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The Effectiveness of Car Advertising Media: Perceptions of Generation-Y Consumers


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Car advertising is new and unique form of Out-of-home advertising and presents a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach a variety of targeted audience profiles. This study explores the effectiveness of car advertising from the perspective of Generation Y consumers. The target audience comprises students between the ages of 18 and 30 years at two of the largest residential universities in South Africa. Convenience sampling was used and a total of 400 questionnaires were completed. The results indicated that there is a positive correlation between recall and attention paid to car advertising; between attitudes towards advertising on cars and the recall thereof; and consumer’s general attitude towards advertising and their attitude towards car advertising. It also revealed that car advertising is far from being unnoticed by Generation Y, who, in fact, accepted it better than was anticipated. The findings also implied that the medium is more effective when respondents’ have a more positive attitude towards advertising in general. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p1877
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy
Vol 5 No 20
September 2014
The Effectiveness of Car Advertising Media: Perceptions of Generation-Y Consumers
Thérèse Roux
Tshwane University of Technology
Car advertising is new and unique form of Out-of-home advertising and presents a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach a
variety of targeted audience profiles. This study explores the effectiveness of car advertising from the perspective of
Generation Y consumers. The target audience comprises students between the ages of 18 and 30 years at two of the largest
residential universities in South Africa. Convenience sampling was used and a total of 400 questionnaires were completed. The
results indicated that there is a positive correlation between recall and attention paid to car advertising; between attitudes
towards advertising on cars and the recall thereof; and consumer’s general attitude towards advertising and their attitude
towards car advertising. It also revealed that car advertising is far from being unnoticed by Generation Y, who, in fact, accepted
it better than was anticipated. The findings also implied that the medium is more effective when respondents’ have a more
positive attitude towards advertising in general.
Keywords: alternative media, out-of-home advertising media; car advertising; transit advertising media; out-of-home advertising
media, Generation-Y.
Moving away from just aiming to reach as many potential customers as possible at as low a cost as possible cost,
towards a more audience-centred view has led to the increasing realisation that besides traditional advertising, there are
a variety of alternative media to communicate and build relationships with consumers. Brand-customer touch points are
surely no longer restricted to mass media or traditional advertising, but include each and every potential experience a
customer or prospect has to interact with, or see, or hear about the company and/or its brands (Belch & Belch, 2012, p.
These marketing-created touch points comprise an ever increasing variety, ranging from traditional mass
advertising to direct marketing, sales promotions, events and sponsorships, personal selling and more recently product
placement, branded entertainment, viral-marketing, guerrilla-marketing, event marketing, mobile marketing, in-store
marketing, point-of-purchase displays, social media, cell phone media, internet advertising and transit advertising media
(Belch & Belch, 2012, p. 26; Blakemen, 2007, p. 260, Clow & Baack, 2010, p. 313; Jurca, 2010, p. 323). The primary
focus of this study is on just one of these types of contact points: car advertising media. Car advertising is a part of the
transit advertising media platform within the larger out-of-home (OOH) advertising media class.
Despite the wide variety of contemporary formats and types, OOH advertising has not received the attention it
deserves in the literature. Very limited studies have been published on this topic. Past studies have focused mostly on the
effectiveness of traditional outdoor advertising or free standing billboards (Donthu & Bhargava, 1999; Donthu, Cherian, &
Bhargava, 1993, Nagel & Louw, 2004; Osborne & Coleman, 2008; Pauwels, 2005, Taylor & Franke, 2003; Taylor, Franke
& Bang, 2006, Wilson & Till, 2011; Woodside, 1990) and only recently explored transit advertising media such as taxi
advertising (Veloutsou & O’Donnell, 2005) airport advertising (Wilson & Till, 2008) and advertising at subway train
stations (Chan & Fung, 2103). None of these studies have investigated the effectiveness of car advertising media in an
emerging market such as South Africa.
It will therefore be valuable to explore the effectiveness of car adverting. The apparent gap in the literature on car
advertising means that further research is needed to decipher exactly how this new unique form of OOH advertising
differs from general transit advertising, as well as its relative effectiveness as indicated through constructs such as
unaided recall, attitudes, attention and perceptions.
The focus of this paper is specifically on car advertising media, from the perspective of Generation-Y consumers.
Car advertising, as a type of moving exterior transit advertising media, refers to when a company places its product or
service information, contact details and/or company name on the car itself.
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The perceptions of Generation-Y consumers is explored, since a number of the leading transit advertising media
companies in South Africa offer student car advertising by branding student vehicles with suitable brands to target this
cohort (OHMSA, 2012). Furthermore no previous studies could be found on this unique medium, as studies on
Generation-Y consumers investigated other types of media such as print media, broadcast media, cellular advertising,
internet and social media (Bolton, Parasuraman, Hoefnagels, Migchels, Kabadayi, Gruber, Loureiro, & Solnet, 2013;
Berndt, 2007; Jordaan & Ehlers, 2009; Jordaan, Ehlers, & Grove, 2011).
2.!Literature Review
In this section, Generation Y consumers are reviewed by highlighting their characteristics and their usage and perception
of media vehicles. Then car advertising media are contextualised within OOH advertising and transit advertising, followed
by a discussion on car advertising.
Generation Y or Millennials
Brosdahl and Carpenter’s (2011) used the Generational Cohort Theory (GCT) as a framework to examine the shopping
orientations of US men. They distinguished between four different generational cohorts based on their birth dates: the
Silent Generation (1925-45), the Baby Boomers (1946-60), Generation X (1961-80) and Generation Y (born after 1980).
Generation Y often referred to as Millennials (or even the Facebook-, Hip-hop- or Kwaito generation) are the offspring of
the Baby Boomers or Generation X. The term Generation Y first appeared in an Ad Age editorial in 1993 to describe
teenagers of the day, which they defined as separate from Generation X. There is not (as yet) widespread agreement on
the start and end points for Generation Y. Berndt (2007), included people born between 1977 and 1994 in her study on
the media habits of Generation Y. In 2011, Jordaan, Ehlers, and Grove (2011) included those aged between 18 and 30
years in their study on Generation Y’s perceptions of the credibility of traditional and new media channels. Most studies
consider Generation Y as a single homogeneous cohort; some of these studies compare and contrast Generation Y with
other cohorts such as Generation Y and the Baby Boomers (Brosdahl & Carpenter, 2011; Christofides, Muise, &
Desmarais, 2012).
However, there is likely to be significant heterogeneity within Generation Y in terms of media usage and attitudes.
Researchers therefore typically study Generation Y by focusing on distinct subgroups – high school learners, university
students, university graduates looking for a job, and employees early in their careers who differ in age and lifecycle
stage and, therefore, may differ in their media usage and attitudes (Bolton, Parasuraman, Hoefnagels, Migchels,
Kabadayi, Gruber, Loureiro, & Solnet, 2013, p.25). For the purpose of this study university students aged between 18 and
30 will be surveyed.
The literature has highlighted similarities between the individuals that make up Generation Y, showing that
generally they are highly techno-literate due to early and frequently exposure to technology and social media; well
educated, expecting rapid career advancement and demanding more work/life balance than previous generations;
particularly self-confident about their intelligence, performance and attractiveness; materialistic and receptive to
customised products and personalised services (Bolton et al. 2013; Twenge, 2010; Twenge & Campbell, 2008).
Within South Africa, some researchers have delved into Generation Y consumers’ perception and exposure to
media vehicles. Berndt (2007) determined that only a few respondents exposed themselves to print media, while the
majority of the respondents open themselves up for broadcast media. Jordaan and Ehlers (2009) reported that they use
new media (cell phone media and internet advertising) more frequently than traditional media (print and broadcast
advertising). Conversely, they regard the credibility of traditional media higher compared to those of new media such as
cellular advertising and internet media (Jordaan, Ehlers, & Grove, 2011). However no research has been published on
how this generation feel about car advertising, a meduim often used to target them specifically (OHMSA, 2012).
OOH advertising media
OOH advertising media comprise of four major media platforms: (1) outdoor advertising; (2) transit media advertising; (3)
street- and retail-furniture advertising; and more recently, (4) digital and ambient OOH media channels (Roux, Van der
Waldt, and Ehlers, 2013, p. 383). Globally, outdoor advertising media expenditure is predicted to reach US$32,4 billion
(R339, 573 billion) in 2016 (Magna Global, 2011:24). Nielson Media Research (2012) reports that more than R1,6 billion
(152 297 600 US $) was spent on OOH advertising media in South Africa during 2012, with R868 977 000 (82 714 445
US$) of spending on outdoor advertising or billboards representing the largest share of approximately 54%. The second
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largest category was transit media with R266 276 000 (25 345 747US$) or 16,68%, followed by street and retail furniture
advertising such as signs, benches and kiosks at R264 216 000 (25 227 079 US$) or 16,54%) and alternative OOH
advertising media types (advertisements painted on walls - 3,13%; electronic signage - 1,54%; premise signage - 0,02%;
stadia promotions - 0,04%). Recently this media landscape has expanded even more, to include a variety of new transit
advertising media options such as at the Gautrain station, the bus-rapid transit system and digital advertising in minibus
taxis and at ranks (Roux et al., 2013, p. 391).
The OOH advertising media sector will continue to grow and diversify over the next decades, not only because of
its cost-effectiveness, but also because it seems to be the only available realm from which to reach progressively elusive
consumers, and the ideal anchor of integrated marketing communication (IMC) campaigns (Lopez-Pumarejo and Myles,
2009, p. 38).
Transit advertising media
Transit advertising media consist of moving transit media and static or stationary advertising (Roux et al., 2013, p. 390).
Moving transit media include displays affixed to the outside or inside of moving vehicles, trains, buses, taxis or cars.
Static or stationary advertising is positioned in the common areas of train stations, taxi ranks, terminals and airports.
Belch and Belch (2012) distinguish between two types of moving transit advertising media: Interior and exterior (p. 452).
Interior transit advertising is aimed at the commuters riding inside the buses, trains, and taxis. Exterior transit advertising,
on the side, front or rear of vehicles, is aimed at pedestrians in the streets and people in nearby cars. Interior transit
advertising exposes a captive audience to the message for a longer period of time, while inside a bus, train or taxi. Since
the time of exposure to the message is longer than that, for example, in outdoor advertising, it may be used for a longer
or more complicated message to the target market (Moriarty, Mitchell, & Wells, 2012, p. 367).
Transit advertising is effective for advertisers who wish to target commuter that live and work in major metropolitan
areas. It is considered to be an effective means of delivering wide coverage to a large number of people, as well as
detailed, repetitive messaging, by placing it on specific routes, or at specific stations (Moriarty et al., 2012, p. 367). Transit
advertising media can also be used creatively; and have the potential to bring the advertiser’s message straight to a wide
variety of commuters, where outdoor advertising may be restricted or not as effective (Du Plooy, 2012, p. 286).
Transit advertising is not without limitations. It often has to compete for attention with potential distracting stimuli in
the transit environment, and can result in wasted media coverage to people who are not part of the target market (Sissors
& Baron, 2010, p. 266). It can also be difficult for advertisers to use transit media to engage with daily commuters,
because they can be tired, bored or too absorbed in their thoughts to even notice a message (O’Guinn, Allen, and
Semenik, 2000, p. 588).
A way to overcome some of the limitations is to employ transit advertising as a secondary or support advertising
medium, since it works best in conjunction with other mediums, such as television and radio (Veloutsou and O’Donnell,
2005, p. 218). Transit advertising can also be combined with radio advertising (Gray, 2008); or mobile phones to generate
feedback that allows advertisers to examine those who are viewing and interacting with the messages (Wayne, 2010).
Advertising on cars
Car advertising differs from other types of OOH advertising media. Outdoor advertising media or billboards are static and
consist of advertisements on larger format free-standing displays, next to the road and on buildings, walls and other
constructions, typically used to reach the mass market or large number of travellers in vehicular traffic (OHMSA, 2012).
Unlike other mass transit advertising media vehicles such as busses and trains that are limited to specific routes, a car
generally has no boundaries and can virtually travel anywhere. In South Africa mass transit advertising media are mainly
used to reach a broad commuter market, while car advertising offers opportunities for advertisers to reach very specific
consumer segments. This is achieved by matching the car owners’ lifestyles with the target market of the product or
service being advertised (Du Plooy, 2012, p. 265).
There are a wide variety of different measures to assess the effectiveness of advertising and media (Belch and
Belch, 2012, p. 157; Moriarty et al., 2012, p. 581; O’Guinn et al., 2012, p. 266; Shimp, 2010, p. 288). Furhermore the
measuring of advertising effectiveness can be complex, because of inter-related factors that contribute to the ultimate
success. Hence, advertising effectiveness tends to be evaluated through other measurement constructs, such as unaided
recall, attitudes, attention and change in perceptions or attitudes (Belch and Belch, 2012, p. 157; Moriarty et al., 2012, p.
581; O’Guinn et al., 2012, p. 225; Shimp, 2010, p. 288).
Contemporary consumers live in an increasingly cluttered media environment. Therefore grabbing their attention is
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often crucial for effective delivery of a marketing message. By definition, attention reflects the level of focus given to an
advertisement, specifically, whether advertisement processing is a primary or secondary task. As attention increases,
more working memory or short-term memory capacity is allocated to the stimulus or advertisement (Smith & Yang, 2004,
p. 40).
Often, the more creative the advertisement or novel the medium, the more attention will be paid to it. Since
advertising on cars is a relatively new and creative form of transit advertising, it is probable that it will attract additional
attention as it imparts information in an entertaining and interesting way (West, Kover, and Caruana, 2008, p. 35). Baack,
Wilson, and Till (2008) also suggests that creative advertising on alternative media leads to greater processing of
information at a deeper level, because it can attract more attention. Since it attracts more attention it is likely that it will
also lead to greater recall of the advertisement (p. 87). Donthu, Cherian and Bhargava (1993) proved a correlation
between the attention given to an outdoor advertisement and the ability to recall that particular advertisement.
Measures of aided and unaided recall are used to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising or components of the
advertising message, such as size, colour, headings, visuals or slogans to influences brand awareness and brand-
related concepts. The theory is that memorable advertisements, placed in a medium at the right time and place, would
probably be most effective (O’Guinn et al., 2012, p. 257). Recall is one of the widely used measures of effectiveness. It
has been used to measure the effectiveness of several OOH advertising media types (Bhargava et al., 1994; Berneman
& Kasparian, 2003; Donthu et al., 1993; Turley & Shannon, 2000), including transit advertising media (Baack et al., 2008;
Chan & Fung, 2103; Predergast & Hang, 1999; Wilson & Till, 2008). This study focused on the measurement of unaided
recall of advertising on cars. Unaided recall refers to where a person is asked to remember information without
assistance, in other words, in a spontaneous manner.
Related to recall is the level of attention paid to the advertising medium. Attention is often subconscious; therefore
the information or message is often left unprocessed in the mind of the consumer. A higher the level of attention paid to
an advertising medium can increase the level of conscious noting and thus lead to higher level of awareness (Ehrenberg
et al., 2002, p. 8). It is only when more attention is given to a particular advertisement that deeper processing will occur
(Baack et al., 2008, p. 86), and thus the advertisement will be more likely to be recalled. Therefore, it can be said that the
more attention given to an advertising medium, the better the chances that recall will occur.
This study explores the effect that the degree of attention given to cars advertising has on the ability to recall the
advertising. The following hypothesis is stated:
!H01: There is no correlation between the unaided recall of advertisements on cars and the amount of attention
given to the advertisements.
!H1: There is a correlation between the unaided recall of advertisements on cars and the amount of attention
given to the advertisements.
There is more to the effectiveness of an advertising medium than the respondent’s ability to recall the
advertisement. The target audience’s feelings and perceptions also need to be taken into consideration when determining
the effectiveness of advertising media (Veloutsou & O’Donnell, 2005, p. 223). Dahlén and Edenius (2007, p. 42) found
that new and creative advertising formats such as placing an advertising message in a non-traditional advertising medium
result in more favourably attitude towards the message conveyed. Furhermore studies in developed countries (Eun &
Kim, 2009; Veloutsou & O’Donnell, 2005), as well emerging countries (Du Plooy & Du Plessis, 2011; Nagel & Louw,
2004) have tested and confirmed the effectiveness of OOH advertising on this attitudinal level. Consumer’s attitudes can
influence how consumers respond to an advertisement and remember it (Prendergast & Hang, 1999, p. 36). Furhermore,
Osborne and Coleman (2008) and Donthu et al. (1993) found that consumers with a more favourable attitude to
advertising were likely to recall more outdoor advertisements. Thus consumers who have a more positive attitude towards
advertising in general should recall more car advertisements than those with a negative attitude. Therefore, the concepts
of recall and attitudes are related, and both can be used to measure the effectiveness of an advertisement.
The second hypothesis for this paper is suggested:
!H02: There is no correlation between attitudes towards car advertising and unaided recall of the advertising.
!H2: There is a correlation between attitudes towards car advertising and unaided recall of the advertising.
Consumers’ perceptions of and attitudes towards advertising are also key indicators of advertising effectiveness.
There has lately been an increase in measuring consumers’ attitudes to advertising and the impact on the brand, as a
result of the trend of more advertising directed at emotional and attitudinal responses, rather than just conveying factual
information about product features (Shimp, 2010, p. 297). This is in line with Zarantonello, Jedidi and Schmitt (2013) who
found that advertising which evokes sensations, feelings, and imaginations drive persuasion (p.35). Thus, people’s
attitudes towards advertising in general can possibly influence their acceptability of new forms of advertising, such as
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advertising on cars. Furthermore consumers’ perceptions of advertising in general can influence how they are likely to
perceive or react to other advertising media such as car advertising.
Based on this explanation the third hypothesis for this paper is suggested:
!H03: There is no correlation between attitudes toward advertising in general and perceptions of advertising on
!H3: There is a correlation between attitudes toward advertising in general and perceptions of advertising on
The rest of the paper is organised as follows. Firstly, the methodology, the key measures, and the results of the
study are described. Next, the findings, limitations and implications for theory and practice are presented.
3.!Research Methodology
Sampling and data collection
The study population consisted of full time students in any year, registered at two of the largest residential universities in
South Africa. A quantitative strategy of inquiry in the form of survey research was used. Personal interviews in
conjunction with a structured questionnaire formed part of the data collection process.
A pilot test of the questionnaire was done amongst a convenience sample of 20 respondents with similar
characteristics as those consumers that were targeted in the main part of the study. The pilot study allowed for
consideration of the length of the questionnaire, clarity of instructions, layout and flow of questions.
The selection of an appropriate sampling method is largely depended on the objectives of the study, the financial
resources available, time limitations, as well as the nature of the problem under investigation. For these reasons a
jugement sample was used for the study. University students were intercepted on the selected campuses and the
fieldworkers explained the purpose of the survey and when a respondent indicated willingness to participate, the
questionnaire was handed over for completion. A total of 400 questionnaires, equally distributed between both campuses,
were completed and used for the data analysis.
Due to the lack of published research on the effectiveness of advertising on cars, the objectives of this study were
achieved through the replication and extension of research instruments used in previous studies on the effectiveness of
other types of mobile transit advertising mediums, specifically cab advertising (Veloutsou & O’Donnell, 2005) and minibus
taxi advertising (Du Plooy & Du Plessis, 2011). A 5-point Likert scale was used to measure respondent’s attitudes
towards advertising and car advertising as well as attention paid towards car advertising media. A high score on this
scale indicated a positive opinion and vice versa, a low score on the scale indicated a negative opinion. The study
adopted Cronbach’s alpha to analyse the reliability of the data. The results showed that the scales had good Cronbach’s
alpha reliability scores (Attitudes towards advertising in general 0,81; Attitudes towards car advertising 0,74; Attention
paid towards car advertising 0,72).
The data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS Version 16.0 for Windows).
The data were subjected to descriptive statistics utilizing minimum, maximum, mean, standard deviation, as well as
hypotheses testing.
The main results and findings are henceforth presented.
4.!Findings and Discussion
Descriptive analysis
Table 1 presents the demographic profile of the respondents included in this study. The sample was slightly dominated by
male respondents (57%) Age groups were distributed as follows 18-20 years old (42%); 21-23 years old (26%); 24-26
years old (15%), 27-30 years old (17%). Most of the respondents (58%) indicated that they speak an African language at
home, while the rest were English (22%) or Afrikaans speaking (18%).
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Table 1. Sample profile
Gender: Male 227 57
Female 173 43
Age group: 18
20 168 42
23 104 26
26 60 15
30 68 17
Home language:
fricans 232 58
frikaans 80 20
The results of the recall of car advertising questions identified that 71.7% of respondents have seen a car advertisement
in the two weeks preceding the completion of the questionnaire. Sixty percent of the respondents who saw a car
advertisement were able to recall the brand name on the car. The brand names that we’re recalled the most are DSTV
and Red Bull, with 17.6% and 16.2% respectively of all the brand names recalled.
The mean (M) of the composite score for the attitude towards advertising (M = 3.7) suggests respondents have
relative positive attitude towards advertising in general (see table 2). Respondents indicated that advertising informs them
about products (M = 4.02, SD = 0.94), that they find advertising entertaining (M = 3.98, SD = 0.96) and that I often try a
new product because of an advertisement (M = 4.01, SD = 1.22). Respondents however disagreed that they switch
brands because of an advertisement (M = 2.79, SD = 1.16).
When considering the attitude towards car advertising, the mean composite (total) score (M = 3,63) also suggest
relative positive attitudes towards car advertising. Respondents’ answers to the statement “The concept of car advertising
is a "novel" one” (M = 4.05, SD = 0.86) suggests that respondents regard this type of advertising as new. The standard
deviation reveal that there are a narrow spread of responses to this question. In other words, respondents tended to
answer this question in more or less the same way.
The mean composite score of the attention paid to car advertising (M = 3.19) suggests that car advertising is
neither effective nor ineffective. Respondents did disagree with the statement “I remember car advertisements more than
advertisements in other media (M = 2.75, SD = 1.32) advertisements.
Table 2. Means and standard deviations of the scales used
NMean Std. Dev.
Attitudes towards advertising in general 400 3,70 1,04
dvertisements help me learn about products 400 4,02 0,94
I find ads entertaining 400 3,94 0,96
I buy mostly well-known products 400 3,98 1,0
dvertisements are a necessary part of our society 400 3,84 0,97
I think most advertisements are irritating (reversed scored) 400 3,22 1,06
I often try a new product because of an advertisement 400 4,01 1,22
I often switch brands because of an advertisement 400 2,79 1,16
Attitudes towards car advertising 400 3,63 1,13
I am familiar with the brand names advertised on cars 400 3,72 1,06
I like to look at cars covered with creative advertisements 400 3,95 1,23
The concept of car advertising is a "novel" one 400 4,05 0,86
I look at cars completely covered in an advertisement more than others 400 3,64 1,23
I have spoken to other people about car advertising I have seen 400 2,81 1,28
Attention paid towards car advertising by regular commuters 400 3.19 0.92
I often notice advertisements on passing cars 400 3.57 1.08
I often read advertisements on cars 400 3.38 1.17
I pay attention to the emergence of new car advertisements 400 3.07 1.18
I remember car advertisements more than advertisements in other media 400 2.75 1.32
Table 3 shows the descriptive statistics for the individual elements of advertisements recalled. It can be seen that
‘Pictures/photos’ were recalled the most (N = 284), with followed by ‘colours’ (N = 218). ‘Letter types’ were the least
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recalled (N = 16). For each brand or company name recalled, most of the respondents recalled at least two individual
Table 3. Descriptive statistics for individual elements of advertisements on cars
Elements of advertisements
Minimum Maximum
Colours 218 1 6
Symbols 126 1 4
Phone numbers 66 1 4
Pictures/photos 284 1 4
Letter types 16 1 2
Writing recalled 82 1 5
N = Number of respondents
Table 4 indicates the ranking of eight major advertising media tested. It indicates that the respondents regard television
advertising as the most successful in communicating a commercial message (Sum = 2620). Advertising on cars is the
fourth most successful in communicating a message (Sum = 1626). Finally, SMS advertising (Sum = 1084) and hand-
outs at robots are perceived to be the least successful (Sum = 956).
Table 4. Ranking of advertising media
Television advertising 400 2620
Radio advertising 400 2104
Print advertising 400 1818
Car branding/advertising on cars 400 1626
Social media 400 1432
dvertising on websites 400 1350
SMS advertising 400 1084
Hand-outs at robots 400 956
N = Number of respondents
Hypotheses testing
The hypotheses were tested at a 5% level of significance (i.e., = 0.05). For Hypothesis 1, 2 and 3 the Pearson’s product
moment correlation was used. Since the variables were measured at an interval level of measurement, the suitable
parametric test is the Pearson’s product moment correlation, and the non-parametric alternative is Spearman’s rank order
correlation (Diamantopoulos & Schlegelmilch, 2000). However, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test indicated that variables in
all the cases didn’t have a normal distribution. Therefore, the assumption of normality is violated. As a result, Spearman’s
rank order correlation was used to test all the hypotheses.
Hypothesis 1
Hypothesis H1 dealt with whether respondents ability to recall an advertisement on a car is related to the level of
attention they give to advertising on cars. The results indicate that there is a positive correlation between the unaided
recall of advertising on cars and the attention given to car advertising by the respondents. The coefficient of
determination, r2, indicates that the two variables share a 38.1% common variance. This implies that 38.1% of the
variance in the one variable is explained by the variance in the other.
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Table 5. Spearman’s rank order correlations for hypothesis 1
Correlation Coefficient 0.312
p-value (two-tailed) 0.000
N 400
Coefficient of determination (r2)0.381
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
The implications of these findings are that respondents’ scores on the unaided recall scale are positively correlated with
their scores on the attention towards car branding/advertising on cars scale. This correlation was significant. As a result,
the hypothesis H1 was accepted.
Hypothesis 2
Hypothesis H2 dealt with whether respondents’ attitudes towards car advertising are correlated with their ability to recall
these advertisements. The results indicate that there is a positive, correlation between attitudes towards advertising on
cars and the unaided recall of car advertising, rs = 0.24, p = 0.001 (two-tailed). The coefficient of determination, r2,
indicates that the two variables share a 24.1% common variance. This implies that 38.6% of the variance in the one
variable is explained by the variance in the other.
Table 6. Spearman’s rank order correlations for hypothesis 2
Correlation Coefficient 0.386
p-value (two-tailed) 0.000
N 400
Coefficient of determination (r2)0.241
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
The implications of these findings are that respondents’ scores on the attitude scale are positively correlated with their
scores on the unaided recall of car branding/advertising on cars scale. This correlation was also significant. As a result,
the hypothesis H2 was accepted.
Hypothesis 3
Hypothesis 3 focused on whether there is a correlation between consumer’s general attitude towards advertising and
their attitude towards car advertising. The results shown that there is a positive correlation between the consumer’s
attitude towards advertising in general and their attitude towards car advertising, rs = 0.446, p < 0.0005 (two tailed). The
coefficient of determination, r2, indicates that 33.6% of the variance in the attitude towards advertising can be explained
by the variance in the attitude towards car advertising.
Table 7. Spearman’s rank order correlations for hypothesis 3
Correlation Coefficient 0.334
p-value (two-tailed) 0.000
N 400
Coefficient of determination (r2)0.336
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
These results show that there is a positive correlation between the two variables, but although it is significant, it is a
relative weak correlation. As a result, the hypothesis H3 was also accepted.
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5.!Managerial Implications and Suggestions for Future Research
Advertising on cars offers advertisers a novel and creative way to get their advertising messages across, however it might
not be a particularly good advertising medium for smaller and more private businesses as these companies tend to
display very detailed information such as phone numbers, addresses and business information.
Another implication is that since this advertising medium is often ‘in motion’ the advertising messages on cars
should be kept simple in order to ensure effective delivery. Advertisers should avoid clutter and should rather provide
limited detail related to the advertised brand. In this way, advertising on cars should be used as a supporting advertising
medium and should be used in collaboration with more traditional mediums.
It is also important to note that unlike mass transit media vehicles, cars are not limited to specific routes. They do
have the ability to travel specific routes in order to target specific audiences. Therefore advertising on cars can be used
effectively to target very specific audiences such as university students based on the routes that they travel and the
lifestyle of drivers of the cars.
The focus of this study has been on car advertising from the perspective of the Y-generation, more specifically
university students. Research therefore could be extended to include other distinct subgroups within this cohort, such as
high school learners and employees early in their careers, as well as other cohorts such as Generation Y and the Baby
Boomers. It might be sensible to extend the study to consider the impact of car advertsing on other specific audience
profiles at at places of convergence such as close to office parks, shopping centres and malls and schools. Another
worthwhile future research agenda would be to investigate the effectiveness of car advertising to obtain different
marketing communication objectives, such as the introduction of new brand versus reiteration of established brands; or
the integration of car advertising with other media in an integrated marketing communication campaign.
Future studies on this topic could be to explore exactly which individual elements make car advertising on cars
effective. This would provide advertisers and practitioners with valuable information as to what works and what does not.
Another recommendation would be to determine whether the brand of the car used for advertising influences the
effectiveness of the message to be conveyed.
6.!Concluding Remarks
This study explored the effectiveness of car advertising, as a specific type of transit advertising media. Advertising
effectiveness is a complex construct to measure; it therefore tends to be measured through other measurement concepts,
such as unaided recall, attitudes, attention and perceptions. There has been little very research conducted on the
effectiveness of advertising on cars. Current research has mainly focused on outdoor advertising and some other forms
of public transit advertising mediums. This study therefore served to bridge this apparent gap in the existing literature.
With respect to unaided recall of individual elements the results indicated that respondents could recall pictures
and colours the most. This implies that these elements attract the most attention and are therefore most recalled on an
unaided basis. From the results it can be deduced that advertisements on cars are most effective in terms of recall and
attention if the focus is on specific colours and eye-catching designs. This is in line with previous studies, which indicated
that creative eye catching advertisements facilitate recall (Baack et al., 2008; Chan & Fung, 2103). Thus, the creative use
of individual elements in advertisements and avoidance of clutter, in the form of unnecessary information can be used to
increase the attention grabbing capability of advertising on cars.
With regard to the Generation Y’s attitudes towards advertising on cars and the ability to recall the advertisement,
the results showed that there was a significant correlation between the two constructs. The results indicated that those
respondents’ who had favourable attitudes towards advertising on cars were more able to recall several advertisements
on cars. According to Veloutsou and O’Donnell (2005) it is not common for people to express positive attitudes towards
any particular advertising medium. Therefore in this study, it is surprising that respondents’ showed rather favourable
attitudes towards advertising on cars. This might be due to Generation-Y considering this to be a relatively new and novel
advertising medium. Previous studies state that positive attitudes towards advertising in general lead to greater recall of
advertisements than those with a negative attitude (Osborne & Coleman, 2008; Donthu et al., 1993, Prendergast & Hang,
1999). The results of this study also indicated a definite relationship between attitudes towards car advertising and the
ability to recall advertising on cars.
The results showed that respondents’ perceptions towards advertising in general were positively correlated with
their perceptions of advertising on cars. This result was however expected as according to Veloutsou and O’Donnell
(2005) perceptions of advertising in general can have an influence the acceptability of new forms of advertising, such as
advertising on cars. Since perceptions towards advertising on cars were relatively positive, this is a good indicator of the
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effectiveness of the medium because perceptions can be one of the major barriers to effective advertising. As
perceptions are one of the most reliable measures of effectiveness (Veloutsou & O’Donnell, 2005), this study showed that
advertising on cars is effective as a transit advertising medium from the Y generations’ perspective.
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Out-of-home (OOH) advertising media have expanded worldwide and the shape and format of these media globally, as well as in South Africa, have changed considerably. Until recently, the OOH advertising media landscape consisted primarily of outdoor advertising or billboards reaching vehicular traffic, but now has expanded to include a wide range of OOH advertising media types which aim to reach a mobile audience wherever they live, work, play, drive, shop or commute. Currently there is no coherent contemporary framework to compare and select the most effective media options to reach a selected target market in a specific OOH audience environment. This article draws from academic and practitioner sources to propose a classification framework for OOH advertising media in South Africa comprising four major platforms: outdoor advertising, transit media advertising, street-and-retail furniture advertising, and digital and ambient OOH media channels. The framework serves to inform marketers of viable and cost-effective traditional and contemporary OOH advertising media options. It also indicates what platforms are appropriate to reach specific audiences effectively in a variety of environments outside their homes. This is the first framework of its kind for the South African context that offers an orderly, integrated basis for future research.
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Can outdoor advertising substantially influence in purchase rates? The answer in brief: the limited evidence from field experiments indicates that outdoor advertising is likely to increase sales. The evidence from survey research studies in the form of verbal reports indicates substantial increases in shopper/visitor traffic and purchase rates associated with the use of outdoor advertising signs. However, only two published and no unpublished studies could be found that include the use of true experimental or quasi-experimental designs to learn the effects of outdoor advertising on purchase rates. Research on the sales effects of another form of advertising media signage is available for comparing the relative quality of outdoor advertising effectiveness studies. Telling evidence does exist indicating that indoor (point-of-purchase) advertising increases purchase rates. A substantial number of field studies using true experimental and quasi-experimental designs are needed to provide similar hard evidence that outdoor advertising works. Some suggestions for using such research designs are provided for the outdoor advertising industry.
Young adult consumers have grown up with computers, with a resultant overspill in new media applications such as the internet, email, blogging, twitter and social networks. In view of this, marketers have to ensure that they understand these consumers’ wants and needs and are knowledgeable on how to get their messages across to them. The objectives of the study are to establish the media usage of traditional versus new media, as well as the usage of internet versus print media. The study also aims to determine whether online purchasers will show increased likelihood to purchase online and whether online purchasing will appeal more to males or females. The target audience included students between 18 and 24 years at one of South Africa’s largest residential universities. Convenience sampling resulted in 1 298 completed questionnaires. The results indicate that young adult consumers use new media more frequently than traditional media. Respondents with online shopping experience displayed a higher online purchasing likelihood than those who have not used this medium before. Male consumers are more likely to purchase online than their female counterparts. The study emphasises the importance of understanding the role of media in building an effective communication platform to meet the changing needs and desires of young adult consumers. Key words: media, new media, traditional media, online, purchase intent, internet
The authors report results of two field experiments that tested the sales response to outdoor advertising. The experiments manipulated the media weight by location (spatial effects), promotion message, and the effects of incorporating outdoor advertising in multiple-media campaigns. The first study showed that, in addition to the weight of the outdoor media, the temporal, spatial, and promotional effects were significant. The second study showed that outdoor media have spatial effectiveness when used as a part of a multimedia campaign. These results confirm that sales response to outdoor advertising is immediate but mediated by location of exposure and other elements of the marketing plan.
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