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Research Article Open Access

Political Advertising in Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election

Abstract

This study, ‘Influence of political advertising in Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential election in Lagos state’ examined the role political advertising played in the said election. The research questions of the study are: did political advertising messages alone influence voting decision of the electorates in the 2015 Presidential election? What other factors, besides political advertising, influenced voting decision in the 2015 Presidential election? What were voters’ perceived intentions of political advertising messages in the 2015 Presidential election? What was the behavior of voters towards political advertising messages in the 2015 Presidential election? Information processing theory of William McGuire was used as the theoretical framework. Survey research method was applied and questionnaire was used as the data collection instrument. Multistage sampling method was adopted and 400 copies of the instrument were distributed in five randomly selected local government areas of Lagos state. However, 396 were returned and four were deemed invalid. Therefore, 392 copies of the questionnaires, representing 98%, were analyzed. The outcome showed that for almost half of the respondents (49%), political advertising was the sole factor that influenced their voting choice. For those who noted that this was not the case, other factors accounted for their choice, and three of these factors led the pack: ethnic considerations, religious beliefs and other considerations. The result also indicates that contrary to what analysis of political advertising studies showed during the said election, voters’ perception of political advertising tilted towards the notion that it was intended to be issue-based rather than manipulative. In general, political advertising was more of a reinforcing stimulus as it acted more to affirm voters’ already held positions than as an agent of voting behavior change.

Tejumaiye JA, Simon GI, Obia VA

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