Advertising is defined as any paid form of non-personal communication about an organization, product, service or an idea by an identified sponsor (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013).Communication or advertising of a product or service is crucial to its survival in the minds of the consumer. For marketers, the ultimate goal of advertising is for it to translate to sales (Ogilvy, 1983; Naccarato & Neuendorf, 1998). However, modern day advertising increases the scope of the concept of sales beyond the selling of a physical products or service, states Levitt (1960) & Ogilvy (1983), it also creates interest in/awareness of a brand image or organization (Mikhailitchenko, Javalgi, Mikhailitchenko, & Laroche, 2009). Advertising enables us to communicate to the potential or existing customers of the existence or the arrival of a product or service. It helps us inform, remind and to ultimately try out the product. Due to this reason alone advertising has become the key expense in the business organization.
As cited above, the non-personal nature of the communication is that it involves reaching a mass media that can transmit a message to large groups of individuals, often at the same time (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013). The Mass media includes Television, Radio, Newspapers, magazines etc.
Even though the traditional methods of communicating has become the main medium to reach a larger audience easily, there are many other avenues such as the Internet/ Digital Marketing: Facebook, Google ads, Youtube ads, Instrogram ads, Twitter ect., mobile phones: text messages, voice messages, application sponsorships ect and below the line consumer engaging activations are some of the many avenues some organization use today.
Nielsen's Global Trust in Advertising Survey (2015) in the Asian region of more than 28,000 Internet respondents stated that while nearly half (47%) of consumers around the world say they trust paid television, magazine and newspaper ads, as a result, majority of advertising money is spent on traditional or paid media, namely; television (www.nielsen.com).
Not only globally but also in Sri Lanka, Many organizations believe that Television (TV) advertising is the most effective in reaching a mass audience in delivering their message. The fact that Rs.54.8 billion rupees was spent in 2014, which is the highest spend in the history of advertising just goes to prove this point. Figure 1.1 shows the total advertising expenditure in Sri Lanka.
Television communication is considered as an important part of any product, which is why many organizations allocate the majority of the ad spend toward TV. Although there is generally no opportunity for immediate response from recipient of the message, the advertisers must consider how the audience will interpret the message once it is sent (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013).
Ogilvy Media ' Media Study (2014) report states that, the total advertising expenditure for the year 2014 was Rs. 75.6 Billion out of which Rs.54.8 Billion was on TV, Rs. 15.5 Billion on radio and Rs. 5.3 Billion on press. The top 4 sectors with the highest spends in 2014 in Sri Lanka are the telecommunication services with Rs. 6.7Bn spend, banking services with Rs.6.4Bn spend, Political advertising with Rs. 5.7Bn spend and the finance and leasing sector with Rs. 2.9Bn spend.
The fact that we have Rs.75.6 Billion of media spend shows that the consumers are exposed to an unimaginable number of commercials in all mediums which makes the job of the advertiser and the business organization, that much harder to stay above all competition and remain at the top of the consumers mind. Not to mention the fact that as mentioned by Kumar (1998), from 'Alice in wonderland', one of the hardest things in the world is to communicate what's on one person's mind.
As a result one of the key things the advertisers/advertising agencies look for when developing a campaign is the values, norms and the insights of their target audience and thus the success of campaign relies on the interpretation, reliability and the validity of the assessment of the consumers values such as attitudes, beliefs and motivation. This means that the marketers/advertisers need to capitalize on the values that match the consumer whilst keeping away from the factors that might affect the effectiveness of the campaign. The ultimate deciding factor of the interpretation, effectiveness and the appeal of the advertisement may rely on the consumer's mindset.
Sri Lanka has around 80 financial institutions, including commercial banks, licensed specialized banks (savings banks and development banks) and licensed finance companies. The three categories serve different purposes and mostly interact with commercial banks, of which there are currently 24 institutions. Sri Lanka has a total branch network of 5,689 branches collectively from the commercial and specialized banking sector and the 20.8 million consumers has used the services out of a 20.3 million population in Sri Lanka. According to the Annual Report of the Central bank 2012, there is Rs.1007.9 Bn in domestic savings in Sri Lanka (http://www.cbsl.gov.lk), which goes to show that consumers consider saving for their future as one of their priorities. Therefore, being at the top of mind with the communication has become a tedious task for the banking institutions as well as the Advertising agencies.
According to the media study conducted by Ogilvy Media (2014), it was found that Banking services communication is the 2nd highest spend with a 9% amounting to Rs.6.4 Billion on the overall spend of 75.6 Billion rupees.
An advertising appeal is defined as a conscious attempt to motivate potential consumers toward some form of activity or to influence them to change their attitude toward the advertised product (Gelb, Hong, &Zinkhan, 1985).
Rational appeals used in commercials focuses on consumer's practical, functional or utilitarian need for the product and service and emphasize the features and or benefits or reasoning to own or use a particular brand (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013). Feature, competitive advantage, favorable price, news and product/ service popularity appeals are some of the types under rational appeals.
Belch, Belch and Purani; (2013) further explains that, Emotional appeals relate to the customers' social and/or psychological needs for purchasing a product or service. The authors go on to state that, 'Many customers' motives are for their purchase decisions are emotional, and their feelings about a brand can be more important than the knowledge of its features and attributes'. There are many feelings or needs that can serve as the basis for emotional advertising appeals, namely: safety, security, fear, love, affection, happiness, joy, nostalgia, sentiment and excitement that can be used when advertising (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013).
Customers are more likely to associate with brands with advertisements that have emotional and rational values and messages (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007). Emotional and rational appeals provide a strong brand cue and stimulate category-based processing. Advertisers employ different appeals in advertisements, which arouse the viewer's emotions which lead to purchase intention for product. In the Sri Lankan context of advertising, the communication is either emotional appeal or rational appeal or a combination of the two.
Feiz, Fakharyan, Jalilvand&Hashemi, (2013), suggests that advertising is one of the most important activities conducted in the current communication context. These organizations hope that consumers will purchase their products/services due to the advertisements, delivering their desired messages about their product/service along with their brand promise. Of all the marketing tools, advertising is widely known for its long lasting impact on viewer's mind (Feiz et al., 2013).
Advertisers today has taken the advantage of 'Advertising Freedom' to communicate their products' desired message to the consumers by either appealing to their emotions or taking on a more rational approach to communicate the functional benefits or a combination of the two (Gunarathne, 2009). Whilst marketers of business organizations increases the years on year spend on communication, there had been no research conducted to determine the effectiveness of the two main appeals used particularly in the Banking sector which has the second highest media spend is 2014.
Karp, (1974) and Labarbera, Weingard, &Yorkston, (1998) states that in developing effective advertising, arguably the most important factor is the theme or appeal, therefore identifying the most effective type of appeal selected by marketers to reinforce brand positioning remains crucial. The continued growth in advertising expenditures internationally highlighted by Lee & Carter (2005) suggests that this remains a critical area of study.
Therefore, this research is conducted to determine to what extent the advertisements based on the rational or emotional appeal in the Banking sector of the women's savings accounts is more effective to the particular consumer group.
The world of advertising is evolving and improving day by day. What was proven most effective a few years ago has now been proven ineffective making the advertisers and technological developers venture in to new mediums now known as the 'Digital media'. This is proven highly effective and interactive with the consumers. Although the certain markets in the world has evolved there are certain markets/countries like Sri Lanka are still at the primary stages and still consider the traditional medium of communication: TV, Press, Radio, as the most effective forms of advertising and reaching a higher target audience.
Even though TV advertising is the most trusted medium of communication that can communicate both rational and emotional appeal separately or in combination it is vital to identify which is the most effective appeal to communicate to the desired target audience.
As cited above, although with a spend of Rs. 75.6 billion on advertising in the Banking services there had been no research conducted to determine the effectiveness of the two appeals of communication put forward to the consumer in relation to the spend.
The aim of this research is to determine the effectiveness of advertisements with rational appeal versus emotional appeal in the Women's savings accounts of the Banking industry. The specific objectives related to the research are:
01. To assess the advertising effectiveness of the rational and emotional appeals in the women's savings accounts communication in the banking sector
02. To determine the most effective appeal in Sri Lanka in the context of the banking sector
03. To make recommendations to the banking sector as well as the advertising agencies to improve the communication to becoming both effective and relevant to the target audience.
There are no studies that have been carried out to determine the effectiveness of the rational appeal versus emotional appeal in communication specifically in the banking sector in Sri Lanka. Therefore, this research will enable future researchers to use this as a guide and draw inferences.
It is evident that the times have changed and the world is evolving, therefore it is essential to understand the behaviors and attitudes towards appeal and the values that are communicated in Advertising for future use.
Marketers consider advertisement as a chief mode of communication with their customers. However these marketers are uncertain about the advertising effectiveness vis a vis advertising expenditure. Hence determining the most effective advertising appeal to communicate becomes a matter of critical importance.
The study will help the banking sector decision makers as well as the advertising agencies to determine the accurate mixture of rational and emotional appeal of advertising to the marketers as well as the Advertising agencies needs to follow when communicating with their desired target audience. Furthermore, it will benefit the customers, as they will be able to choose a bank that meets and fulfills their needs and beliefs.
The purpose of this research is to analyze and determine the consumer preference towards the two appeals communicated in the advertisement of the banking sector. As a result, this study enables us to determine which of the two communications: one that features rational approach or the one that has emotional approach, is more effective in advertising.
As the study is based on the preference over the appeals that are communicated in the advertising therefore only the rational and the emotional appeal are tested. In order to determine the effectiveness in communication only television, radio and press advertisement mediums were considered. The target group was female customers over the age 18. The reason behind this is that this target audience is considered as an adult being able to make decisions on their own after the age of 18.
To overcome the obstacles in travel and data collection the research is focused on the 150 female customers of the Colombo region only.
This research consists of six chapters. Given below is the framework adopted to address the research problem and provide recommendations.
This chapter is based on the extensive review of literature relating to evaluating the effectiveness of rational appeal versus emotional appeal in communication in the women's savings accounts of the Banking sector. The chapter will discuss the theoretical background of the concepts relating to the study as well as discuss previous research findings.
In order to gain an understanding into this research, one needs to come into grip with several key terms and definitions used by advertising community. Given below are the definitions of the key terms;
Belch, Belch and Purani (2013), states that Advertising appeal is the approach used to attract attention of consumer and/or to influence their feelings toward the product, service or cause. Belch, Belch and Purani (2013) also points out that at a broader level, these appeals can be broken in to two categories of rational appeal and emotional appeal.
Belch, Belch and Purani (2013) defined rational appeal as rationally oriented purchase stimulated by directly giving explanations of a product's advantages.
Belch, Belch and Purani, (2013) defined emotional appeal as consumers' psychological and/ or social needs for purchasing a product or service.
An Advertising agency specializes in the creation, production, and/or placement of the communication message and that may provide other services to facilitate the marketing and the promotion process. (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013). These authors further points out that, an Advertising agency is a service organization that specializes in planning and executing advertising programs for its clients.
It is nearly impossible to spend a minute without using communication. According to Trot (2001) it is basically sending and receiving different types of information, data, facts ideas, opinions, beliefs, attitudes and emotions between two or more parties. As people living in modern millennium era to keep the promise of development goals it is important to recognize the essential role played by information and communication (Besset, 2004). Therefore recognizing the political processes, role of media, communications goals and objectives and civil society is a must in understanding the role of communication.
According to Wilbur Schramm's (1954), communication is a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning. Furthermore Wilbur (1954) explains that in general, communication is a means of connecting people or places. In business, it is a key function of management. As Benizi (2006) states organizations cannot operate without communication between levels, departments and employees. It is the essence of human interaction and learning. Quality and reliability of communication is depended on the interaction made between two or more parties and the understanding created over that interaction. For decades, man has recognized the importance of communication. Today, with various means by which one can communicate, it has become much easier to communicate a message to the other party, than it was several decades ago. According Warnakulasooriya N. (2003), to every organization, no matter what their expertise and where they are situated and what scale they operate, realize and value the importance of good communication. This communication for organizations takes place both within the organization as well as with other stakeholders outside (Wazid, 2002).Communication today is mainly of three types namely;
' Written communication- in the form of emails, letters, reports, memos and various other documents (Graham, 2000)
' Oral communication- is either face-to-face or over the phone/video conferencing, etc. (Graham, 2000)
' Non-verbal communication ' this is commonly used but often underestimated, communication method which is by using gestures or even simply body movements that are made.(Graham, 2000)
' Therefore, it is vital for any business organization to understand the communication models out there, so they can use them for enhancing effective communication in the organization
The basic flow of communication and the elements in communication process can be seen in Figure 2.1 below. According to this flow, the sender sends a message to the receiver and then they share the feedback.
Careful consideration of the methods of communication is needed for the decision of which method to use for selected purpose because not all communication methods work for all transactions. Due to the importance of communication, different types of models have been introduced by experts over the years (Andrew, 1996). These models help to understand how communication work, how messages are transmitted, how it is received by the other party, and how the message is eventually interpreted and understood.
Belch, Belch and Purani (2013), states that, over the years the basic model has evolved with various elements to the communication process.
According to Belch, Belch and Purani (2013), the major participants of the communication process are sender and the receiver and the major communication tools are the message and the channel. Belch et al; (2013), further elaborates that encoding, decoding, response and feedback are the main communication functions and process. As cited in Figure 2.2, 'Noise' is the last element of the process which refers to any extraneous factors in the system that can interfere with the process and work against the effective communication (Belch, Belch and Purani2013).
Belch, Belch and Purani (2013) defines sender or the source, as a person or organization that has information to share with another person or group of people. The communication process begins when the source selects words, symbols, pictures and the like, to represent the message that will be delivered to the receiver (Belch, Belch and Purani 2013).
They further elaborate that, the process known as encoding, involves putting thoughts, ideas or information into a symbolic form. The senders, goal is to encode the message in such a way that would be understood by the receiver (Belch, Belch and Purani 2013).
Belch Belch and Purani (2013), states that the encoding process leads to development of a message that contains the information or meaning the source / sender hopes to convey. The message can be verbal, nonverbal, oral or written or symbolic. The message must be put in to transmittable form that is appropriate to the channel of communication being used, in advertising this may vary from a simple radio commercial to an expensive television commercial (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013). The channel is the method in which the communication travels from the sender to the receiver. There are two channels of communication which is personal that can be defined as word of mouth, buzz marketing/viral marketing. Non personal communication channels are generally referred to as the mass communication.
The receiver is the person(s) with whom the sender shares thoughts or information. The receiver is the consumer in the target market who read, hear, and or see the message and decode it (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013).Decoding is the process of transforming the sender's message back in to thought (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013). Belch et al; (2013) further states that this process is heavily influenced by the frame of reference and field of experience, which refers to the experience, perception, attitude and values brought to the situation.
The communication message is subject to extraneous factors that can distort or interfere with its reception (Belch, Belch and Purani, 2013). Belch et al; (2013) further states that this unplanned distortion or interference is known as 'Noise'. Errors and problems occurred when encoding the message, distortion of radio and television signal or distraction at the point of reception are some examples.
Belch et al; (2013) states that receiver's reaction after seeing hearing or reading the message is known as response. This can be nonverbal where the information retains in your memory to immediate action, or receive feedback.
This is a finding of David K Berlo (1957) to explain the relationship between the person sending the message and the receiver. According to this model, for the message to be properly encoded and decoded, the communication skills of both the source and the receiver should be at its best and this will happen if the two points are skilled. Berlo's model has four main components and each component has its own sub component describing the assisting factors for each.
According to Schramm (1954) he explains that both the sender and the receiver take turns playing the role of the encoder and the decoder when it comes to communication. The Figure 2.4illustrates the model proposed by Schramm.
According to Laswell (1948) the linear model explains communication as a one-way or linear process in which the speaker speaks and the listener listens. This model was constructed based on the below five questions, which effectively describe how communication works:
The main flaw in the linear model is that it depicts communication as a one-way process where speakers only speak and never listen. It also implies that listeners listen and never speak or send messages. Understanding this base Schramm (1955) in Wood (2009) came out with a more interactive model cited in Figure 2.6 that saw the receiver or listener providing feedback to the sender or speaker. The speaker or sender of the message also listens to the feedback given by the receiver or listener. Both the speaker and the listener take turns to speak and listen to each other. Feedback is given either verbally or non-verbally, or in both ways. This model also indicates that the speaker and listener communicate better if they have common fields of experience, or fields which overlap.
The main drawback in the interactive model is that it does not indicate that communicators can both send and receive messages simultaneously (Messy, 2000). This model also fails to show that communication is a dynamic process which changes over time.The transactional model in Figure 2.7 shows that the elements in communication are interdependent. Each person in the communication acts as both a speaker and a listener, and can be simultaneously sending and receiving messages. There are three implications in the transactional model:
' 'Transactional' means that communication is an ongoing and continuously changing process. You are changing, the people with whom you are communicating are changing, and your environment is also continually changing as well.
' In any transactional process, each element exists in relation to all the other elements. There is this interdependence where there can be no source without a receiver and no message without a source. (Woren, 2002).
' Each person in the communication process reacts depending on factors such as their background, prior experiences, attitudes, cultural beliefs and self-esteem.
Picton et al; (2001) defines marketing communication as 'all the promotional elements of the marketing mix which involve the communications between the organization and its target audience on all matters that effect marketing performance.'
Belch et al (2013), defines promotion as the coordination of all seller- initiated efforts to set up channel information and persuasion in order to sell goods and services and promote and idea. Belch et al; (2013) further states that, the basic tools used to accomplish organizations communication objectives are often referred to as the promotional mix.
According to Philip Kotler (2003) in his book of Principles of Marketing, he explains that communication Mix is the "Promotion" of the Marketing Ps and covers every method and medium of communicating with target audience. In many ways, the communication mix is the heart of organizational marketing strategy around which everything else in sales and marketing is predicated. If business consists of creating value and creating customers, Marketing Communication covers exactly how organizations are going to create customers by taking their value message to the market (Groedchur, 2003).
The traditional components of the marketing communication mix is discussed below and put into perspective for successful marketing to today's consumers by today's business. Although marketing underwent a great transformation similar to that of business as a whole in the twentieth century, the traditional components of the marketing communication process are still in use and important today.
As per Belch, Belch and Purani (2013) elements of the communication mix include 6 elements namely; advertising, direct marketing, personal selling, public relations/ publicity, sales promotion, interactive marketing.
This is the mass media method of marketing communication and provides exposure to the largest, most geographically dispersed audience at the lowest cost per head. That being said, advertising costs can add up quickly with mediums like television, radio and even online advertising which can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses (Peters, 1993). Other traditional forms of paid advertising include newspapers and magazines, the Yellow Pages, billboards, signs and posters. As well as, advertising on buses, benches, and even public restrooms is in vogue today. As Bagozzi (2002) states any medium which provides an opportunity to target "eyes and/or ears" can be a venue for advertising.
This marketing communication competency enables companies to reach out directly to consumers without intermediary channels such as those required for advertising. As Nyre (2006) states this component of the marketing communication process includes direct mail, catalogues, coupons and inserts, telemarketing, online marketing and television infomercials. Done correctly, Direct Marketing is extremely effective in the long run and allows for a targeted marketing approach to specific consumers to create valuable lasting relationships (Churchill, 1991).Direct Marketing is the marketing communication method that enables companies to interact with a relatively large number of customers and encourage a "call to action" or "most wanted response" which is usually a purchase. The downside of Direct Marketing is that it is usually unsolicited and seen as a nuisance by the general public (Buck, 2004). Telemarketing, e-mail spamming and junk mail are universally despised and so Direct Marketing tools should be used with caution.
This is the most dreaded as well as the most expensive of all methods in the marketing communication process. Sales and marketing are vital to the survival of any business and both involve creating customers for the business value created (Miller, 2007). However, if it is a small business owner or otherwise have the ability to personally sell and build relationships with customers, it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of the marketing process, both personally and professionally (Clow, 2002).Just as with traditional marketing, successful selling begins and ends with the customer. As Drolet (2000) states the whole objective is to ascertain needs and create the best solution for customers. Along the way organizations build relationships and continue to gather information about how they can better serve customers which is their reason for being in business in the first place.
Public Relations refer to how organizations handle their relationships and the flow of information with their various "publics" or the people who have a stake in or are affected by their business. According to Erffmeyer (1999) this includes the general public, consumers, shareholders, employees, partners, competitors and the government.PR becomes a more and more crucial element of the marketing communication mix as a business or organization grows larger (Millison, 1993). That being said, it is still a vital component of the marketing communication process to think about for smaller businesses as well. PR tools include press and media releases, lobbying, charitable and public events, advertorials, financial reports, promotional collateral, facility tours, sponsorships, interviews and any other method for the promotion of a positive image to people. Being "people conscious" starts with the individual and carries through to the organization (Dub'', 2003). Once again, people buy from people at the end of the day and the most successful people and organizations are those that benefit other people the most. As with many facets of sales and marketing, PR also has a "good" and "bad" side.
Publicity on the other hand refers to the non-personal communication regarding and organization, product, service or idea not directly paid for or run under identified sponsorship. It's run in the form of new story editorial or announcement about an organization and/or product or service (Belch, Belch and Purani 2013). Belch et al; (2013) state that Publicity can be defined as an attempt to run a favorable story on a product, service, cause or event to affect awareness, knowledge, opinion and or behavior.
This is the last traditional component of the marketing communication mix that is discussed here as a part of the marketing communication process. Sales promotion simply refers to purchase incentives that organizations provide their customers. These can assume a number of forms including offering free goods or services, coupons and vouchers, gifts and prizes, discounts, samples, financial incentives, charitable promotions and any other value-additions over and above your standard product or service. Sales Promotions are generally short-lived; "one off" incentives intended to provide consumers with that last "push" to buy (Malmberg, 2005). The main takeaway is, regardless of the size and type of your business, you should continually look at ways in which to create additional value for customers. Customers will appreciate it and, in fact, customers have been shown to pay premium prices for real value and real service.
Belch, Belch and Purani (2013) states that interactive media allows back-and-forth flow of information where users can participate in and modify the form and content of the information they receive in real time. Interactive media allows receiving and altering information and images, make inquiries, respond to questions and make purchases. This medium can be extended to kiosks, interactive television and mobile phone, which is popularly used in the current market. The interactive nature of the internet is one of advantages, this capability enables marketers to gather valuable personal information from customers and prospects to be able to adjust accordingly. Unlike traditional media digital media allows a for a two way communication, like social media namely: face book, YouTube, Instagram etc.
Belch et al; (2013) points out that a number of models have been developed to depict the stages the consumer may pass through in moving from a state of not being aware of a company or product or service to actual purchase behavior.
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