AN EXAMINATION OF TELEVISION POLITICAL ADVERTISING BEFORE THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

0
27

ABSTRACT

The study is an analysis of the content of political party television advertisements preceding the 2012 general elections. The study, among others, aimed to find out which of the two major political parties, the ruling NDC and the opposition NPP, relied on negative advertising to achieve their aims. It also sought to find out which issues the two parties focused on. The study was anchored in the functional theory of political campaign discourse. A content analysis of seventy-one television advertisements was conducted. The study found that the NPP relied more on negative advertising whereas the NDC relied more on acclaims. It also found that both parties focused their advertisements on the issues rather than focus on their candidates. A recommendation this study makes is that a trend analysis of political advertisements from the 1992 elections to date should be conducted to give an idea of how political campaign advertisements have evolved over the years.

DEDICATION

This work is dedicated to my family, who have always supported me and pushed me to do my best.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank my supervisor Prof Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh for guidance. I would also like to acknowledge Akua Otu, Halisa Aziz, Osei Tutu Benson and Julius Abagi for their help.

TABLE OF CONTENT 
  DECLARATION  I
ABSTRACTII
DEDICATIONIII
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTIV
TABLE OF CONTENTV
TABLE OF FIGURESVII
CHAPTER ONE8
INTRODUCTION8
1.1 BACKGROUND8
1.1.1 HISTORY OF TELEVISION IN GHANA12
1.1.2 BEGINNINGS OF POLITICAL ADVERTISING IN GHANA14
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM14
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES15
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS15
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY16
1.6 SCOPE AND JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY16
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS16
1.8 SUMMARY17
CHAPTER TWO18
  RELATED LITERATURE AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK  18
2.1 INTRODUCTION18
2.2 RELATED LITERATURE18
2.3 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK24
2.4 SUMMARY27

CHAPTER THREE                                                                                                                       29

METHODOLOGY                                                                                                                                                                  29

  • INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                           29
    • CONTENT ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                    29
    • POPULATION AND SAMPLING                                                                                                                                  31
    • UNIT OF ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                       31
    • RESEARCH INSTRUMENT                                                                                                                                          31
    • DATA COLLECTION AND PROCEDURE                                                                                                                 32
    • INTER-CODER RELIABILITY                                                                                                                                    32
    • DATA ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                            33
    • SUMMARY                                                                                                                                                                     33

CHAPTER 4                                                                                                                                  34

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION                                                                                                 34

  • INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                           34
    • OBJECTIVES OF STUDY                                                                                                                                            34
    • RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF CONTENT ANALYSIS                                                                                   35
    • SUMMARY                                                                                                                                                                     44

CHAPTER FIVE                                                                                                                           45

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION                                                                                             45

  • INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                           45
    • SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS                                                                                                                                45
    • LIMITATION AND SUGGESTIONS                                                                                                                          47
    • CONCLUSION                                                                                                                   47
    • APPENDIX ONE: CODING GUIDE                                                                                                                          49
    • APPENDIX TWO: CODING SHEET                                                                                                                         51

5.6 BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                                                                                                           52

List of Tables

Table 1: Issues addressed in the advertisements                                                                            37

Table 2: Language used in the Ad                                                                                                  38

Table 3: Duration of Ad                                                                                                                 40

Table 4: Nature of Ad                                                                                                                    40

Table 5: Setting of Ad                                                                                                                    41

Table 6: Images reflected in the Ad                                                                                               42

Table 7: Image of the candidate                                                                                                     43

Table of figures

Figure 1: Political Party                                                                                                                  35

Figure 2: Focus of advertisement                                                                                                   36

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

  1. 1.1   Background

Political advertising is a mainstay of elections. From the lowest level elections through to national elections, candidates spend money to get their message out to convince voters that they are the best candidate for them. Whether in print form, the airwaves or the internet, candidates try to ensure that they are visible to the electorate. Also contained in these ads are messages that inform prospective voters what that particular candidate hopes to offer.

There are various definitions of political advertising. One states that as a concept it is used  during elections to inform, educate and set the political agenda using various media formats such as radio, television and print. One way voters gather political information is through political advertising campaigns. Political campaigns all over the world attract much attention and publicity and they have generated lively and sometimes hostile discussions (Mensa-Bonsu, 1979).

Political parties advertising is the structured and composed non-personal communication of information usually paid for and persuasive in nature, about products goods, services and ideas by identified sponsors through various media (Advertising Educational Foundation, 2005). Due to this, advertising is practiced in many democracies. Political advertising is a form of commercial advertising that politicians use to make voters aware of their record, their stand on issues, and ultimately their political vision (Arens & Bovee, 1994). It involves elements of planning, co-ordination and implementation, which would make the advertisement precise unequivocal and convincing; quality implies credibility (Anyimah-Acquah, 2000)
Meenu, Priyana, & Khusboo (2014 p.3) state that “advertising which focuses on the marketing of ideas, attitudes, and concerns about public issues, including political concepts and political candidates. The essential task of political advertising is to gain the confidence of the people for their acceptance of ideas and, in the case of political campaign advertising, to influence their vote. Political advertising include a mass communication used for the purpose of appealing, directly or indirectly, for votes or for financial or other support or opposition in any election campaign.” This shows that political parties have taken the basic concept of advertising and moulded them to suit their purposes. Meenu, Priyana, & Khusboo (2014) also differentiate between political advertising and commercial advertising “first, the product is a person or a philosophy rather than goods and services and second, the advertising objectives must be met within a specific timeframe.” This shows that the target of political advertising is different as compared to commercial advertising. Meenu, Priyana, & Khusboo(2014p.3) also claim that political advertising carries a moral implication, because the results of advertising have potentially far-reaching effects on the population at large. Political advertising raises many controversial social questions concerning the funding of political campaigns, the truth or reality of political claims, and the likelihood of defamatory claims made by political candidates. Political advertising involves the use of advertising by politicians to bring their messages to the masses. Politicians promote their parties to grab the attention of the electorate (Meenu, Priyana, &  Khusboo,  2014).liUken co       mmercial  advertising  where  products  are  promoted,  political advertising promotes individual. Political parties’ view election strategically. Not only this, they feel that the strategies involved in marketing of products and services by the companies may boost prospects in the election contests.