INFLUENCE OF TELEVISION POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENTS ON ELECTORATES’ PERCEPTION OF 2015 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
This research examined the influence of television political advertising on electorate perception of candidate in the 2015 presidential election using Akure south local government as a case study. The study sought to find out the extent to which the electorates’ in Ondo state were exposed to political advertisement and limited to advertisement on television which mostly portray the vision of the presidential candidates.
The study employed the survey research design using a structured questionnaire to gather data from respondents. Five hundred and ninety two copies of questionnaires were distributed across the four selected wards in Akure South local government, with four hundred and fifty six copies duly completed and returned. The research work relied on three theories: Perception theory, Source credibility theory and Agenda setting theory. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze and provide answers to the research questions of the study while inferential statistics were used for the hypotheses. The multi-stage sampling technique was adopted for this study, a state was randomly selected through balloting in South-West Nigeria; this was carried out so as to give equal chance of representation for all the states in South-West to be part of the study.
The findings indicated that; the electorates’ in Ondo state were well exposed to political advertisement on television, the respondents were influenced in their choice of presidential candidate to the extent that they perceived the messages to be credible and changed their perception towards the candidate. In support of the above, over 76% of the respondents watched the Presidential televised advertisement in 2015.
In the light of the findings, the study concluded that television political advertisement was an essential factor in the political decisions of the electorates’, Television, an electronic audio-visual media aid use for disseminating information, has gained wide acceptance and use among Nigerians as observed in this study. Finally, it was recommended that since literacy level among Nigerians is on the increase, more authentic source of accessing information about political candidates should be sourced.
Keywords: Influence, Source Credibility, Agenda Setting and Perception