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Impact of Advertising on Youth Essay


Youth is considered as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to the independence of adulthood. Due to the expansion of global higher education and delayed marriage, the period of time from youth to adulthood has been extended longer compared to before the expansion. As a
result, the marketers, educators and policy makers consider youth stage as a stage that is becoming more important to them (Assaad and Roudi-Fahimi, 2007). According to United Nation (UN), they define ‘youth’ as “those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years” (UNESCO, 2013). Malaysia follows the United Nation’s definition of youth by changing the old age group of youth from 18 to 40 years old to the new age group of 18 to 25 years old under a new National Youth Policy (The Star Online, 2011). Based on Malaysia Demographics Profile 2014, the number of population for age structure 15 to 24 years old is 2, 580, 486 for male and 2, 511, 579 for female (Index Mundi, 2014).

Consumer purchasing behaviour or also known as consumer buyer behaviour is studied to be an inseparable part of marketing and Schiffman (2007) state that consumer buying behaviour is “the behaviours that consumers display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs”. Advertising is a marketers’ technique and a method of communication to encourage and persuade potential or current consumers. These potential or current consumers can be viewers, readers or listeners and they will be persuaded to continue using the marketers’ services or products or take some new action after the advertisement. Sponsors commonly paid for the advertising messages and it can be viewed by means of numerous traditional media and new media (Upadhyay & Joshi, 2014).

Advertising Industry in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the advertising industry is considered as a profitable business. Malaysia spends about RM2.39 billion in the first half of the year 2007 and this is a 9% increase from the same period in the year 2006 where it is RM2.2 billion. This shows there is a steady growth for this industry in Malaysia (The Report Malaysia, 2008). Furthermore, from the year 2000, there is an increase of 76% for advertising expenditure with cinema, point-of-sale and radio advertising experiencing a triple-digit growth for this same period of time (The Report Malaysia, 2008). Although this industry is lucrative for business, the content for advertisement is highly restricted by the Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Content Code (MCMCC, 2009). Aim

Malaysia’s total advertising expenditure rose 22% by the first half of 2008 compared to the last year’s advertising expenditure. This accounted to the expenditure of RM2.9 billion alone for advertisement (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, 2009). There is no certainty that the money spent on advertisements will give the necessary profits that these companies expected to gain. Due to the fact that the highest purchasing power belongs to the youths, the companies should target the existing youth market. In order to target this market, companies should be equipped with extensive knowledge on which aspect of advertisement that heavily influences the youths’ purchasing behaviour. This research aims to find the factors of advertising that influences the youths’ purchasing behaviour. As youth purchasing power is on the rise and the content of advertisement is highly restricted by the Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Content Code, it is imperative for the marketers and advertisers to understand what aspects of advertisement that appeals to the eyes of the youth consumers.

Motivation of this Study

Global youth market is “an impressionable and loyal market that are making decisions and gathering information on products and companies that could last a lifetime” (Maddock, n.d.). The international marketers and advertisers consider the global youth market as a noteworthy market to consider due to its size, homogeneity and its rising purchasing power. Due to the consideration that they are a significant market, these knowledgeable consumers that are in the youth market have been sniped with promotions for most of their lives. Although there are many types of marketing weapons that can be used to influence them, advertising still remains as the main weapon due to its longer impact on viewer’s mind (Katke, 2007).

Even though it is a known fact that youths’ purchasing power is on the rise compared to other range of age, there are still limited researches that have been done regarding this topic. Most researches centred on the relationship between advertising and general consumer purchasing behaviour in other countries. There are inadequate amount of research that was done concerning the relationship between advertising and youths’ purchasing behaviour in Malaysia. Therefore, this research is made to understand what makes an advertisement desirable to the Malaysian youths and its influences on their purchasing behaviour. Problem Statements

The world in year 2014 is home to 1.8 billion young people from the age of 10 until 24 (UNFPA, 2014) and majority of the purchasing power belongs to them. This makes them the most persuasive in making purchasing decisions in terms of food, clothing and cars to entertainment and family vacations. They even have a say on what type of home they will live in (Jennifer Waters, 2006). This makes the youths an important target market for advertising agency and companies all around the world. The primary mission of advertisement is to reach the intended consumer and influence their awareness attitudes and buying behaviour. As they spend a huge sum of money to maintain the consumer’s interest in their products, they need to understand what catches the consumer’s interest. Furthermore, due to the heavy regulated nature of this business, it is vital to evaluate the factors of youths’ attitude towards advertising to discover what antecedents that would affect youths’ preferences are.

Research Questions

The research questions are as follows:

1. Which aspect of advertisement influence youths in purchasing the product or service? 2. What is the relationship between advertisement and youths purchasing behaviour? 3. Why is advertising critical in ensuring the survival of the company? Research Objectives

The objectives of this research are to:
1. Identify the aspects of advertisement which influences youths in purchasing the product or service. 2. Determine the relationship between advertisement and youths’ purchasing behaviour. 3. Ascertain the importance of advertising in ensuring the survival of the company. Scope of this Research

This research centres around the impact of advertising on youths’ purchasing behaviour. In this research, youth is considered as anyone from age 18 to 24 years old. Furthermore, this research will be conducted at four different private universities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (HELP University, Open University and University of Kuala Lumpur) as there is a limited amount of money and time to travel to anywhere else. In addition, this research only consider students from different courses; one course per one private university. This research will only test whether the Independent Variables (credibility, informative, hedonic/pleasure, good for economy) influences the Dependent Variable (impact of advertising on youths’ purchasing behaviour).

Significance of this research

All companies in Malaysia spend a huge sum of money on marketing strategy of advertisement to introduce the product or services that they provide in market to consumers. Furthermore, with the restrictions to create creative advertisements from the Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Content Code, it made the job of the advertisers harder due to restricted contents that are allowed in an advertisement. Therefore, through this research, marketers and advertisers are able to identify the aspects of advertisements that youths in Malaysia prefer to have in an advertisement. This will help to save a lot of the marketing world’s expenditure and time as they are able to come up with a more efficient, successful and popular advertisement to suit the taste of youths in Malaysia.

Theoretical Framework

The dependent variable for this research is ‘impact of advertising on youth purchasing behaviour’. This research aims to find the factors of advertising that influences the youths’ purchasing behaviour. The first independent variable is ‘credibility’. According to MacKenzie and Lutz (1989), advertising credibility is consumers’ overall awareness towards the honesty, reliability, dependability and credibility of an advertisement. The second independent variable is ‘informative’. As recipients react very positively towards advertisements that provide information, information is treated as a very valuable incentive in the marketing world (Varshney, 2003).

The third independent variable in this research is ‘hedonic or pleasure’. Abd Aziz, Mohd Yasin, and Syed A. Kadir (2008) found that advertisements can be pleasurable and entertaining in enticing and retaining attention given to customers’ desires and requirements. Lastly, the fourth independent variable is ‘good for economy’. Based on the research done by Bauer and Greyser (1968), over 70 percent of their research sample believed that the living standard increased due to advertising and this in turn led to good products.

Underpinning Theory

The underpinning theory that will be used as a guidance to accomplish part of this research is the Hierarchy of Effects Model by Robert J. Lavidge and Gary A. Steiner. This marketing communication model that was created in the year 1961 suggests that there are six stages that an advertiser has to guide the consumer to go through. After these six stages, the consumer has to decide whether to buy or not the products or services offered. The six stages comprises of awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction and the final stage, purchase (Nguyen, 2013). This research will be using the Hierarchy of Effects Model as a guide to develop the questions in the research’s questionnaire and also as a guide to analyse and understand the research’s results.

Proposed Research Methodology

The main purpose of this research is “To Evaluate the Impact of Advertising on Youths’ Purchasing Behaviour” among Malaysian youths. A survey will be conducted amongst the private university students in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and a thorough analysis of the results will be made. Sample Size

A sample of “200” questionnaires will be distributed for the purpose of study and analysis.
Sampling Unit
Sampling unit consist of private university students in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sampling Technique
Convenience sampling technique (non-probability sampling) is going to be used for the survey. Questionnaire will be filled by the private university students. Data collection: data will be collected through primary and secondary sources. 1. Primary data: primary data are going to be collected with the assistance of structured questionnaire. 2. Secondary data: Source of secondary data is going to be collected using the help of published reports, journals, and credible websites.


In this research, the sample will consists of 200 students (N = 200) selected from university students from four private universities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia using convenient sampling technique. The sample size will be consisted of university students of age between 18 to 24 years old from four different courses.

Survey Instruments

The main objective of this research is to analyse the impact of advertising on youths’ purchasing behaviour for private university students in Kuala Lumpur. The data for this research will be collected by well developed, structured five point Likert Scale questionnaires. All of the questionnaires are going to be distributed among the students from four different private universities of four different courses. The answers from the questionnaire will be collected in a period of two weeks and the results will be analysed and evaluated using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20.0 of IBM. The questionnaire is divided into two sections; section I and section II.

Section I contains questions about the awareness about the advertisements and section II contains questions that describes the recent purchase the private students had done with the assistance of the advertisements that they have seen and attracted to. For this research, the Likert scale will contain a five point scale where number 1 is for strongly agrees while number 5 if for strongly disagrees. The five point Likert scale will be defined as below to help with the analysis of the results. (Number 1)

Strongly agree

(Number 2) Agree
(Number 3) Neutral/No opinion
(Number 4) Disagree
(Number 5) Strongly disagree


Advertising industry is a very lucrative industry in Malaysia as it is able to make a high profit in a short time. The same cannot be said for any company that invests a huge amount of money in to make advertisements for their products or services. Advertising is a risk that companies have to take in order to spread awareness to consumers about their new or existing products. When a particular advertisement is successful in catching the consumers’ attention and able to convince them to purchase the product or services, the sales for the company will increase but when it fails, the profits drops. As companies need to take such high risks every time they need to produce advertisements, it is important for them to know which market has the highest purchasing power and to have knowledge on how to attract these potential consumers.

It is identified that youths have the highest purchasing power among all range of ages and this research aims to identify the factors of advertising that influences the youths’ purchasing behaviour. This research’s theoretical framework consists of four independent variables that are credibility, informative, hedonic/pleasure and good for economy and the dependent variable is impact of advertising on youths’ purchasing behaviour. In order to execute the research, Hierarchy of Effects Model by Robert J. Lavidge and Gary A. Steiner will be used as an underpinning theory. Five point Likert Scale questionnaires will be distributed and collected in two weeks to university students from four different private universities. This research will be done in hopes that companies are able to produce more stimulating and successful advertisements to youths.

Abd Aziz, N., Mohd Yasin, N., & Syed A. Kadir, B. (2008). Web advertising beliefs and attitude: Internet users’ view. The Business Review, Cambridge, 9(2), 337-337. Advertising Development In Malaysia: Catching Eyebals in Changing Media. (2009, January 1). Retrieved January 27, 2015, from http://www.skmm.gov.my/skmmgovmy/files/attachments/Ad_Dev_Malaysia.pdf Assaad, R., & Roudi-Fahimi, F. (2007, April 1). Youth in the Middle East and North Africa: Demographic opportunity or challenge? Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/pdf07/youthinmena.pdf Bauer, R., & Greyser, S. (1968). Advertising in America: The consumer view. Unpublished Graduate Dissertation, Boston, MA: Harvard University. Gupta, M., Engelman, R., Levy, J., Luchsinger, G., Merrick, T., & Rosen, J. (2014, January 1). The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth, and the Transformation of the Future. Retrieved from
http://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/EN-SWOP14-Report_FINAL-web.pdf Katke, K. (n.d.). The Impact of Television Advertising on Child Health & Family Spending. Retrieved from http://www.itu.int/ITUD/ict/newslog/content/binary/20-2008jpg. Lim, W. (2011, November 17). Only those aged 18 to 25 defined as youth. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com.my/story/?file=/2011/11/17/nation/9918718&sec=nation MacKenzie, S., & Lutz, R. (1989). An empirical examination of the structural antecedents of attitude toward the ad in an advertising pretesting context. Journal of Marketing, 53, 48-65. MCMCC, The Malaysian communications and multimedia content code. (1998, January 1). Retrieved from http: //www.cmcf.org.my/FILES/CONTENT_CODE_ (V6-Final).PDF. Maddock, T. (n.d.). Youth Marketing: Tips for reaching the lucrative teen, tween and college markets. Retrieved January 23, 2015, from file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/youth_marketing_whitepaper.pdf Malaysia Demographics Profile 2014. (2014, August 23). Retrieved from http://www.indexmundi.com/malaysia/demographics_profile.html Nguyen, H. (2013). The Hierarchy Model of Advertising Effects: A Debate. International Integration, 92-96. Schiffman, L., Hansen, H., & Kanuk, L. (2007). Consumer Behaviour: A European Outlook. London: Pearson Education. The Report Malaysia. (2008). London, UK: Oxford Business Group. Upadhyay, P., & Joshi, J. (2014). Impact of Advertising on Buying Behavior of Youth in Kota City with Special Reference to Branded Outfits. International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research (IJMSR), 2(2), 1-20. Varshney, U. (2003). Location management for mobile commerce applications in wireless internet environment. ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, 3(3), 236-255. Waters, J. (2006, October 11). Young, with tons of purchasing power. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/young-americans-a-giant-influence-on-buying-decisions-study What do we mean by “youth”? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/youth/youth-definition/

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