1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Political advertising has become part of the political culture of most democracies and Nigeria as a democratic nation is not left out. Political advertising is one of the specialised areas of human communication and business. More specifically, it is an aspect of social advertising, which is part of social marketing. The component of social advertising is political advertising, social-cause advertising, philanthropic organisation advertising and private non-profit advertising. However, political advertising is a marketing function similar in intent and purpose to product marketing (Nwosu, 1992). Gana (1992) notes that political campaigns involve canvassing for votes, which is a kind of political salesmanship. Political parties and candidates now use different media to reach their audiences, including the new media. New media is a broad term that emerged in the later part of the 20th century to encompass the amalgamation of traditional media such as film, images, music, spoken and written words, with the interactive power of computer and communications technology, computer-enabled consumer devices and most importantly, the Internet.
One of the important promises of the new media is the democratisation of the creation, publishing, distribution and consumption of media content (Wikipedia, 2011). Therefore, this study focuses on the use of the new media by political parties in Nigeria, for political campaigns.
In the political environment the impact of political advertising is paramount. Owuamalam (2014) states that political advertising refers to messages which contents are political and presented to influence voters’ behavior through its perceived persuasive impact. It harasses the guard of the electorate as it seeks endowment from voters at election period. Political advertising target the audience for supporting the candidate through the articulate display of manifesto. According to Ozoh (2013), unique selling proposition is based on an identifiable, highly competitive advantage inherent in one brand and which can be asserted over and above competitor Kaid (1999) avers it represents the offer which a candidate as a brand in the political market, makes to the electorates as reason for seeking votes at election.
The message is to motivate the electorates and encourage them to make meaningful electoral decision. Owuamalam (2014) posited that the message with a large favourable move a consideration voters, who relate the proposal to their respective need satisfaction within the political constituency, we the Nigeria situation in 2015 presidential election.
Owuamalam (2014) also opined that the fulcrum serves a major plank for attracting voter’s attention, arousing voting disposition and facilitating favorable patronage at the specific election. Political advertising provides information which voters need to assess candidate’s capability in satisfying their needs. Its content is an express of candidate, objective for seeking votes from electorates.
The channel for reaching the audience has changed due to the fact that new media of communication has taken the centre place of social interaction. It is through this interaction the political information is exchanged to the electorates. The new media or the have been useful in political advertising. The emergence of new media in political advertising came during Barrack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Carr (2008) “like a vote of web innovators, the Obama campaign did not invent anything completely new. Instead, by bolting together social networking application under the banner of a movement they created an unforeseen force to raise money, organize locally, fight smear campaigns and get out the vote that helped them topple the Clinton machine and then John McCain and the Republicans. According to Graber (2010) Obama’s success can be attributed to an array of new incredibly speedy and Cheap internet tools- e-mail, social networks, Twitter, and the like (and enable Him) to run a grassroots campaign that contacted individual voters in personated encounters on a near daily basis”.
The new changes in political communication in the era of new media have brought about the engaging of the electorate from the physical campaign ground to their smart phone at the comfort of their closest. The need for political advertising is to win the mind of the electorates in voting for a particular candidate in a general election. The word influence is important in political communication. Olalekan (2003:229) avers “persuasive communication at this stage is mainly focused on the public opinion leaders, social critics and various pressure groups form the top to the grassroots. The aim is to carry the favour of these influential elements in the society to support the party’s programme, ideological preferences and manifesto”. The new media are an important set of communication techniques that share certain features apart from being new, made possible by digitalization and being widely available for personal use as a communication device. The media are not only or even mainly distribution of messages, but at least, mainly concerned with the protection exchange and storage. The new media are as much as institution of private. Asemah and Edegoh (2012:54) described new media as “digital having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible and interactive”. Wikipedia (2011) “New media is an interactive forms of communication that use the internet, including podcasts, RSS feed, social networks, text messaging, blogs, wikis, virtual worlds, and more. New media can help to connect people with information and services, collaborate with other people, including those within your organization or community and create new contents, services, communities, and channels of communication that help you deliver information.
1.2 Statement of Problems
According to McConnell and Jackie (2010) attribute the challenges of new media in political advertising or marketing to the disparity in the usage of new media compared to opportunity. It avails the challenges be attributed to the lack of understanding on how to deal with issues such as negative publicity that can arise from user generated contents, a loss of absolute control of their brand, legal and security issues. There has been an argument that during the government election in Delta state, as other parts of Nigeria that political parties made use of political advertising to sell their parties and the candidate on their platform. That the introduction of the new media in political advertising did not affect the electoral political behaviour as many people hold little trust to new media as compared to conventional media.
In addition, some believed that due to the lack of credibility of new media stories from political aspirants cannot be viewed with trust and accountability at a time in Nigeria political trust has been stained.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study has the following objectives.
1. To determine the impact of new media on political advertising in 2015 governorship election in Delta State.
2. To find out the numbers of electorates that seek political information from the new media.
3. To determine the political message aspirants’ share on new media.
4. To ascertain the challenges of political advertising on new media.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What is the impact of new media on political advertising in 2015 governorship election in Delta State?
2. How many electorates seek political information on new media?
3. What are the political messages shared on new media by political aspirants in Delta State 2015 governorship election?
4. What are the challenges of political advertising new media in 2015 governorship election in Delta State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho: There is no significant impact of new media on political advertising in 2015 governorship election in Delta State.
Hi: There is a significant impact of new media on political advertising in 2015 governorship election in Delta State.
Ho: There are no challenges of political advertising new media in 2015 governorship election in Delta State.
Hi: There are challenges of political advertising new media in 2015 governorship election in Delta State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will largely be beneficial to the media community and relevant to political actors in Nigeria, where government is unable to win the heart of the electorates. The findings from this study will serve as a handy material for reference. The finding will go a long way in equipping the electorate through the use of new media to access information in political domain. It will also encourage the use of new media on political advertising during elections.
1.7 Scope of the Study
In examining the impact of new media on political advertising in 2015 general election in Delta State, the scope of this study will cover electorates in Abraka Local government of Delta State.
1.8 Limitations of study
1. Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
New Media: New technology for communication and networking
Politics: the act of playing political advertisement in winning election through the voting support of the people.
Political advertising: political message that influence and peruse the people to make favourable
Election: the periodic selection of candidate through voting by the electorate.
Electorate: These are individual that vote during election. They are the target of political advertising.
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