptions, not on the basis of objective reality. It is important to understand the whole notion of perception and its related concepts so that we can determine what influences consumers. It is due to the perception process that the sender of the message does or does not get through to the receiver (Aaker and Myers, 1987), since actual decoding of the marketing information depends on the consumers perception of the

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

communication content (Koekemoer, 1991). Therefore, perception is the process by which information is acquired through the five senses 10 (Wade and Tavis 1990). As information processing capacity in humans has limited resources, consumers have to select one stimuli from a multitude to give their attention to.

The consumers perception of product attributes is of crucial importance to the marketer. As Lewin (1936) points out, people respond on the basis of their perceptions of reality, not reality per se. The problem with perception studies is that the individuals under the same conditions organize and interpret information differently based on each person's own needs, values, expectations and the like (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1991). Porter (1976) confirms that perceptions are important to study, even if they are misconceptions of actual events. Thus the product attributes and their function cannot be discussed in isolation. Analysis of the consumer perception and decision-making processes is therefore extremely important to assist the marketer to understand consumer behavior, and draft better positioning strategies and develop more effective advertising campaigns based on product attributes and the associated perceived benefits.

10

The five senses are sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing.

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2.5 Country Context: UK Consumers

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, is the species known as youth from the moon orbiting the distant Pluto? -- Bansal (2004, pp.1)

Young consumers play an important part in the market place as they exert enormous influence over the allocation of spending power across a growing number of product categories (Paxton and John, 1995, pp.567 in Hogg et al 1998).

Schiele (1974) believes that young consumers should be given lot of significance as these teenagers carry tremendous discretionary decision making and purchasing power. This is the reason youth all over the world are being targeted as they are prime source of sales also of ultimate product trends. The transition from childhood to adulthood is a major rite in the passage in all societies, and involves a significant change in status and behavior (Hill, 1992). It is also observed that consumers engage in buying behavior that is consistent and congruent with their self-image (Engel et al, 1993). Young people, particularly in the West, tend to have a strong desire to communicate their maturity and adultness to their peers through their consumption (Piacentini and Mailer, 2004) which

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proves their decision making that has evolved through the psychological process. Therefore, the study is based on the young consumers. The factors that influence people may vary to different extents among individuals and also among people from different countries. This research is conducted to observe the UK consumers and their perceptions of the advertisements and brands.

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2.6 Consumers and Advertising

For an advertisement to be effective the target consumers should at least notice, believe, and find utility in it thereby keeping them up-to-date about products and services. In a study by James and Kover (1992), they evaluated the impact of advertising in general on advertising involvement, measured as the amount of time spent looking at print advertisements. Specifically, the results of the study show that the amount of attention that respondents will pay to magazine advertisements, measured as recall of the brand, which was portrayed by the advertisement the day after exposure, is influenced by how much they like to look at advertising, believe advertising helps them stay informed about developments in the marketplace, and see it as not being manipulative.

The persuasion levels are significantly lower among those who believe that advertising is annoying and that advertised brands are often not as good as the advertisements claim (Till and Baack, 2005). The creative and strategic aspects remain crucial in determining the success of an advertisement in both gaining attention and adding to its memorability, and in persuading the consumer to be interested in the advertised product. Individual attitudes toward advertisement in general can, however, influence the way a consumer will respond to any particular advertisement. Moreover the study of attitudes to advertising may be especially significant because it influences attitudes-toward-the ad, an important antecedent of brand attitude (Lutz, 1985).

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2.7 Consumers and Brands

He that steals my purse steals trash, but he that filches from me my good namemakes me poor indeed. -- Villain Iago11

A businesss good name is often its brand name. Inside the customers mind, a trusted brand name is a promise of high quality and good things. But a tainted brand name can trigger memories of poor quality and bad service, driving customers away. This is the reason that brand management can make or break a companys reputation. To businesses, brands mean market share. (Crispell and Brandenburg, 1993)

The process of identifying and building brand values is interactive with that of marketing communications. The environment in which a message is communicated to the consumer is as important as the nature of the message itself. The values and expectations that consumers have of a brand must be clearly identified before working on the marketing communications plan. The whole issue of positioning is one of great significance, but it starts with the consumer, rather than ending with them. Thus the key to a proper understanding of the brand in the context of consumer expectations is market research (Yeshin, 1999).
11

In Shakespeares Othello, taken from Whats in a brand

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

The consumers perception of product attributes is of crucial importance to the marketer. As Lewin (1936) points out, people respond on the basis of their perceptions of reality, not reality per se. The problem with perception studies is that the individuals under to the same conditions, yet they organize and interpret information based on each person's own needs, values, expectations and the like (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1991). Product attributes cannot be discussed in isolation. Analysis of the consumer perception and decision-making processes is therefore extremely important to assist the marketer to understand consumer behavior, and draft better positioning strategies and develop more effective advertising campaigns based on product attributes and the associated perceived benefits.

Advertising is used to trigger brand associations and experiences for people, not only when viewing an advertisement but also when faced with product purchase decisions. The interest is generated through fresh relevant ideas where the brand and messages are linked together in a meaningful and relevant way. This allows for future associations to be made, linking brands and advertising messages in a positive and experiential way. (Fill, 2002).

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2.8 Brand Positioning through Advertising

Advertising - The way great brands, get to be great brands. -- American Advertising Federation12

It is important to understand that brand images are not fixed. They can be amended or changed completely by the appropriate use of marketing communications tools like advertising. David Ogilvy in his book Ogilvy on advertising says: Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the brand image. It follows that your advertising should project the same image, year after year. It is vital that all communication messages on behalf of brand communicate a single and consistent image (Yeshin 1999, pp. 65) The specific treatment and the executional content may change, be refreshed and updated, but the underlying proposition about the brand remains the same- with the benefit that each advertising message delivered serves to reinforce all of those which have been received in the past. This does not imply, that advertising like all other aspects of marketing communications, should not be subject to frequent review. Advertising strategies should be re-examined and changed in response to underlying changes in the competitive environment. (Yeshin, 1999)

Consumers are being continuously subjected to an increasing number of attention-seeking messages; therefore the attention is declining (Alsop 1984). Increasing the number of
12

Aaf.org

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

messages sent out does not increase the number of messages attended to by the consumers, it may rather have a damaging impact on buyers attitudes toward the company rather than providing the mangers desired improvement in the products image. Therefore advertising has to be used effectively to be able to build positive images of a brand in the consumers mind.

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2.9 Conclusion

Consumers and brands have relationships. Nurturing those relationships ensures a companys success. While juggling their many duties, brand managers must keep answering three questions: who buys the brand, what do they want from it, and why do they keep coming back. -- Crispell and Brandenburg, 1993

A good brand does offer good quality. Impactful, clever or well-made advertisements are understood to imply big brands, major advertisers, and trustworthy products. (Gordon 1996). The advertisements are teeming these days with increasing competition within industries. As the marketplace is becoming more crowded, consumers often make purchase decisions relying more on a brands image than on its physical characteristics (Graeff, 1996). Advertisements focus on certain main features of the brand and cannot list all the characteristics, as in the case of magazines (print media) some may read it if they are interested. But to gain the attention of consumers the advertisements should be clear and attention seeking.

Consumers do view advertisements but do not generally dwell for any great length of time on any advertisement. There are personal, social and psychological factors that influence the consumers outlook of advertisements and also in the formation of a brand

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image. Therefore in the light of the various factors mentioned, the behavior and response of the UK consumers is studied in this research.

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The Effect of Advertising on Brand Image: A Consumers Perspective

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

Knowing what you want to find out leads inexorably to the questions of how will get the information. -Miles and Huberman (1994, pp.42)

3.1 Introduction
The aim of this research is to gain an in-depth understanding of how advertisements effect the formation of a brand image from the consumers perspective. Interviews were conducted in this research to investigate this effect and also study the factors influencing consumers. The researcher has a keen interest in the field of advertising and has done a post graduation in advertising and public relations which enriched her knowledge in the particular area. Also having done a dissertation on A study on the Hierarchy effect of Advertising on consumers of Rave magazine in Bangalore City, it has further created an interest in this subject area. To gain an understanding about how advertising works and its effects and the importance of brand image the researcher decided to carry out this research.

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3.2 Nature of research


The choice between quantitative and qualitative research approach depends largely on the aim of the research. Quantitative paradigm seeks to measure and analyze causal relationships between variables, following rigorous methods and procedures which allow generalization of the findings (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000). Quantitative research has been characterized as the science that silences too many voices as it relies heavily on remote, inferential empirical methods employed to extend and reinforce certain kind of data, interpretations and test hypotheses across samples, thus, failing to capture the participants perspectives (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000, pp.10). The qualitative paradigm on the other hand, seeks to give answers to questions of how? rather than what? intending to gain a deeper understanding, knowledge and insight into a particular situation or phenomenon (Miles and Huberman, 1994). Qualitative research has several inherent characteristics that distinguish it form quantitative methodology. Qualitative research occurs in natural settings, unlike quantitative methodology where hypothesis are established initially itself. In qualitative research, the design is emergent rather than tightly prefigured as in the case of quantitative (Silverman, 2000; Creswell, 2003).

3.3 Why Qualitative Research Method?


Qualitative research is used in this case because it enables to identify connections between processes, relationships and performances that will not be possible through with the use of quantitative research methods (Yin 1994 in Cassell and Symon, 2004). As the

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research is focusing on the consumers analysis of advertisements which effects the construction of a brand image, the need for qualitative research is therefore apparent. Qualitative research methods do not tend to be used in advertising research to the extent that quantitative research methods are used. However, the method is used in this case to determine in detail the factors that influence consumers and the semiotic analysis of advertisements which result in the formation of a brand. The main benefit of qualitative research methods in marketing and advertising research is that the consumer gets a chance to actively voice their opinion and such an opinion that is not shaped by the methodological assumptions of quantitative research (Creswell, 2003). Qualitative methods are generally considered capable to present richer and more descriptive data, compared with quantitative research methods (Silverman, 2000) and this is the reason the researcher uses this method in the current study. However the reliability and validity of qualitative methods have always been questioned; more specifically, the subjectivity of qualitative research seems to be the main cause of the above problem. Nevertheless, in practice no matter what research method is used, subjectivity is unavoidable (Silverman, 2000).

3.4 Selection of Adverts


The brands, Rimmel and Maybelline lipstick and eye mascara adverts (Refer to Appendix 3-6) have been selected only as examples to study the way consumers semiotically analyze and respond to the advertisements and thereby the construction of a brand image.

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Fashion magazines are being used as the media of advertisements in this study. The fashion magazines considered were Cosmopolitan, Elle, Hello and OK.

Cosmetic products have become the basic need for the UK female consumers. This research studies the psychological influences of consumers that affect their thinking and action. There are ample amount of adverts on cosmetics due to the high usage and also as they are considered as high involvement products by females. High involvement products are products for which the consumer is prepared to spend considerable time and effort in searching. When a particular choice for a product or brand is made, it eventually becomes a low involvement product.13 But in the case of lipsticks and mascara, there are new products introduced frequently under the brand and such information is provided to the consumers through different forms of promotion and advertisement, magazines being the media considered in this research. The male section does not have much knowledge about these cosmetic products but they do acknowledge their existence and importance of it to women.

3.5 Why Interviews?


The qualitative research interview attempts to understand the world from the subjects points of view, to unfold the meaning of peoples experience, to uncover their lived world prior to scientific explanations (Kvale, 1996, pp.3). There is little doubt that the interview is the most popular method in qualitative research (Silverman, 2000). Its
13

<http://www.marketingprofs.com/ea/qst_question.asp?qstid=2204>

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popularity is not only a coincidence, but based on its features and strengths. First of all, compared with quantitative methods, interviews offer more insights about peoples perception and attitudes; therefore they are particularly helpful to explore the explanations of a certain behavior or social phenomenon (Chisnall, 1991). The content of the advertisements in the magazines will be analyzed. 14 interviews will be conducted. It was decided to conduct 14 interviews as the researcher wanted to include a sufficient number of the male and female population. More interviews were not possible in this qualitative research due to the limitation of time.

With respect to the data collection method, face to face interviews were conducted with the help of a research questionnaire. For a sample of the research questions refer to appendix 2. Interviews help in achieving a high rate of response to most of the questions as it is possible to correct any misunderstanding the interviewees may have about the questions. It also helps in gaining further detailed information, which is not possible by using only a questionnaire. Additionally, the interviewer can also check whether the person is a member of appropriate sample frame or not.

3.6 Questionnaire and Interview Design


The questionnaire design is advantageous to use as it can include open ended questions, it gives the interviewees greater freedom to respond, although closed questions are easier to answer and simpler to code with the application of statistical analysis. Consumers are the

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ones who determine the effectiveness of advertising. Therefore this study is about gathering information from the consumer perspective. The questionnaire is qualitative in nature, as this kind of research is capable of exploring in greater depth the views of the individuals. In contrast to quantitative research, where the researchers contact with the people being studied is non-existent, qualitative research provides a much more sustained contact. The need for the development of such relationships is a requirement of the qualitative researchers need to see the world through the eyes of the subject, since the researcher would be unable to gain an in-depth analysis from a distance.

Interviewing has often been regarded as the standard method associated with the collection of qualitative data. In addition, interviews can be wonderfully unpredictable, because they are invented anew each time. Specifically, the person being interviewed may take control of the interview and change the topic and guide the tempo.

Although quantitative analysis would give a good statistical picture of the advertisements of the consumers in the UK, qualitative can better explain providing reasons as to why people position a brand in a particular way, how their personal, social and psychological factors have an influence on the analysis of advertisements.

While conducting the interviews, advertisements of cosmetic brands, Rimmel and Maybelline (Refer to Appendices 3-6) were produced to the consumers to effectively answer the questions and then the researcher moved on to generalized questions about

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advertising and measuring its relation in the construction of a brand image. The adverts selected were only used as an example to make it easier for the consumers to relate to a particular ad and be able to relate the questions and provide with a clear thought about the effect they had in forming the image of the brand. The interview was not conducted in a rigid manner and therefore allowed an easy conversation, which ecouraged the consumers to think of other ads that influenced the image of a brand.

All the interviews were conducted on one to one basis with each respondent, with the help of a questionnaire (research questions, refer to appendix 2). The interview began with discovering the respondents prior knowledge of the cosmetic products and brands and the usage of it in the case of women interviewees. Importance and their attention towards the ads were also enquired. The second section relates the respondents view of specific adverts of the brand Rimmel and Maybelline cosmetics and then making a connection and communicating with the consumers to find out the effects of advertisements in magazines. Specific adverts were used in the study to help them relate to an object and therefore be able to express their opinions on it, this would show thie thinking process or how they analyze advertisements. This would also help to provide an equal comparable base for the interviews. The researcher has been able to gain information about the Rimmel and Maybelline adverts to figure out their views about the influence and reliability of these adverts, and information provided, thereby constructing a brand image. A semiotic analysis of the advert was also done to see how the

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respondents relate to the signs and symbols and therefore form varied opinions. Then the third part of the interview gives the respondent an opportunity to discuss their views about how generally advertisements influenced them and what factors influenced the consumers perception. Thereby gaining information about the UK consumers and the effect ads have on the formation of a brand image.

3.7 Sample
The interviews aim at assessing the readers reaction after viewing the ads in the fashion magazines like Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Hello and OK. The advertisements have been carefully selected to match the researchers target audience and be able to get comparable results. The audience for this research comprises of 18 to 28 year young men and women who were either studying at the university or working. Interviews have been chosen to get a deep understanding of each individuals view. The researcher attempts to analyze the consumers image of the brand after viewing the adverts. The adverts of the cosmetic brands Rimmel and Maybelline have been selected for the study. The male consumers play a potential but insignificant role in the cosmetics marketplace but are relatively important consumers of advertising. To this end an interview was conducted amongst male and female youth and the key demographic variable used for this process has been age. This study is not considered broad, in terms of analyzing the advertising trade and brand positioning , but on the contrary it does involve a detailed study of how fundamental facts

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like culture, perception, attitude and the level of involvement that affect the way public perceives a specific concept which is catered to them through advertisements.

3.8 Reason for the Sample Selection


Initially only females were considered to be interviewed because the largest part of the reader audience of the fashion magazines and the users of the cosmetics is women. Also because the adverts selected as examples for the study are cosmetic brands consisting of product for women. But to make the research more complete, both the sections of the population- males and females were considered. It was noticed during the process of interviews that the women had pre-conceived ideas about the brands and products involved, that is Rimmel and Maybelline lipstick and eye mascara. Whereas the male respondents did not have much knowledge about these brands, thereby looked at the adverts of the brands shown to them and expressed what they felt about the advert and the brand based on it. The females used cosmetics on a regular basis and were therefore more familiar with cosmetic brands available in the market. This did influence their analysis of the adverts as they were talking more in terms of the product based on their experience with it. The research also kept the groups as comparable as possible and found a true picture with the factors that influenced analysis of the adverts and balancing the outcome. The men did not have a keen interest in cosmetics and therefore it is a low involvement product for them. Thus the study gets to interview and obtain findings from the youth on

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how advertisements (even if they are ads of products not used by them) influence the formation of a brand image.

The researcher aims to study what factors influence consumers perceptions of advertisements. Therefore the researcher considers the use of such adverts (which are for one section - women) which will provide interesting results as such an approach not a common one. Thus it includes both the sections, one (female) who has more information about the brand already, not necessarily due to the influence of advertisements; the other section is the male respondents who displayed very little knowledge of the brands and the products. This enables to obtain comprehensive information about the influence of ads in the formation of brand image. This provided comparable results representing the population sample and also high and low involvement users.

3.9 Pilot test


Before conducting interviews with the help of the final version of the questionnaire, a pilot test was conducted with two Master students of Britain studying at The University of Nottingham, one of them studying Master of Business Administration and the other doing a Master in Economics. There was a discussion about adverts in general and then about adverts in magazines particularly. This test helped in gaining more ideas and insight in forming the questions more effectively. They suggested a change in the order

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of some questions to make the questionnaire more fluent and effective in terms of continuous thinking. Also some minor changes were made to the questionnaire for the interview to make it more comprehensive and more appropriate for the UK consumers.

3.10 Conclusion
To conclude, any research methods are only a means to an end but never an end in themselves (Halloran, 1998:10). Research methods, as a tool for researchers, should be appropriate in the research context, that is, depend on the research problems and study objects. In this study, since the main objective is try to understand how consumers perceive advertisements thereby influencing the formation of an image of a brand. The qualitative method is able to play an important role to serve this purpose due to its grounded, discovery-oriented, exploratory, expansionist, descriptive and inductive features (Deshpande, 1983).

Once the researchers influence in shaping the reality which it presents (Watson, 1994, pp. s77), or the so-called biases, are identifiable, the research work is able to provide more or less precise data. In the research, the male population was also included so that the researcher does not get influenced and lost from the actual focus of the study, as it is prepared in a qualitative manner, which could otherwise be biased, incase only females were to be interviewed. The researchers analysis could have been influenced probably more by other factors influencing a respondent and not as much on advertising. It may not have laid emphasis of how advertisements effect brand positioning. Qualitative

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research should also follow some general rules to obtain rigor. For instance, systematic data collection, record-keeping and data analysis, adequate discussion of the for and against evidence (Silverman, 2000), the avoidance of treating a participants opinion or a single aspect as an explanation of the phenomenon that is being studied (Silverman, 2001) are essential.

The process of interviews does take time but the data collected provides an in-depth and very useful information thereby enabling the researcher to achieve the objective of analyzing how effects advertisements effect the image of a brand.

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CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS, ANALYSIS & INTERPRETATION

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it. Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

4.1 Introduction

This chapter discusses the analysis and interpretations of the findings which have emerged based on 14 interviews. The respondents included 8 women and 6 men consisting of young University students and working people. The findings are discussed and related with the literature in the relevant areas. This chapter throws light on the research objectives, analysis and discussions in the light of the current findings. There have been instances where qualitative research did come across insights that have not been considered during the initial phases of the study. Some quotes of the respondents have been highlighted in the analysis.

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Firms send advertising messages to explicitly inform consumers of their brands existence and position them in their mind. It is evident that advertising provides information, but it is still not clear as to how and why advertising influences the formation of brand image. The present study is an investigation on how advertising affects the brand image, explored from the consumers perspective.

4.2 Involvement
In this research the male and female were interviewed to analyze the difference in their involvement with certain categories and therefore with the brand. They were asked to analyze the ads of the cosmetic brand Rimmel and Maybelline. This is done as the aim of the research is to find the effect advertising has on brand image from a general consumer perspective. The female respondents generally read a lot of fashion magazines and thus did notice ads, but their involvement with it depended oh how long they would see the ad, believe it, gain attention from the ad also very importantly the time they had. Using specific adverts in this research enables us to obtain the responses relating to specific brands and it was noticed that the female respondents spent more time looking at the advert as they would view the product an the message content in detail, depending on how they perceive it, an image was formed in their mind. Whereas the men first noticed the attractive models in the ad but did not spend too much time analyzing the semiotics of the advertisement.

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As time is a constrained resource, the time spent (involvement) in the information search is dependent upon the individuals perceived importance of the decision outcome (East et al., 1994). Thus the level an individual will involve himself or herself with an advertisement depends on their perception of the brand advertised. This makes it important to understand the consumers perception of the brand advertised.

I think if there were any free gifts it would be nice. The free trials that are provided are good testers which help me decide about the quality of the product or brand and the purchase decision. --25 year female

Well, I dont use it so dont know a lot, but yes I definitely remember seeing loads of ads of these products in the magazines. Some of them seem to be really nice and quality products with really good models used for the display. --24 year male

This shows that consumers want an effort from the advertisers to involve them deeply with the ads or brands. The consumers involvement is low if they are not interested in a particular product as also expressed by a twenty four year male (quoted above). The respondents did notice the ads and remembered a few as they found them interesting or because they had a beautiful model. The reason why they remembered adverts depends on how they try to relate and how an advert portrays the brand.

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It is the relationship between entertainment and involvement that produces distinctive and memorable advertising. It was quite clear that entertaining advertising, even that which does not necessary generate active involvement, evoked a feeling of warmth towards the brand and also towards the company.

4.3 Role of Advertising

The respondents agreed undeniably to the role of advertising as a powerful medium in the formation of a brand image. When further discussed, advertising appeared to play four major roles. Firstly, the role of advertising is to create brand awareness. Respondents stated that advertisements did inform them of new brands. Therefore, advertising was considered as an information provider, although they were aware of the limitations in providing such information. Advertising not only created awareness of brands in the market, but also provided to a certain extent the utilitarian function of the brand. It also provided information of the features of the product and brand.

Ads are very important. If people dont see ads they dont buy it (buy the brands), because they dont know about the brand. --23 year male

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The adverts for Rimmel are good as they provide information in a very clear manner; it has this rectangular box and a few bulleted points, whereas the Maybelline advert has random information provided all over. What I mean is that Rimmel has specific, short and clear information provided and therefore I like this advert and get sufficient knowledge from it, but as for Maybelline, its not that good. --26 year female

Though there were a few respondents who found the advertisements to be very useful and informative. There was a major section of respondents who were skeptical of the information that advertisements provide. Some of them did not believe in the content of the adverts and others stated that they dont take decisions based on advertisements. This showed that the young consumers in the UK were skeptical of the information provided by advertisements.

Advertisements of products dont seem important for me at all. It doesnt matter much as they (advertisements) just show products like these cosmetics with models that have perfect shape and skin. I at times cant relate with it, though there are few products that show women of all sizes, like the advertisement of Dove. I feel that product is for people like me --24 year female

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Therefore there seems to be a mix of opinions on the content in advertisements and also the trust factor comes into picture here. The respondents do agree that advertisements provided information however, they also mentioned that they would not believe everything advertisement talks of, this leads to the second role of advertising that is the influence of advertisements.

The influence of advertisements on the UK consumer is studied. When the respondents view advertisements of different brands, they become aware of their existence. Due to the various ads they view they gain information and do form opinions of the brands. Some respondents stated that adverts have a positive influence on them whereas they found some ads very annoying. Therefore advertisements were considered as an important marketing tool that provides information about the brands, whereas the influence of these ads depended on the psychological factors that influenced the consumers actions.

I remember seeing the advertisements of Nike everywhere, I really liked it though it was considered as an expensive brand, and I yet did purchase it. --22 year male

People my age do get influenced (by advertisements), but may not purchase a product just because of an advertisement --20 year female

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Thirdly advertising is seen as a method of persuasion. It did persuade most of the respondents by drawing their attention as it is also seen in the quote (above) by a twenty year old student. It influenced thoughts, behaviors and attitudes in some way or the other. Almost all respondents agreed that the primary role of advertising is to persuade consumers. I do feel that they (advertisements) make an effort to sell anything to anybody, but its never been helpful to me, as I would not purchase a product advertised unless I actually need it --28 year male

Yes advertising does sometimes influence, when the ads are catchy and special. -- 22 year female

This showed that advertisements created a level of persuasion, not necessarily on the purchasing but it did construct an image of brands in their minds.

Advertising is a tool that helps respondents remember a brand and at other times enhance the knowledge of a brand. The image of brands was specifically prominent in the respondents memory. Therefore advertising seemed to play a significant role in the respondents formation of a brand image.

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I would say Rimmel is for teenagers whereas Maybelline is for the working class. --28 year male

Advertising is considered as one of the principal components in creating an image of the brand. Thus, most advertisements attempted to create an identity for the brand through deliberate overemphasis of its strengths.

4.4 Self congruity

Self-congruity has been important factor of the respondents that influenced the way they positioned a brand. Self-congruity is defined as how much a consumers self concept matches the personality of a typical user of a brand (Aaker, 1997). This theory proposes that a part of the consumer behavior is determined by an individuals comparison of an image of themselves and the image of a brand, as reflected of a typical user of the brand (Sirgy et al., 1997).

The brand message in the advertisement seemed to be an important element for the respondents. The advertisements message content, slogan and style were very important in determining the image they formed of the brand. The advertisement was broken up into various parts and the respondents semiotically analyzed it. Semiotic analysis is a science of signs that helps to provide meanings to the signs and symbols used in an

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advertisement (Zakia and Nadin, 1987). This is an important factor that determines the way an individual understands and thereby positions a brand.

Symbolic product images give meaning to the product by personifying it (Solomon, 1983). Thus, the brand expresses the image of the kind of person who would use that brand or the qualities associated with the user. The brand, as a symbol represents the identity of a product and also respondents personality.

I associate more with Rimmel. Sorry, but for Maybelline Im not too sure. -- 28 year female

The self image of people influences the way they look at the different aspects. Like in the example of the Maybelline lipstick advert, the UK consumers could not very well relate to the model used in it. An Asian model is used in the advert. The respondents said that a product like cosmetics that is displayed by the model may look nice on her. But due to the culture difference and the personality features of the model and the respondent, such a product may not match the respondents personality. They draw to a close on this topic by saying that the brand is usually meant for the market represented by the model. They also felt that the Maybelline advert portrayed its as a brand for the working women market.

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I feel that the Maybelline brand is for the working women. The ad also seems relaxing because of the flowers. --26 year male

Most respondents felt that the Maybelline advertisement does not show any enthusiasm or clear segment for a young female section. The university students specifically viewed the Maybelline brand for the more sophisticated and working women and older women. There has to be a match between the respondents perceived image of the brand and their own identity. Most of the university students and also the young working respondents related better with the Rimmel, as they could relate better with it.

4.5 Influence of Past Experience

A brand is positioned depending on a consumers previous experience. The previous experience could be the knowledge of the product, earlier promotion of the brand and also other events that occur in an individuals life. The behavior of individuals seems to vary depending on their past experience as everyone has different set of events that take place in their life. Thus an individuals perception of a symbol or sign will vary depending on some previously related experience.

All the women interviewed had previously used cosmetics and they had pre-conceived ideas about cosmetics and also of certain brands. Therefore during the interview they did

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scrutinize the advert with certain expectations. The female respondents discussed the ads in relation the product featured in it and some of them also had an experience of the product and brand usage. It is thus a process whereby the perceived qualities of a brand and also actual acquaintance that are related to past experience.

The males that were interviewed did not use the product and did not have much knowledge about it. Based on their past experiences they analyzed the advert with the presentation of the specific adverts made to them. The male respondents did not have an experience with these cosmetic brands but did have some knowledge about the adverts that appeared in the magazines. An individual gathers a considerable store of experiences over a lifetime, which are combined to provide frames of reference against which future activities and information can be judged.

The respondents trust on advertisements also depended on their past experience also the claims made by the advertisements about the brands and the actual reality, which could have been personally experienced or many times been informed by a friend. Most of the respondents agreed that the adverts did meet most of the claims made by them. They also feel that advertisements may exaggerate some features of brands but there are standards that have a check on them and therefore they cannot make complete false claims using advertisements.

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4.6 Social Influence

Consumers are generally influenced by a variety of outside elements while adopting their self image and conative component. Opinions of peers, friends and relatives had a significant impact on the respondents outlook. Referrals and word of mouth was a very influential component in determining the respondents view and decision.

Friend referral matters a lot, since a friend is a reliable source and any brand she suggests would be tested and she would always talk about it if its either, good or bad. --23 year female

Testimonies from friends or peers were very influential. The respondents did form an opinion of brands based on the referral group influence on them. The referral group may have formed an opinion of the brands due to advertisements, discussions with others or by the consumption of the brand as informed to the researcher by the respondents. The respondents did discuss with their friends when there is a new brand launched or at times when there are new products, or feature in a brand in the market and may have been advertised in some fashion magazine. It was observed that individuals would generally try a brand, form an impression or have expectation from it, depending on what opinion the friend expressed. This is generally because the respondents did trust their friends and also their opinions. It was also seen that consumers did want to fit into a certain part of

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the society with the usage of certain brands, as some brands had formed strong positions in the market.

The respondents discussed about the brands with friends while socializing. It would generally be just as a general conversation. Both the male and female respondents discussed certain interesting advertisements and brands they have experienced or come across when they meet at the university or at work.

It was also found that the model used in the advert did influence their remembrance of the advert. As in the case of Rimmel adverts, most of the respondents recognized the model used in the advert as Kate Moss. They did remember and like the advert because of her reputation as she is a super model.

The model of Rimmel is good as its Kate Moss. She has been in the media, in the news. As of now she is not in the news for good stuff, but that has definitely made her more popular --20 year female

Thus, the society and the relation with it, does have an impact on individual decisions. It was also observed that the respondents did have more chances of noticing an advertisement the next time after discussing it with their social group. Thus it did have an impact and made them remember the advertisement of that brand also positioning them.

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Therefore advertising does develop a brand image and personality. It deals with images of self-identity and social relationships. (Aaker et al., 1992)

4.7 Brand Image

Brand image is defined as the set of beliefs held about a particular brand (Kotler, 2000, pp.197). Respondents did show an inclination towards the brand image that they could associate with. Status symbol was one of the characteristics that seemed to be associated with brands. Looking at the Rimmel lipstick advert, a twenty five year woman working at Power Gen as a part time customer advisor stated, The Ad tries to portray their brand as fashionable and young. -- 25 year female

It was noticed that some working female respondents preferred Maybelline, but all the university students and other working men and women interviewed showed an inclination towards the Rimmel adverts. They stated that the Rimmel adverts had a clear focus and good message content. Also most of them agreed that the brand, Rimmel was for the youth.

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The female respondents were more influenced with the effect of celebrity endorsement in positioning a brand compared to men. The young female respondents were influenced by the endorsements and the model used in the advertisement make a huge impact on their perception of the brand. Like in the case of Maybelline lipstick advert, a twenty seven year old woman who worked as a consumer service specialist at Power Gen said that she did not like the advert much, as the model in it was Asian and she could not relate to her, it did not match her personality image. The physical attractiveness of models mattered more to a male respondent as compared to females. But the females looked up to the models in order to match their personality image as already discussed with how most of the respondents had a low match of their personal image and the brand image of the Maybelline cosmetics. Ironically, most female respondents were even aware that advertisements were being manipulated to play with the human mind. Although these were marketing tactics, female respondents still fell prey to such advertisements in the case of cosmetics.

The respondents agreed that brand image can be reinforced by brand communications such as packaging, advertising, promotion, word-of-mouth and other aspects of brand experience. The respondents did consider the packaging of the product important. The packaging does give an impression about the brand as one of the respondents said,

A well packed product with the display of the characteristics of it, is important --23 year female

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well even in the advertisement you can see the way a product is packed. In the lipstick adverts (that were shown to the respondent) I prefer the Maybelline packing --26 year female

As already discussed earlier, the word of mouth does have a big impact on the way a brand is perceived. The respondents discussed the formation of the brand image being in a society.

The latest trend in the society also influences the sort of feeling on does have about any brand. I do discuss many products with my friends; we do really have quite a similar reaction towards most brands Well but there are always personal preferences for certain products --24 year female

Respondents also agreed that the user is associated with the brands he/she uses and it reveals something about them as in, it makes a statement about them. Therefore when the usage of a product is concerned they want to be seen as consuming a good brand. But here again the perception of a brand may vary across people.

The promotional activities promote the sale of a product and some promotional activities also aim to build good reputation of the brand.

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If a trial of the product is provided with the advert in the magazine, it will be very helpful. --28 year female

Therefore, if adverts perform other promotional activities, the brands were more clearly remembered by the consumers, as they receive additional benefits from it. A free sample of the advertised product or some other form of promotions such as discounts, or buy one and get the second at a reduced price did seem to evoke favorable responses and trust towards that brand.

The images can be classified as being functional and symbolic (Sirgy et al., 1997). The functional images of a brand include the physical benefits associated with the product, whereas the symbolic images refer to the stereotype personality images consumers have of a specific brand often expressed in terms of the typical user image. That is, a brand matches up with ones actual self-image as well as with her/his ideal self image. Such a situation would result in high consumer satisfaction because, by purchasing or identifying himself/herself with this product, the consumer would reach an emotional state that enhances his/her self esteem motive and reinforces his/her selfconsistency motive (Sirgy et al., 1997). Therefore, respondents seemed to have derived more utility from an advertised brand that meets their perceived image.

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Advertisements that enhanced self image were considered positive. Moreover the brand image also seemed to elevate ones image in society. Expensive looking brands were more attractive to respondents. Discussing the advertisements they could recollect in the cosmetics, most of the respondents gave names of expensive brands like Chanel and Dior. This shows that some images of brands are already formed and the advertising makes it stronger. Thus it is evident that advertising develops brand image and personality thereby enhancing self-image.

One of the questions that were asked in the interview received particularly interesting results. The respondents were asked to describe the adverts of Rimmel and Maybelline lipstick and mascara shown to them imagining the brand were a female. This question was framed to see how the psychology of the consumers works and how they relate things. The semiotic analysis did play subconsciously an important role here in the formation of an image they perceived of the brand and expressively describing it in one or a few words. The personal, social and psychological were other important factors that played a role in their perception. The answers that were received for both the brands are given below:

Rimmel: teenage, college girl, chic, passion, sexy, edgy, young, fun, used by university students, heavenly, fashionable, impressionable, funky, and outgoing.

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Maybelline: mistress, middle class woman, classy, relaxing because of the flowers, polished (for older people), girl next door, mid twenties, vibrant, eye catching, sophisticated, modern, trendy, and used by working people.

This reflected on the way the consumers based their entire opinion based on the advertisement, forming on the image about the brand by aptly describing it in an adjective and then they also explained whether they did relate to the brand. Therefore they did give their opinion of the position that the brands Rimmel and Maybelline had in a very concise and clear manner. Their opinions were formed with the influence of the adverts and it was observed that the consumers in the UK, both male and female did relate better with the Rimmel advert.

4.8 Conclusion
Consumers do view advertisements as a source of information but did not dwell too much time on any advertisement and not much in the case of magazines. Therefore it was necessary that in a blink of an eye when the ad is first seen it should at least gain the consumers attention. If that doesn't happen all the lists of attributes cannot make the ad work. The advertisers should identify the key attributes and choose those so as to clearly indicate where they have an advantage in comparison to the competitors to create an effective advertising.

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The consumers in the UK did agree that adverts influenced their opinions about brands. Although some of the respondents, more of the female respondents suggested that advertisements were made so that they can associate the age group it was meant for and also a quality indicator. Yet consumers were critical about the advertisements and claimed that there were too many advertisements everywhere these days. This did definitely get the consumers involved and influenced, or mostly they did remember some visuals of the advert or the tag line that they could associate the brand with. Thus, advertisements do play an important role in the consumers mind but, a more sub conscious role.

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CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION

Traditionally consumer had fixed images of products and brands and thus they did not respond to the companies advertisement efforts. With the increasing competition in the market, advertising is not only considered as an important and common activity in the current scenario but also provides relevant information about the brand and the company.

This research reviews the existing literature about how advertising influences the positioning of a brand from the perspective of the consumer. For advertising to be effective it should be able to target the right audience at the right time so as to be able to gain their attention and interest (Fill, 2000). Advertising is a process in which an individual involves himself and factors that influence individual include the personal, social and psychological factors which affect the way an individual perceives the brand advertised.

Brand advertising did not appear as an important feature of the actual markets until the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. Large-scale brand advertising then began to appear, since it represented an important means through which a company could position its brand and stimulate response. In the increasingly competitive marketplace, effective marketing communications have become an essential part of the firms success in

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introducing and promoting products and services. The goal of such communications is to convince consumers that the advertised brand is either superior to some alternative brand, or offers benefits unavailable from alternative. (Zhang et al, 2002)

To understand how advertising works, it was necessary to analyze the factors that influence the consumers who form images of brands due to the effect of advertisements. The use of advertising models of DAGMAR (Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results) and Hierarchy of Effects explained in the literature review enables to access the steps that consumers pass through when analyzing advertisements. It is a sequential process moving consumers from a state of unawareness to a stage where the consumers form an attitude, perception or opinion about the brand and thereby perform an action. It involves three components namely, the cognitive component including variables such as attention, awareness, comprehension, and learning. The affective variables consisting of interests, evaluation, attitude, feeling, conviction, and yielding. Conative variables relate to intention, behavior, and action (Ray, 1973). To analyze how advertisements work, semiotic analysis is very crucial. It gives meaning to the signs and symbols in the advertisements thereby giving it a meaning.

From the various media available and also the new media the most appropriate media should be selected by companies to be able to reach their target audience on time and with best utilization of resources. The print media is cost effective and can be referred back by the consumer anytime they want. Also when a consumer is interested in an

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advert he may spend more time on it, whereas when he does not like the ad, he may just glance through it not paying much attention. Though advertising does have an important role to play in the promotion, it is not without any criticisms. The information content, claims made by advertisements and the methods used to promote brands do influence the consumers but they also form skeptical opinions at times. As it is stated by Abraham Lincoln, You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.14

The UK consumers do agree with most claims made by advertisements but do not agree with all. Many brands in the market are competing for a position and are trying to gain the publics attention. This research did not set to prove the empirical studies to any great length, but was an attempt to explore the consumer mind. With numerous factors influencing the consumers, it is very complicated to study the consumer mind with complete certainty.

To study how advertising effects the formation of an image, in respect to the factors influencing consumers, a qualitative method of research was considered most suitable. Most research in advertising entails quantitative methods of analysis, whereas this study conducted a qualitative analysis. This researcher conducted interviews, a method of qualitative research to be able to conduct in-depth investigation of the why, when, how

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www.wisdomquotes.com

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and where of a situation. Interviews did provide the researcher in-depth information from the consumers. Having selected young consumers for the study as they are the future of the country and their decisions and opinions do influence the economy of the market. Both men and women were considered for the research as the research focuses on the effect advertisements have on the brand image from a consumers perspective. The views of the males and females hold equal relevance in the study and in the analysis of the results.

The consumers relate to those brands that do match their personal image. It was analysed that advertising plays an important role in conveying a brand image. The message content in the ads is considered as a crucial part of the advertisement. Thus, if the message content was too long or not clear, it did not interest them much and therefore the expected response would not be achieved. Ads are carefully planned to suit and provide a clear image about the brand to the consumer. To be noticed, adverts have to be striking and very visual. Only if advertisements create an interest will they be effective. When the respondents were asked to evaluate the effect adverts have on them, they did agree that advertisements though not always result in purchasing, did make them remember an ad or relate something to it. The consumers did get influenced from ads, social groups, product package, users of the product, and form opinions about the brand.

There were certain expectations from brands in terms of quality as perceived by the respondents. Also one of the female respondents, in the research said that advertisements

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should provide a free trial of the product so that the consumers can experience it. Thus the researcher did find advertisements to influence the consumers in the print medium (magazines) and form an image of a brand of which they may consider themselves to be a part of or not. For example, in the research a twenty year female student did position Maybelline as a product for the working or middle aged women and could thus relate better with the Rimmel ad, portraying that it held an image of being young and trendy. Thus, its all about what is in the mind and the advertisers should know the mind of consumers well to craft a place for their brand.

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CHAPTER 6: LIMITATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

The sample size interviewed is not big enough to have a complete view of the way consumers perceive advertisements in the UK. Also a similar study can be conducted without the use of any adverts, or with different adverts used and in different countries and across various cultures. The advertising medium was also limited to print and in that magazines only. There are many other factors that effect the perception and analysis of the effect of advertisement which have not been discussed in great detail in this research due to the limitation in time and resources. Advertising is a very vast topic and has scope for a lot of research in respect to the selection of media and also considering the actual formation process of an image of a brand.

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APPENDICES

Appendix 1
Short-, Mid- and Long-range Goals, Competitive and Consumer Issues

Source: Jones, 1994

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Appendix 2

Research Questions

Hello, I am Puja Rupani, a student at the University of Nottingham (UK). I am currently doing a research on The Effects of Advertising on Brand Positioning in the UK market, for which I will be using Rimmel and Maybelline cosmetic brand as examples. It would be great if you could spare some of your quality time with me to conduct this interview. This will approximately take 45 - 60 minutes. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

General Age: Occupation:

1. How often do you use cosmetics?

2. What cosmetic products and brands do you use?

3. Why do you prefer a particular brand? (The one you are using)

4. Apart from the quality aspects of this cosmetic brand, does the advertising also draw your attention towards it?

5. How important are advertisements for you?

6. Do you read fashion magazines? If yes, name them.

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Advertisement/Brand Specific: Rimmel and Maybelline

7. Do you remember seeing adverts for Lipstick and Eye mascara?

8. What is the first thing that you notice in these adverts? What do you think the following advertisements are trying to convey and how are they doing so?

9. What do you think the following factors of the advert indicate? (Analyzing all the adverts) Colours used Message content Model featured in the advertisement Display of product Tagline

10. What sort of people would you associate with this brand? In other words how would you categorize these adverts? Give reasons for your answers. Rimmel: Maybelline:

11. Comparing the adverts shown to you in the category of lipstick and eye mascara, which brand do you prefer in each case and why?

12. If Rimmel and Maybelline were females, which is the most appropriate adjective you would use to describe them? (In terms of age, culture, style)

13. Do you think it is a good advert? What is your overall impression about these adverts? Rimmel Lisptick: Maybelline Lipstick:

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Rimmel Eye mascara:

Maybelline Eye mascara:

General advertising influence on Brand Image

14. How would you react if you found an advert interesting? Do you discuss it with others or purchase it?

15. How would you explain the importance of the following factors as an indicator of brand quality? Please provide reasons. Packaging Referral group Advertisements Brand name The tag line

16. Would you try a new brand based on its advertising?

17. Do you think people get influenced and thereby form opinions about a brand due to the advertisements they view?

18. What attributes of consumers do you think determine how they perceive brand and his actions?

19. It is said that Advertising does not always lead to purchasing, but it does leave an impression in the minds of the consumer. What are your views about this?

20. Do you think brands live up to the claims made by adverts?

21. Do you think these adverts lack anything and what about the other print media advertisements in general? Discuss.

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22. Is there anything else that you would like to express about these products or brands we have discussed and advertisements in general?

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Appendix 3
Rimmel Lipstick Advert

Source: OK, 2006; Hello, 2006.

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Appendix 4
Maybelline Lipstick Advert

Source: Cosmopolitan, 2006.

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Appendix 5
Rimmel Mascara Advert

Source: Elle, 2006.

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Appendix 6
Maybelline Mascara Advert

Source: Elle, 2006 113

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Appendix 7 Transcription of the interview with 24 year male respondent

General
Age: 24 years, male Occupation: Cosmetic consultant

1. How often do you use cosmetics? I use cosmetics everyday, but on my customers.

2. What cosmetic products and brands do you use? Lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, everything. I mean the entire range is needed by the various customers.

3. Why do you prefer a particular brand? (The one you are using) Mainly because of the quality of the product. It lasts longer, you know, and its reliable too.

4. Apart from the quality aspects of this cosmetic brand, does the advertising also draw your attention towards it? Yes, the ad mainly draws my attention to the women in it.

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5. How important are advertisements for you? Ads are very important. If people dont see ads, they dont buy the products.

6. Do you read fashion magazines? If yes, name them. No, I dont read fashion magazines.

Advertisement/Brand Specific: Rimmel and Maybelline

7. Do you remember seeing adverts for Lipstick and Eye mascara? No, cant remember.

8. What is the first thing that you notice in these adverts? What do you think the following advertisements are trying to convey and how are they doing so? The first thing I noticed in the ads is the women. I think they are trying to market the products that are being advertised. Well, some of them are doing a good job, doing that.

9. What do you think the following factors of the advert indicate? (Analyzing all the adverts) Colours used - I did not pay attention to the colours used. The Rimmel lipstick ad is a little darker and nicer. Message content I read the brand name only. The rest of the message is not very clear.

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Model featured in the advertisement they are really pretty and sexy. Particularly, the model in the Rimmel lipstick ad. Display of product the Maybelline lipstick ad didnt look like a lipstick ad, really. I couldnt make out until I read the ad. Tagline the Maybelline advert has a good tag line but the ad (referring to the lipstick ad) is not really good.

10. What sort of people would you associate with this brand? In other words how would you categorize these adverts? Rimmel: it is more for the young ones, probably more for students. Maybelline: it is for the sophisticated. It is more expensive, you know.

11. Comparing the adverts shown to you in the category of lipstick and eye mascara, which brand do you prefer in each case and why? The ads of Maybelline mascara and Rimmel impressed me more. For both of these ads, the whole impression is good.

12. If Rimmel and Maybelline were females, which is the most appropriate adjective you would use to describe them? (In terms of age, culture, style) Rimmel passionate, sexy, heavenly Maybelline relaxing (because of the flowers)

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13. Do you think it is a good advert? What do you think about the overall impression of the adverts? Rimmel Lipstick: it has a good blend of color Maybelline Lipstick: guess there is too much of color Rimmel Eye mascara: its a confusing ad, not good Maybelline Eye mascara: its a good ad overall

General advertising influence on brand image

14. How would you react if you found an advert interesting? Do you discuss it with others or purchase it? If its recommended from a good source, I would consider buying the product. It would be useful. But, it has to be from a good source.

15. How would you explain the importance of the following factors as an indicator of brand quality? Please provide reasons. Packaging needs to be an attractive one. Its not a very important factor. Friend Referral very important. Its from a reliable source who has tried the product. Advertisements play an important role endorsing a brand Brand name is important, since it has taken a particular time to become famous.

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The tag line sometimes important, sometimes you will associate the brand to the tag line.

16. Would you try a new brand based on its advertising? I would, probably if the ad is convincing enough.

17. Do you think people get influenced and thereby form opinions about a brand due to the advertisements they view? Yes. It happens, although it is not a good thing.

18. What attributes of consumers do you think determine how they perceive brand and its actions? People have different opinions to the same brand. Some may like it, some may not. They have a free mind to think so. The age and the way we think about things makes a difference on the ad.

19. It is said that Advertising does not always lead to purchasing, but it does leave an impression in the minds of the consumer. What are your views about this? Yes, it is true. Sometimes the ads are enjoyable, and though we dont purchase or need the product, it does leave an impression, especially if its a catchy ad.

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20. Do you think brands live up to the claims made by adverts? No. They always make false claims.

21. Do you think these adverts lack anything and what about the other print media advertisements in general? Discuss. Rimmel too much matter. Maybelline is the best, as it shows only the face and the product display mainly.

22. Is there anything else that you would like to express about these products or brands we have discussed and advertisements in general? I dont think ads are true. Like, ads talk about long lasting, but dont talk about how long they last, and what is long.

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Appendix 8: Transcription of the interview with 28 year female respondent

General
Age: 28 years, female Occupation: student

1. How often do you use cosmetics? Everyday.

2. What cosmetic products and brands do you use? Maybelline, Rimmel.

3. Why do you prefer a particular brand? (The one you are using) I prefer the Rimmel collection because all the products are really good.

4. Apart from the quality aspects of this cosmetic brand, does the advertising also draw your attention towards it? Yes, when the models used are famous, like Kate Moss advertises for Rimmel.

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5. How important are advertisements for you? Well, ads for cosmetics are not very important for me at all because I hardly get influenced by them. I usually get attracted to them when I see a celebrity endorsing them.

6. Do you read fashion magazines? If yes, name them. Yes. They are Cosmo Girl, Glamour.

Advertisement/Brand Specific: Rimmel and Maybelline


7. Do you remember seeing adverts for Lipstick and Eye mascara? Yes, I remember the one with Kate Moss in it; I think its a lipstick ad.

8. What is the first thing that you notice in these adverts? What do you think the following advertisements are trying to convey and how are they doing so? I could spot the models hair in the Rimmel mascara ad. I cannot understand why she is covering her face in the Maybelline mascara ad! In the Rimmel lipstick ad, the color of the lipstick is the same as the background of the ad. In the Maybelline lipstick ad, I noticed the eyes first, although I dont think its meant to be. The light seems to be upon the eyes rather than below, on the lips.

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9. What do you think the following factors of the advert indicate? (Analyzing all the adverts) Colours used Rimmel lipstick ad is attractive with colors. The Maybelline mascara ad is just black and white, and a little bit of writing in red. I dont find it very attractive. In the Rimmel mascara ad, the light is on the eyes, so you notice it more. Her clothes and the lower portion is dark, so it actually doesnt distract the main focus. However, in the Maybelline lipstick ad, the light is on the eyes and not on the lips. This distracted me from the main point of focus. Message content the Rimmel ads give a better message content than the Maybelline ads, which are very brief. Model featured in the advertisement the model in the Maybelline lipstick ad is really gorgeous, but the ad doesnt seem to be clear although shes pretty. The model in Rimmel is good, as its Kate Moss. She has been in the media and she has become popular. Display of product overall, all ads seem to be fine in this factor. Tagline Rimmel is doing well there, whereas in the Maybelline ad I can barely see it. (When explained what a Tagline was, the respondent continues), Well I lied the points given in the Rimmel ads. The line below the brand name, Maybelline saying Maybe shes Born With it, Maybe its Maybelline is good.

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10. What sort of people would you associate with this brand? In other words how would you categorize these adverts? Give reasons for your answers. Rimmel: sexy, outgoing. Maybelline: girl next door.

11. Comparing the adverts shown to you in the category of lipstick and eye mascara, which brand do you prefer in each case and why? I associate more with Rimmel. Sorry, but for Maybelline, Im not too sure.

12. If Rimmel and Maybelline were females, which is the most appropriate adjective you would use to describe them? (In terms of age, culture, style) Rimmel: teenage, university student. Maybelline: sophisticated, modern.

13. Do you think it is a good advert? What do you think about the overall impression of the adverts? Rimmel lipstick & eye mascara: focused on the younger generation. On the whole, gives good information about the product. I can relate to it. Maybelline lipstick & eye mascara: I dont remember seeing the ads. But, the overall presentation is a good one.

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General advertising influence on brand image


14. How would you react if you found an advert interesting? Do you discuss it with others or purchase it? Yes, if an ad is interesting, I would discuss it with other people. I wouldnt go as far as purchasing it, but if its really worth the buy, I would probably purchase it.

15. How would you explain the importance of the following factors as an indicator of brand quality? Please provide reasons. Packaging: it does matter to me, when the contents are well packed and the characteristics of the product are displayed. Friend Referral: well, it does matter a lot, since any product which a friend suggests would be tested, and she would always talk about it if its either good or bad. Advertisements: an ad creates an impression of a product. It should describe a product well enough. Brand name: it does affect a lot. Nobody would want to buy a product that doesnt have the quality tag attached to it. The tag line: should be catchy, else the consumer would not be attracted to it.

16. Would you try a new brand based on its advertising? Yea, I would probably try out a product if the ad seems convincing.

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17. Do you think people get influenced and thereby form opinions about a brand due to the advertisements they view? Yes, people my age do get influenced by ads.

18. What attributes of consumers do you think determine how they perceive brand and his actions? I think it depends on what we are confident about, depending on that we analyse things. I may try a lipstick, but it depends on me. It depends on who I am. If its a bronze lipstick, Ill run miles, unless Im feeling particularly brave that day. It depends on your lifestyle too.

19. It is said that Advertising does not always lead to purchasing, but it does leave an impression in the minds of the consumer. What are your views about this? Yea, I may not want to purchase it all the time. However, I do remember it if it is something I can relate to. I also remember if its either funny or annoying.

20. Do you think brands live up to the claims made by adverts? Well, brands dont totally live up to their claims. However, they cannot totally be wrong in their claims since the regulatory boards would not allow them to lie completely.

21. Do you think these adverts lack anything and what about the other print media advertisements in general? Discuss.

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Not really. It is difficult if the ads lack anything in them, because otherwise, the products would not sell.

22. Is there anything else that you would like to express about these products or brands we have discussed and advertisements in general? I feel one cannot come to a conclusion about a product if she sees the ad. Although the ad does help to promote the product, it is not the sole area where we make decisions.

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