1.1     Introduction

Communication is an inextricable part of human existence. No matter one’ field of endeavour, an effective utilization of the potential of communication is indispensable for success to be achieved.

However, for any communication encounter to be successful the source of the message must plan his message adequately, taking into consideration the unique of each encounter. This is important so as to achieve the intent of communication.

No two communication situations are the same. So each message must be planned to suite each communication encounter. Berelson (1948:72 supports this view “some kind of communication of some kinds of issue, brought to attention of some kind of people under kinds of condition have some kinds of effects”.

The success of communication depends on the nature of the message, the environment in which the message received. The audience’s interpretation of the message. The need for the adoption of the strategies for communication message to achieve the desired effect become even more important when such message are aimed at modifying people’s attitude towards an idea policy or even a product or services.

Since every human activity is subjected to pivoting skill of communication advertising finds communication as an indispensable and inevitable ally for survival. Advertising as an aspect of communication is everywhere, it affects and affected by all segment of the society. It is obvious that humanity places a high premium on marketing activities as the main stay of human or marketing. One of the principle ways to do this through advertising according to Bovee and Arens (1998 advertising can be classified by audience media geographical location and profit or not non-profit orientation. The various media classification include print, broadcast, outdoor, transit, direct mail and internet. The billboard is a major form of outdoor medium. According to Belch (2004: 347), Billboard constitute 60% of the total media expenditure of outdoor advertising. These authors mention that the billboard has a wide coverage geographical flexibility and ability to create awareness efficiency and is very effective. Judging from the manner in which Airtel and MTN billboards are strategically located in Uyo, it become necessary, therefore to ascertain through research communicativeness of Airtel and MTN billboards to residents in Uyo.

  • Brief History of Airtel

Econet wireless was the first company to lunch commercial Global system of mobile communication in Nigeria. This was in August 2001. It was later sold to v-mobile Nigeria, a company established with the combined effort of a group of institutional and private investors as well as three state governments. Celtel later acquired majority shares in the company and renamed it celtel in September 2006. The company’s strategic focus is to provide telecommunication service throughout Africa.

On November 23, 2009 the company was renamed Airtel. Airtel is the pioneer of mobile telecommunication on African contents. It prides itself as the leading mobile and data service company with licenses in 22 middle eastern of Africa countries.

Making the world wonderful is the overriding vision of the company. The company is committed to achieving sustainable development in telecommunication in Africa.

  • Brief History of MTN

Mobile Telecommunication Network began operation on May 16, 2001. It launched operation in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt. Since the launch, MTN has steadily deployed its services across Nigeria.

The company which has its Headquarter in South Africa subsists on core branch values of leadership relationship integrity and innovation with the vision of becoming the leading provider of telecommunication service of Nigeria. Mobile Telecommunication Network prides itself on its ability to connect people with friends, family and opportunities.

The company says it overriding mission is to be a catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and development potential, not only though provision of world class communication but also through innovation and sustainable corporate social responsibility initiatives.


  • Brief Profile of Uyo

Uyo the capital of Akwa Ibom State. It is also a local Government shares a common boundary with Uruan and Itu to the East, Nsit Ibom and Ibesikpo Asutan to the south, Abak to the west and Ikono, ibiono Ibom and Itu to the North.

The population of Uyo according to 2006 census is 30973 which include 156460 females and 154,113 males.

According to the Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria handbook. Uyo is a commercial centre, and has a lot of economic prospects and potentialities for investors. It has a large reservoir of untapped resources which includes salt and clay deposits at Abuja.

Uyo is rich in variety of cultural activities; this is well displayed through dances, songs arts, craft fashion and the general way of life of the people.

  • Statement of the Problem

Marketers attempt to convey meaning about their product using words, pictures, image and colour, while consumers acquire meaning that may or may not be the same as intended by the marketing communicator.

In Uyo Akwa Ibom State capital there are several Airtel and MTN billboards at various locations with the town. The intention of the marketers is to draw the attention of its consumers to their product. Yet message on the billboards appear sophisticated and tend to require great mental effort consumer for them to understand the message given the fact that Uyo residents comprises of both educated and uneducated and the fact that mobile handset are used by both classes of residents. It becomes necessary to find out from the resident if they understand the message communicated by Airtel and MTN billboards.


  • Objective of the Study
  1. To demonstrate the attractiveness of Airtel and MTN billboards to residents of Uyo.
  2. To determine the perception of Uyo resident on Airtel and MTN billboards.
  3. To determine the communicativeness of Airtel and MTN billboards.
  4. To determine the resident’s opinion on the suitability of the location of the Airtel and MTN billboards.
    • Research Question
  • Do residents of Uyo find Airtel and MTN billboards attractive
  • What is the perception of Uyo resident on Airtel and MTN billboards.
  • What is the communicativeness of Airtel and MTN billboards in Uyo?
  • Do Uyo residents consider the location of Airtel and MTN billboards suitable?


  • Significance of the Study

A research of this nature will greatly assist Airtel and MTN in ascertaining the different attitude of their customers towards them and their services. The finding will help Airtel and MTN to formulate or come up with message that will be more easily understood by consumers, thus increasing their product profile. The finding will add to the body of literature in the area of advertising.