The current news media, like CNN, primarily give out information through briefings, newsfeeds and news bulletins. Apart from this, they also conduct advertising, product promotion and product endorsement. Advertisement requires a lot of wooing and convincing the buyers to prefer the advertised commodity over its supplement or complement (Cohen &Dromi, 2018). The media utilizes three essential theories in executing this task; the cognitive dissonance theory, the theory of planned behavior and the expectancy-value theory. These three theories significant on the attitude, belief, behavior, and knowledge of the prospective consumer; the aspects that can make the advertising process a success or doomed.
The cognitive dissonance theory is a postulate referring to the state of the mind's confusion associated with conflicting beliefs, attitudes or behaviors. This inconsistency causes disharmony and to bring back harmony and consistency, the belief, attitude or behavior must be altered or completely changed. Companies and firms produce complementary or supplementary commodities to counter their competition, and they even go ahead to brand them. A consumer s therefore bombarded with the same type of product from two different companies with different flavors, tastes or scents. The consumer is immediately expected to have an internal conflict between the two commodities. The news media must consider this fact to secure a safe position, were the attitudes or beliefs of the consumer were to change.
Supposing these two commodities already exist in the market, and the media is trying to introduce a third similar but modified one? According to cognitive dissonance, the drive towards agreement can be in the form of abandoning the former belief, attitude or behavior and adapting to a new one. This agreement can be achieved through the acquisition of further information that will outweigh and surpass the dissonant. The new commodity will come in as the latest information, and the consumer will opt to shift to that commodity to avoid the dissonance caused by the already existing two. Decision making is primarily associated with inconsistency, and the advertising firm should be aware of this and ensure that were there to be any changes, it will be to their advantage.
Secondly, the news media must utilize the theory of planned behavior. This theory suggests that their intention to it influences the action of an individual. The aim is in turn controlled by their attitude towards the behavior and their subjective norm. This theory incorporates six aspects that influence behavior; attitude, intention, subjective norms, social norms perceived power, and behavior control. These aspects must accompany a behavior execution or change. Advertising aims at informing a consumer about their product but more importantly to change the consumption habit of the target consumer to suit their product.
Before any other aspect is tackled, the social norm and subjective norms are the two behavioral aspects that the individual has no control over (Gachter, Nosenzo, &Sefton, 2013). The commodity advertised must align positively to these aspects, that is, be socially acceptable and ethical. The consumer should not be incriminated for taking the product, or feel that it will be unacceptable or offensive to their peers and families. The intention to a behavior lies heavily on the attitude towards this behavior. Many advertising agencies anticipate a change in the choice of the consumer and leave out the attitude part of it. The news media firsts eradicate all doubt on the product, attaches emotional value to it and targets the attitude of the consumer to ensure that they are close to initiating a change of consumption habit and preference. Without taking all these aspects into keen observation, the advertisement could be targeting a change in behavior, but the consumer does not intend to change it.
Lastly, the media has to capture the expectations of the prospective customers in their product. Many and unsatisfied businesses start up by identifying a gap in the market, and likewise, an advertisement can be successful by identifying untapped customer expectations. The expectancy-value theory assumes that the human behavior is a combination of their expectancies and the value they have (Trautwein et al., 2012). Human beings are goal-oriented, and their response aligns with their goals and expectations. Attitudes, behaviors and behavioral intentions are a function of expectancy and its evaluation. A good example is manual shopping versus online shopping. A consumer might be too bored or tired or going to shopping malls and thereby expect to have to shop without necessarily being at the mall. The next online shop that will open will directly influence that consumer and change their shopping behavior.
The media are perfectly aware of this theory, and they work diligently to ensure they do not disappoint the expectations of their prospective customers. The most recent development has been the production of a sugar-free coca cola drink. Many coca cola customers have wished to consume the product, but maybe due to medical reasons or preferences, they expected a sugar-free drink rather than the ones with sugar. By meeting this expectation, coca cola won over the customer they might have lost hadn't they met their expectations.
Cohen, Andrew C. &Dromi, Shai M. (2018) "Advertising morality: maintaining moral worth in a stigmatized profession." Theory & Society. 47 (2): 175-206.
Gachter, Simon, Nosenzo, Daniele, &Sefton, Martin (2013). "Peer Effects in Pro-Social Behavior: Social Norms or Social Preferences?" Journal of the European Economic Association. 11 (3): 548-573
Trautwein, U., Marsh, H. W., Nagengast, B., Ludtke, O., Nagy, G., &Jonkmann, K. (2012). Probing for the multiplicative term in modern expectancy-value theory: A latent interaction modeling study. Journal of educational psychology, 104(3), 763-777
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