1.1    Background to the Study

All over the world, people and companies utilize advertising to a good advantage. In the keen competition encounter in world regional and local markets, businessmen are aided by the sales producing force of advertising. Not only that skillfully planned and directed advertising only at home, but also abroad overcome prejudice combat, foreign competition establish new habit, build good will creates employment, increase productivity, multiply sales and thus, lay a solid foundation for sustainable economic development of any country, one analysis contend that advertising is one of the most powerful socializing force in culture.

Advertising sells more than product. It sets image value, goods and concepts of who we are and who we should be. It shapes our attitudes and our attitudes shape our behaviour. Ahunaya (2004). Advertising power goes beyond the selling of goods; it promotes a consumer life-style, a global culture that centres on material things. A television commercial normally says “and now a few words from our sponsors”. Sponsors are companies or individuals that pay to have their product advertised, while the “few words our sponsor” have become a deluge sponsor still financially support the newspaper and radio.

According to the Encyclopedia, Americana (2004). Advertising began around 3200 BC. When the Egyptian stenciled inscription the names of kings on the temple being built. Later they wrote runaway slave enouncement on papyrus – sign boards were placed outside doors in Greece and Egypt around 1500 B.C. Perhaps the most important event in history of advertising was the printing of the Gutenberg Bible about 1450 to 1455 – the first time that western man used the principle of moveable type. In about 1477 in London, the first printed advertisement in English announced a prayer book sale. The first newspaper advertisement appeared on the back paper of in London newspaper in 1625. The easily town crier was also a “medium of advertising.

Advertising has since been seen to help in economic development in ways of creating Jobs, sponsoring sports, and the art helps to provide affordable media which encourages competition, improves product, keep price low and enable people to make informed buying choices Eluwal (2005). The impact of advertising does not stop at the economy but also has influenced the youths greatly by sensitization, social interaction, modification and other wise. Therefore, the researcher is using Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, students as a case study. Advertising makes students too materialistic. Advertising affects their value system because it suggests to them that the means to a happier life is the acquisition of more things. It encourages students to go for costly material like automobiles, clothes, mobile phones, electrical/electronic appliances and also expensive fashionable beauty materials, [Baran:390].

Advertising has influence students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree by making them materialistic, it affects their value system, makes them think that life is just about acquisition of more things instead of spiritual or intellectual enlightenment in the following ways:

–  Advertising makes students change products not minding the effect of that products on them (cosmetic and drinks).

–  It shapes students tastes, habits and customers.

–  It suggests that consumer can enjoy more nourishes foods, more attractive clothes more confer table homes.

–  Advertising creates in students liking and preference for a product.

–  Advertising stimulates thought about a new product to its consumers.

–  Advertising makes sure that all information about product is communicated to it consumer (feature, location of sale).

–  Advertising with its persuasive nature, builds brand preference and loyalty in it consumers. Ozoh [1998:13]

–  Also, students because of advertising are restless and dissatisfied with what they have nurturing and creating endless desired.

A researcher, Alan in his write up says that “Advertisement like our age, are material, hedonistic image management, and fashion driven, they glorify the individual, idealize consumption as the route to personal fulfillment and affirm technological progress as the motive force of destiny”. Eluwa (2005).


Advertising, like other promotional techniques, informs, persuades and reminds. It can change consumer’s beliefs, attitudes, images, and behaviour. But for advertising to be effective on national level, enormous expenditures are required. Successful advertisements do not merely entertain, try to persuade the audience to buy, this is where the problem lies. People tend to have the notion that this persuasive quality of advertising has social effect on its audience, especially on students because they are still within the age of being influenced by the media. Hence, the essence of this study is to take a critical look into the social effects on Nigeria students having OSPOLY students as the population.


In a bid to research into the social effect of advertising on Nigerian students, the following research question would be asked.

1.  To what extent has advertising impact positively on Nigerian students?

2.  Does advertising distort reality in Nigerian students?

3.  To what extent does the exposure of advertising causes anti-social behaviour.

4.  How has advertising by exposing Nigerian student to model product and services improved their life style?

5.  To What extent can advertising influence on Nigerian student be controlled?


1.  The purpose of this study is not only toward identifying the social effect of advertising on Nigerian students, but also to find possible solution to which the bad effect could be controlled.

2.  It also examines how advertising can be used to change negative behaviour in Nigerian students. For example, reducing materialism in students; intake of alcohol, indecent dressing/behaviour, among others.

3.  The can as well help both the advertisers and the agency to monitor and regulate their advertisement contents.


The importance of this work is that it will help researchers carry similar study. It will also add to the wealth of knowledge on the effect of advertising. This study will help to identify the social effect of advertising on Nigerian students. Finally it will provide the basis for state holders in planning advertising message.