Master of Science
A descriptive analysis to determine the communication effects of a reduced advertising budget, this study evaluated the 1994 Virginia State Parks advertising campaign. The campaign's objective was to provide Virginians more information about the parks, which in the previous 1992 Virginia Outdoor Survey, was said to be needed.
The author sought to answer questions relative to the overall effect of reducing the advertising budget, as well as the amount and nature of awareness resulting from it.
In order to measure these relationships, the author collected data into two random seven-day periods to compare 1994 versus 1993 for awareness, cost-effectiveness and effectiveness of media for relating information about Virginia State Parks.
Results showed that more advertising (larger budget) does not absolutely correspond to more awareness. Also the scope of this measurement is insufficient to determine whether eliminating an entire medium's advertising (effect of reduced budget) has any noticeable effect regarding awareness. Evident from data in the random seven day periods is the fact that cable television advertising produced substantially more awareness than newspaper advertising.
For this situation (the nature of the product being advertised and budget), cable television is most cost effective, especially for the level of awareness it results in. To measure the impact of using different media, a future campaign would need to replace from newspapers advertising with radio. Also, further study is necessary to determine how the information imparted to Virginians via the advertising is used to discover whether it is actually effective.
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