Does Television Advertising Make A Difference

Does Television Advertising Make A Difference: A Critical Literature Review



Despite the advancement in technology and growth in digital market, television is still the main avenue for advertising food products. Globally, television food related advertisements promote food products such as sugary cereals as well as beverages. In the recent times, television advertising is threatened by digital advertising and hence the aim of this study was to discuss whether television advertisements make a difference in marketing with focus marketing to children. The study was based on AIDA and hierarchy of effects models of advertising. Descriptive research design was used in the study influenced by qualitative research methods. Systematic literature review research strategy was used whereby data was collected from a wide range of references with relevant information. The study findings indicated that television commercials attract attention of children and influence their consumer behaviours as well as promoting their food preferences.

Table of Contents


1.1      Overview.. 5

1.2      Statement of Problem and Identification of Variables. 6

1.3      Significance of the Problem.. 6

1.4      Research Objectives. 7

1.5      Definitions. 8

1.6      Assumptions and Limitations of the Research. 8

1.7      Research Justification. 9

1.8      Organization of the Dissertation. 9


2.1      Introduction. 10

2.2      Framework for the Literature Review.. 10

2.3      Children and TV Food Advertisements. 13

2.4      Marketing Techniques and Consumer Behaviours. 14

2.5      Effects of TV advertisements on Food Preferences among Children. 16

2.6      Chapter Summary. 16


3.1      Determination of Research Design. 18

3.2      Research Design. 18

3.3      Data Collection. 19


4.1      Demographics of the Population. 21

4.2      Impacts of Television Advertisements on Children Attention. 21

4.3      Effects of Food Television Advertisements on Consumer Behaviours of Children. 22

4.4      TV Advertisements Promote Food Preferences among Children. 23

4.5      Summary. 23


5.1      Summary. 24

5.2      Conclusion. 24

5.3      Recommendations. 25

5.4      Implications and Limits of Generalizability of Findings. 26





    • Overview

It is widely recognized that free and independent media is imperative for democracy and society. Despite that media independence can be jeopardized in various ways and directions, the recent studies both academically and in business field have shown that commercial media biases is an important concern (Faraday, Vijayalakshmi, Vasantha, Kanchana & Lawrence 2016). The conflict between the audiences and advertisers regarding the media contents and the target market is the main source of media biases. For instance, the media may prefer that the advertisers do not critically report about their products. A good example is the issues touching on safety and health issues of people. For instance, advertisement of junk foods among children, alcohol products, and food and drink- related behaviours and attitudes among the adult populations.

Communication and promotion form an important part of marketing in any organization. Organizations promote their products and services in the market in order to reach out as many customers as possible and hence increase their revenues (Aleathia 2008). There are various marketing strategies and forms used in the market. Advertising is one form of promotion used by companies and television advertisement is the most used promotional method. Despite that everything seems to be moving towards the online direction, TV advertisement is still a force to reckon.

For instance, more than 90% of households in Australia have digital TVs and on average, Australians spend about three hours in from of a television on a daily basis. There is research suggesting that television advertising is still the most effective form of marketing with more than 14 million Australia’s finest tuned to commercial television programming in 2012 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016). Therefore, television advertisements reach out as many people in Australia as possible. Based on this information therefore, the aim of the study is to explore whether TV advertisements make a difference among the audiences.

  • Statement of Problem and Identification of Variables

This study focused on marketing foods and drinks. There is a great concern regarding the increasing rate of consumption of unhealthy food preferences especially among the children as influenced by television food advertisements. Over a decade, the issue of the influence of TV food advertisements has attracted extensive research. According to Anderson and Anderson (2010), most of the advertising to children is characterized by products high in fat, salt, and sugar which are harmful to children’s health. There is a concern that television viewing especially among the children contributes significantly towards the problem of children’s unhealthy diet.

There is little or no research on other food promotion strategies than television adverting which may influence consumer buying behaviours. Childhood obesity is a gross issue and it is caused by a number of factors with television being one of them. Bridget (2014) and Helen, Maree, Melanie, White and Crawford (2007) argue that television viewing influence the children food choices. Other factors which contribute to childhood obesity include cultural, social, personal, and environmental factors. Children, due to their age are unable to distinguish the health effects of junk foods and drinks and hence they are influenced by what they see on their televisions. Therefore, the independent variable in this study is television advertisements while the dependent variable is the consumer behaviour of children.

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  • Implications and Limits of Generalizability of Findings

This study reinforces the application of television advertising strategy in marketing to influence the consumer behaviours of the audiences. Despite that there is a strong believe that television advertising will be overtaken by digital advertising following the increased use of the internet by customers and consumers, this study shows that television commercials have strong impact on the consumer decision and buying patterns.

This study has several possible limitations. The main limitation of the study is that it does not quantitatively describe the difference made by television advertising. The above analysis does not enable the researcher make strong generalization on whether television advertising makes a difference.


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Hierarchy of effects model