Mgbakoigba: Journal of African Studies

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Factors that influence advertising design ideation

DS Usman, AD Olatunde


Late capitalism has compelled the global economy to rely inevitably, more than ever before, on advertisement to take products to the doorsteps of potential consumers. Consequently, local and global corporations employ all manner of advertising media to achieve their end. Outdoor media, that have an advantage of large audience, is preferred by most manufacturers. As commonly observed in any area of design, there are roles that guide ideation, encoding and presentation of visual information to target audiences in a way that breaks cultural bounds and communication barriers. The ability of target audiences to decode visual messages depends upon certain factors chief among them are: product display and strong/precise caption. This paper examines the unconventional approach to product advertisement adopted by the British American Tobacco (BAT) Plc in Nigeria wherein caption and product display is eliminated. Juxtaposing the syntheses of the conventional and the unconventional approaches on one hand, and the ability of a target audience whose visual literacy is low on the other, the paper concludes that the adoption of unconventional advertising approach to tobacco products in compliance to the World Health Organisation (WHO) has, to a very large extent, reduced the effectiveness of BAT adverts in Nigeria and other developing countries where visual literacy and the ability to interpret visual metaphor is rather low.

Keywords: Product advertisement, product display/caption, target audience encoding and decoding.

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