Media Influence on Attitudes in Cyprus: The Importance of Television for Persuasion of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) Serra İnci ÇELEBİ Eastern Mediterranean University, TRNC Serra İnci Çelebi was born in 1971 in Istanbul. She is an instructor of Public Relations and Advertising Department and a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies at Eastern Mediterranean University. This paper is based on a part of her doctoral dissertation. Her research interests are marketing public relations, public relations, advertising, and third party endorsement. She is the co-author of Marketing PR (MediaCat, 1999). She has recently completed an article on source credibility in publicity and advertisement of FMCGs in Turkey. Credibility is the key and all the components of integrated communication and the success of a PR program depends on how the source of communication is perceived by the audience. Beyond all communication activities, consumers want to get their own reality by simply experiencing the product or by depending on what other people are experiencing. What other people are experiencing comes from the power of third party endorsement for persuading the target audience, through credibility and likeability, to have a trial purchase. Sometimes people try a new product but then they switch back to their regular brands. They realize that what they tried was not what they wanted. This is either the result of short-term promotional activities (price reductions, samples, etc.) or due to the fact that they didn’t like the new product. For success, a quality product is necessary; otherwise all promotional efforts are wasted. The use of integrated communication may increase initial sales volume in the short run; but if the new product doesn’t carry the quality it promised, this will generally be the end of the trial behavior. Moreover, next time, they may not even try another new product if communication comes from the same corporate (brand) name. This results in the lost of reputation in the long run. This survey research of purchasing decisions regarding fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) was administered to compare the believability of advertisement and publicity through various media outlets and persuasiveness of third party endorsement (TPE) in advertisement and in publicity on the island of Cyprus. Data on Cypriot consumers’ views on FMCGs purchasing decisions were gathered from a sample of 40 respondents randomly selected from three of the Island’s largest cities, Nicosia, Famagusta, and Kyrenia. The responses were then analyzed by a statistical package to determine relationships between variables. In analyzing quantitative data, frequencies, cross tabulation and a one-way ANOVA with a 5 percent significance level were computed. It was found that television was playing an important role in consumer decision-making process of newly introduced FMCGs. The survey results confirmed the existing knowledge regarding the believability of publicity was higher than the believability of the advertisement. Furthermore, publicity was motivating Cypriot consumers to a trial purchase more than advertisement. In-store demonstrations and sampling which are common methods for product introductions and their absence in Cypriot retail stores were found to be relevant for relaying new product information. Purchasing decisions of FMCGs in Cyprus affected by gender, was also influencing the believability of advertisement. The expertise of TPE in publicity and the likeability of TPE in advertisement were found to be more persuasive by Cypriot consumers.
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