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Zoon, V.I.B, ‘On ne peut l’arreter’; these ad shouts for one’s attention but there is no brand name. As you pass by, the hoardings yell out to you – they look extremely familiar but yet they reveal nothing except the promise of more to come. Sometimes they work in a tizzy while sometimes they ask a response out of you. It is suspense with a purpose to tease. These are Teaser advertising.
In Mauritius, this style of advertising – which tend to advertise for a new product while keeping the target audience interest arouse each day and at the same time creating a sort of buzz around the ad-the teaser, has become a craze lately. The Zoon Teaser advertising proved to be successful in teasing people. Nevertheless some people consider Teaser advertising to be ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ (quoting the word of Shakespeare).
But, why is there so much fantasy about communicating and advertising a product? Today, advertising is considered by many to be the most important factor in the success of the company as most organizations -small and large- that rely on marketing to create customer interest, are engaged in consistent use of advertising to help meet marketing objectives. An organization can have the best idea, product or service, but without effectively delivering their messages to its target market, these ideas, products and services can go unnoticed. An effective creative campaign in the form of a teaser can set a company apart from the competition and allows it to give to its potential customers an image of what makes the brand different from the competition which has for goal to be top of the mind of these busy consumers. This means that the name of the business or the brand is the first thing that pops into their head, when looking for a product in the respective category. Furthermore, given information asymmetry that prevails in the market, advertising is a communication tool that cannot be missed to signal potential clients and Teaser advertising with its ability to create buzz and word of mouth is for sure a successful method to spread news about a subject. But even if advertising including Teaser plays a crucial role in positioning the product in the mind of customers, does this type of advertising push people to buy the advertised product as such?
Therefore does this type of advertising always work? Does it create this sort of ‘buzz’ that it wants to cause? Does it create this sort of ‘buzz’ that it wants to cause? Does it has an impact on people and how do they react to it? Does it act as a source of motivation for customers to purchase? To know more about this interesting aspect of advertising and to explore this specific area of advertising, a study has been conducted towards this perspective by considering the recent teaser ads in Mauritius. This study will allow discovering and evaluating this particular technique of advertising and explore the surrounding galaxy of such tool of advertising.
Ø Understanding the concept of Teaser advertising
o Teaser Ad as an advertising practice
o Teaser Ad as a communication tool
o Teaser Ad in relation with customer attitudes
Ø Evaluating the effectiveness of Teaser advertising in the Mauritian context
Ø Analysing Teaser ad as a source of motivation for customers to purchase
H0: There is no relationship between Teaser advertising and frequency of purchase
H1: There is a relationship between Teaser advertising and frequency of purchase
H0: There is no relationship between Teaser ad as a source of motivation and purchasing decisions.
H1: There is a relationship between Teaser ad as a source of motivation and purchasing decisions.
H0: There is no relationship between Teaser effectiveness and level of expectation of revelation of the ad.
H1: There is a relationship between Teaser effectiveness and level of expectation of revelation of the ad.
H0: There is no relationship between teaser ad as a communication tool and purchasing decisions.
H1: There is a relationship between teaser ad as a communication tool and purchasing decisions.
H0: There is no relationship between buyers’ self-concept towards teaser advertising and purchase intention of that product.
H1: There is a relationship between buyers’ self-concept towards teaser advertising and purchase intention of that product.
H0: There is no relationship between religion and purchasing intention.
H1: There is a relationship between religion and purchasing intention
Under this chapter, teaser advertising will be treated as a style of doing advertising among others and also the concept of teaser advertising with relation customers. Thus teaser advertising will be defined under 3 main heading. Moreover, this chapter covers literatures on the development of this particular type of advertising in Mauritius. This section will try to analyse Teaser ad as a source of motivation for customers to purchase with reference to different literatures from various authors. Concrete authors’ examples will be used.
According to Smith et al. (1998), there exist twelve different communication tools available to a marketer. As per Leiss (1972), “advertising has been recognized as a major vehicle of social communication in the field of marketing in modern Western society.”
Kotler and Armstrong (2007) provide an alternative definition:
“Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services through mass media such as newspapers, magazines, television or radio by an identified sponsor”.
Advertising is the promotion of products and services carried out by companies principally to drive sales of the products and services and equally to establish brand identity and to communicate changes or new products or services to the customers. Marketers have identified several reasons for advertising, among which are as follows:
* Increasing the sales of the product/service
* Creating and maintaining a brand identity or brand image.
* Communicating a change in the existing product line.
* Introduction of a new product or service.
* Increasing the buzz-value of the brand or the company.
Thus, just like, there are several reasons for advertising; similarly there exist various media that effectively can be employed for advertising. Based on these criteria there can be several styles of advertising which will be discussed below.
The creative style of execution refers to the manner in which a particular appeal is transformed into a message of publicity which is presented to the consumer.
According to the research done by Tony Yeshin (1997), the following are the most common styles of advertising:
The Marketing Dictionary and Barron’s Educational Series, 2007 defines teaser advertising as:
“A brief advertisement designed to tease the public by offering only bits of information without revealing either the sponsor of the ad or the product being advertised”.
According to this theory by Joannis (1995), the very old principle of Teaser advertising is to arouse the curiosity of the prospect by communicating to it the first part of the completely mysterious message. It is supposed to hold ones’ attention and brings him/her to seek the second part of the message. Joannis (1995) also points out that this second part would not have been read if the curiosity excites by the first part, is very far away from the subject.
Joe O’Donnell (2002) puts forward:
Jean-Marc Lehu (2006) for his part stresses that Teaser advertising is characterised by a two phases advertising campaign.
This technique can consist of two or even three teasers. (Lehu,2006)
Source: Two Phases Advertising Campaign adapted by Jean-Marc Lehu, 2006
Bruce Miller (2002) classifies the ‘HERE’ Teaser campaign in Baltimore (the largest city and cultural center of the U.S. state of Maryland) as an effective advertising practice.
The revelation part of the Teaser
Christopher Jacob (2006) puts forward that the revelation of certain Teaser ads are weak which eventually have a negative impact on consumer’s purchasing decisions. For example in 2007, in France the Teaser advertising for Transatlantis proved to be very effective, however the revelation which relates to the offer (a journey) was somehow weak which eventually had a negative effect on customer’s purchasing decisions.
According to Hung (2000), teaser ads rely heavily on nonverbal executional cues to communicate.
As a copywriting approach to break through confusion, teaser ads provide incomplete information (Kover 1995) and rely on lush visual images, accompanied by music or other sound effects, to create an attractive image for the advertised brand and its users.
Aaker et al. (1992) considers:
“It is through teaser advertising that we can provide creative advertising along with effective communication. This is because; this style of advertising not only attracts the target consumers’ attention, but also generates interest and educates the consumer about the product benefits and positioning, thus acting as an effective tool of communication.”
Teaser ad is a powerful tool used to convey message to the target audience but in its own style of creating curiosity on what the ad is about and thus directs the attention of target audience (Journal of Advertising, 2001)
Erik Schmuckler (1999) views Lee Jeans’ Teaser ad as an effective communication tool in terms of delivering the right message to the target audience. The main idea behind this mystery ad was to show that this particular brand is cool to wear. Lee became very cool very fast.
According to the agency’s (Fallon McElligott, 1999) tracking study, perceptions that the brand was becoming more popular and was “cool to wear” jumped 10 percentage points from 25 to 35 percent and their sell-in of the Dungarees line was four times higher than anticipated. Most importantly, Lee gained 3 percent in market share in a flat year while Levi’s dropped just as many percentage points.
Lutz (1985) defines customers’ attitudes towards Teaser advertising as a learnt tendency to react in a favourable or unfavourable manner to Teaser campaign in general. According to Bauer and Greyser (1968), Teaser ad had important economic and social effects and built up a set of belief items associated with positive and negative outcomes of such ad in these specific areas. The attitudes of customers towards teaser advertising vary from one another.
With particular reference to www.agencyfaqs.com, the following are some thoughts on teaser advertising with respect to customers:
Ø “Teaser campaigns are a bit like lemon. If one squeeze them too much they become bitter. One should quickly take out the juice and make the lemonade (as in the main campaign), rather than squeeze it drop by drop till it becomes too sour for anybody’s liking”
Ø “Teaser ads are not cash cows in terms of immediate sale, but if one notices, they are always at the top of the mind…”
Ø “Teasers tease the consumers and do stimulate to buy provided it is a launch product or a new sensational stuff. Gums are fun to chew and get better on chewing more but loose the juice on chewing too long.”
Ø “What a waste of advertising money!”
According to Dan S. Kennedy (2006), the main problem with carrying out big ad in the newspaper, in a trade journal, or in a national magazine is the number of people one pay for simply do not see it. This means that on any one day, ones best prospects may be out of town, sick in bed, or too busy to read newspaper.
As a solution to this problem, one strategy to focus attention on ones big ad is to precede it with a series of tiny, low-cost teaser ads. For example, a new computer store eager of making the business community aware of its existence for two months, in the weekly city business journal, ran small display ads. (Dan S. Kennedy, 2006)
Past research done by L’Express (2005) proves that many people are still unaware of this great phenomenon in advertising in Mauritius. This is because many people have difficulty in associating the ‘Teaser’ with advertising, or for the new generation this concept is still new, except those having knowledge in the marketing field. But if one asks someone about the ‘Zoon’ teaser advertising campaign, they will definitely recall it. In fact, Zoon was launched in October 2005 to assess the effectiveness of billboards. But primarily the billboard was featuring a dog (who was lost and his master apparently launch this ad campaign for it and even propose a big sum of money as reward), but this was all a teaser. This was done just to make zoon becoming the talk of the town as per Mr. Vincent Montocchio; Creative Director of Circus (L’express October 2005).
However, this particular teaser advertising is not the first one to appear in Mauritius. In fact, by the end of the eighties, one among the first teaser advertising which was famous to the public, is the one developed for the national airline company; Air Mauritius by the Immedia advertising agency. They placed a koala in 3D in front of Queen Victoria in front of the government house, without any indication what it is. This created curiosity among the general public and became the talk of not just the town but of the whole country, and it was even on the first page of the newspaper. A few days later, the teaser was revealed; it in fact introduces Air Mauritius first flight to Australia.
Subsequently, this teaser advertising campaign has brought the emergence of other teaser ads and fifteen years after, this style of advertising is still present. (Poonoosamy, 2006)
This is commonly used by new products and new businesses to create an element of intrigue and curiosity and build excitement and anticipation. A good example is the launch campaign for the Nissan Micra (Baker, 1994) and the initial campaign for Cable and Wireless. (Tony Yeshin, 1997)
Generally, not all advertising agencies in Mauritius get involved in Teaser advertising, because it depends highly on the client’s product positioning, budget of the client and most importantly, what does the client want; what dose the brand wants to say during the advertising campaign. But then when does one engage in teaser advertising?
New Product Launching
According to Belch and Belch (2003), the teaser advertising has for key objective to reveal the brand after hiding it for some time and after keeping this moment of pure intrigue. Therefore it will be wise to say that teaser advertising will best be adapted when the company is launching a new product or brand. For example, in France, the merger Neuf Telecom and Cegetel used online teaser ads to introduce its new subsidiary Neuf Cegetel that was meant to specialize in mobile communications (www.journaldunet.com). A local example is the national lottery LOTO where a Teaser campaign was used to advertise this product since it was new in the Mauritian market.
According to blimpcam.com, it is very important for a new business to generate customer interest before a business opens its doors. To achieve this, some businesses do teaser advertising. For example a teaser ad may be, ‘the countdown has begun; there are only 60 days until a certain company opens”. However in Mauritius, this particular style of advertising does not only used for new business but also for existing one. A recent example of Teaser ad in Mauritius for an existing business is Orange.
All advertising efforts-regardless of its styles, are directed mainly towards the attainment of various objectives (in terms of business, marketing and advertising) i.e., to increase the sales turnover and thus to market the maximum profit. The advertiser spends millions of rupees in this activity. In the background of all these hard work, is an effort to attract the customer towards the product through advertising.
Pollay and Mittal (1993) put forward that Teaser advertising influences consumers on three levels namely:
Ø economic level
Ø personal level
Ø social level
However, in reality, does advertising especially Teaser ad really motivates ones to carry out the purchase activity?
Hristo Ivanov Katranjiev (2000) points out that in most cases, the ultimate response is purchase. Normally, consumers pass through six stages (see figure 2.4) in their way to making a purchase.
Phillip Kotler, Gary Armstrong (2001) suggest that prior to the first stage, consumers may be completely unaware of the product, know only its name or know a bit about it. So, there is a need to build awareness first and then knowledge. When Nissan introduced its Infinity automobile line, it started with with an extensive “teaser” advertising campaign to build name familiarity. Original ads for the Infiniti created curiosity and awareness by showing the car’s name only and not the car. Later ads created knowledge by informing potential buyers of the car’s high quality and many innovative features and continued like this till the last stage. In common cases, Teaser ads act as a source of motivation for customers to purchase activity.
According to David A.Aaker (1989), usually advertising in general is not well suited to directly precipitate action. Rather it is better at conducting some communication, association or persuasion task that will hopefully result in the desired action being precipitated. A communication results in the audience members’ learning something new or gaining an improved understanding or memory of some fact.
However, according to David A.Aaker (1989), Teaser advertising is one of the many forces that motivate customers to purchase. That is this style of advertising is well suited to directly precipitate action of purchase (see figure 2.5).
According to Henri Joannis (1995), Teaser ad is actually an altered version of a very old model of advertising, the AIDA model, which points out that an announce must draw attention, arise interest, inculcate the desire and provoke action. Joannis (1995) also stresses on the fact that Teaser ad is altered in the way that the factor attention is separated from the factor interest and desire by the use of suspense element that creates curiosity.
In advertising settings, consumers are assumed to go through a process to compare Teaser ad contents with self-concept when they are exposed to the advertising messages. According to Markus et al. (1985), self-concept does not just have the meaning of mere knowledge of facts, but rather, it is a cognitive structure which is related with strong feelings and motivations.
While research pertaining to the effect of self-concept on purchase intention is rare, Landon (1974) and Belch (1978) found that both actual and ideal self-concept influence purchase intention (though their degree of relative impact is different). That is, the more closely the teaser ad matches the buyers’ self-concept, the higher the purchase intention for that product.
However, previous research done by Hristo Ivanov Katrandjiev (2000) proves that Teaser advertising is cheaper than sales promotion and more expensive than public relations, but often evokes negative feelings (such as annoyance, anger, distrust, etc.).
Paul Hague (2001) states that the AIDA hierarchical model follows the decision making process from “lighting the lamp” for people through to the sale itself. At each level in the process the number of people drastically diminishes so that those who take action are a small fraction of those who are aware of or interested in the product (see figure 2.6).
Kim Shyan Fam et al. (2004) point out that religious beliefs play a major role in shaping human behaviour towards a particular ad no matter of its styles. According to Deng et al. (1994), religion also controls gender roles in a particular culture.
As per Philippe Tesseron (2006), the very effective style of advertising-Teaser ad was used in France for a hypermarket. The first billboard was introduced anonymously, without brand but with a promising revelation. Comparatively, that everybody, especially the religious ones, seems to remember the great advertising campaign which became a real scoop in 1981. There was a young woman in bikini which promises to take out her top then the bottom as they change posters, then to discover the reveal-a naked woman from the back with the slogan-“Avenir Advertising-They hold their promises”.
Philippe Tesseron (2006) points out that this teaser ad on the hypermarket in France did not really act as a source of motivation for customers to do the act of purchase, but rather this ad arise questions: Is the body merchandise that we use to satisfy the desires of some advertisers? What is the relationship between the opening of a hypermarket and the back of a woman or man in underwear on posters and billboards? So the Myriam advertising campaign realized in France 1981 on the hypermarket has created lots of controversies. Philippe Tesseron (2006) also points out that these controversies were not only due to religious beliefs but on ethical ground which eventually lead to the idea that religion alone does not influence purchasing decisions.
Teaser advertising has for objective to create attention around a subject and to trigger curiosity its prospect. This technique of advertising is done in two phases. Despite the Zoon Teaser in Mauritius was a real success as it has been playing a lot on emotions, there exist lots of controversies of this style of advertising because of ethical aspects of some of the visuals displayed. Finally it is mentioned that Teaser ad acts as a source of motivation but does it really influence consumers in their purchasing decisions and force them to do the purchase activity. For this, various literatures from different authors have been used so as to obtain a deep understanding of the subject.
According to Zikmund, research is the systematic and objective process of gathering, recording and analyzing of data for aid in making decisions (Zikmund, 2000). Advertising related research provides information in several areas, for example the uses of research pertaining specifically to the creative execution (Michelet, 2006).
While carrying out research, it is important for us to look at the steps in the research process that will be handled further in this chapter.
The marketing environment is constantly changing and therefore marketers or managers have to address new issues which may create opportunities or problems for their organizations (Wilson, 2003). As far as Teaser advertising is concerned, some ad agencies and advertisers have forgotten what this style of advertising should do and how they should do it. As a consequence, some of the advertising produced in Mauritius has substantial flaws that limit its value as a communication tool.
Therefore, the present study investigates the perception of the Mauritian consumers on Teaser advertising. Basically, consumers’ inference to the nature and purpose of mystery advertising has been decided. The following questions also have been addressed: how far does Teaser ad influence consumers in their purchase decisions, where there are similar types of advertising as well as lots of ad messages in today’s clutter. The result is ineffective advertising that gives nothing to potential consumer and the advertiser. With lots of repeated ads, can advertising in terms of teaser advertising deliver information people need and want to make them make intelligent purchase decision and motivate them to buy?
Thus, a survey has been carried out and it has the following objectives:
Ø Understand the concept of Teaser advertising
o Teaser Ad as an advertising practice
o Teaser Ad as a communication tool
o Teaser Ad in relation with customer attitudes
Ø Evaluate the effectiveness of Teaser advertising in the Mauritian context
Ø Analyse Teaser ad as a source of motivation for customers to purchase.
Research Design is simply the framework or plan for a study used as a guide in collecting and analyzing data. There are some important research design frameworks that are classified as:
Ø Conclusive – (a) Descriptive
(b) Causal Research
This study is an attribute of both exploratory and descriptive research. It is to be noted that due to time and other constraints, a true exploratory design involving techniques like focus groups were not adopted for the study.
An exploratory research principally for this study has been conducted in order to find out the point of view of Mauritian consumers on Teaser advertising and also to identify the factors that influence their perception of Teaser advertising. This will help in the assessment of Teaser ad as a source of motivation for customers to purchase. Thus, the following hypotheses (with reference to various authors) were developed:
1. There is no relationship between Teaser advertising and frequency of purchase.
Paul Hague (2001) states that at each level in the process (AIDA model) the number of people drastically diminishes so that those who take action are a small fraction
2. There is a relationship between Teaser ad as a source of motivation and purchasing decisions.
As per Phillip Kotler, Gary Armstrong (2001), Teaser ads act as a source of motivation for customers to purchase activity.
3. There is a relationship between Teaser effectiveness and level of expectation of revelation of the ad.
Christopher Jacob (2006) puts forward that weak revelation of Teaser ads have a negative impact on consumer’s purchasing decisions.
4. There is a relationship between buyers’ self-concept towards teaser advertising and purchase intention of that product.
Landon (1974) and Belch (1978) found that the more closely the teaser ad matches the buyers’ self-concept, the higher the purchase intention for that product.
5. There is a relationship between teaser ad as a communication tool and purchasing decisions.
Erik Schmuckler (1999) found that Teaser ad as an effective communication tool positively influences purchasing decision.
6. There is no relationship between religion and purchasing intention.
As per, Philippe Tesseron (2006) religion alone does not influence purchasing decisions.
Since the objectives of the study require information to be generated about Teaser advertising as a source of motivation for customers to purchase, this study is descriptive in nature as well.
Secondary data is information that has been previously gathered for some purpose other than the current research. As such secondary data which includes newspapers such as L’Express, the Internet and journal articles was collected externally.
It is collected by a program of observation, qualitative or quantitative research either separately or in combination. For this study, both quantitative and qualitative researches were chosen.
Quantitative Research: This approach was used so as to identify the influence of Teaser ad on purchasing decisions. Hence, a survey was conducted where questionnaires were designed and administered to the target population so as to get the required information.
Qualitative Research: This research was as important in this study so as to gain a deeper understanding of Teaser ad as a source of motivation to make purchase
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