How Social Marketing Strategies Effect on Drunk Driving?
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How Social Marketing Strategies Effect on Drunk Driving?
Businesses particularly to those who are lined in liquor and alcohol drinks are creating marketing strategies to lure more customers and generate profits (Willsmer, 1975). In accordance to this, their marketing strategies should be accompanied by some social concerns. This is the time in which liquor and alcohol businesses heightened their awareness to the negative effects of their products i.e. possible risk of health and safety of their consumers. Aside from the health risks caused by liquor and alcohol products, it also presents psychological and psychiatric problems, which in turn determines social issues happening in the society, such as suicide, accidents, and crimes. Some of these problems include depression, which can be triggered by alcoholism and vice versa; anxiety, which occurs during attempted withdrawal; change in personality with loss of normal behavior and appearance; and hallucinations, which is an affect of alcohol withdrawal (‘Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism and Alcohol-Related Problems’ 1997). These psychiatric problems often lead to social issues such as suicide, which is result of depression; accidents, being a result of drunk-driving; and physical abuse, which are the cause of a large portion of homicides, child abuse cases and other domestic violence cases (‘What is Chemical Dependency?’ 2005). Even though the government are imposing and creating social marketing strategies against drunk driving, the cases of drunk driving were still increasing.
From these discussions, it shows that social marketing strategies are not only about the product alone but also about the effect of the product and needs and preferences of their consumers. Thus, this paper analyses the role of social marketing strategies of marketing people for the way that their products are used by the consumers. Using the results of drunk driving as a guiding example, it attempts to establish if marketers should be held accountable for how their products are being utilised by the people that patronise them. The marketing field has always been muddled in paradox, in that of making a profit while giving the customers high-quality products (Willsmer, 1975). It is in this contradiction that lays the basic question of should marketers be really responsible for how their products are used by consumers when they already have gained profit from the transaction? In this light, the paper will evaluate how social marketing strategies effect on drunk driving.
Today’s market is characterised by highly competitive organisations which are all vying for consumer’s loyalty. Firms are faced with the challenge to maintain their own competitive edge to be able to survive and be successful. Strategies are carefully planned and executed to gain the ultimate goal of all: company growth. However, external factors are not the only elements which influence growth. There are also internal factors, components working within the organisation which shape the direction of the company.
Along with the changing business world, customers change as well, becoming more demanding and knowledgeable than before. In turn, company management had shifted their focus on their clients or customers so as to stay successfully in business. This transition meant that organisations have to completely reformulate their conventional business aims and purposes from being process-focused to customer-centred. Hence, in order to bring out exceptional customer services within the company operations, the management should employ fine-tuned organisational restructuring. Moreover, employing proactive customer commitment involves the consideration on culture and infrastructure (Lowenstein, 1997).
Despite the economic and technological conditions that make it possible now to promote products and services in a larger consumer market, there are other factors that still need to be considered for a business organisation reach out easier to their target market. Looking into the characteristics and thought processes of the people still holds as the most significant factor to be looked into by the individuals in the field of sales and marketing. The large scope of market can pose a hindrance to a successful marketing strategy in terms of over generalised definition of the target or niche market.
With this regard, marketing people recognises the role of social marketing strategies in attaining business success. Basically, the role of social marketing is long and varied, but at the main concern is regarding public health and safety. At any rate some parts of precautionary health care, a centerpiece of the swiftly rising health maintenance organisation systems, will involve marketing capabilities. Social marketing is directly implicated in some preventative safety and health-care issues. For instance, the misuse of alcohol products, the use of tobacco, and the eating of unhealthy foods are promoted by legitimate marketers, these are bona fide concerns for social marketers. But the dark side of marketing, concerning a wider range of products and issues, also expects research inspection. Let say, for example, how the liquor and alcohol marketer contributes to the increasing cases of drunk driving accidents. The illicit drug market bears examination, as do issues concerning the homeless (Hill, 1991), the abused, and the raped (Hirschman, 1991).
Beer, Liquor and Alcohol Products
Liquor drinking is part of the culture in different parts of the world. Basically, in Japan, their famous “sake” is always part of their celebration. In Philippines, the “tuba” and “lambanog” are one of their favourite liquors. Actually, there are several types of liquor, there are beers, brandy, gins, whiskey, vodka, and etc. Different countries has their own favourite type liquor. Basically, for example, the most popular drink in Australia nowadays is beer. In New South Wales, it's Tooheys, in Victoria it's Carlton Draught and United Breweries (brewer of Fosters), in Queensland XXXX (Springer, 2003), in South Australia, Lion Nathan’s West End brand and Coopers, in Northern Tasmania Boags and Cascades in the South and in Western Australia, the Swan and Emu brands. As further proof, even the beer glasses for the different states have names. The history of Australian beer can be traced back very early in Australia’s colonial history, in 1770 to be exact (‘Australian Beer History’, n.d.). The popularity of this drink in the country has brought with it a wealth of marketing efforts in an attempt to sell more of the liquid product.
In line with this, the marketing field has become involved with an increasingly larger scope of corporate social responsibility, encompassing even how their products are utilised by the consumers. A general marketing principle these days, (at least in the books) is the satisfaction of the consumer by providing a product that not only is usable and acceptable but also safe for the individual, safe for the environment, and good for the diminishing resources of our society (Samli, 1992).
Social Marketing and Liquor Drinking
There are basically two arguments to this case. One, that marketers should unquestionably be responsible for how their products are being used by their consumers because it is basic marketing responsibility to provide the users brand information regarding the product like product quality and other essential information which the consumers will find useful in the search of products to patronise through such means as packaging, labelling, advertising and promotion. The two latter practices, especially, are powerful ways to relate such information to the market. In those ways lay the primary responsibility of the marketing people to provide accurate and sufficient information for the guidance of the consumers. Kendall (1971) asserted that the advertising and promotion's specific role in the marketing function is to convey the news and the benefits of the product to the consumer. However, their role does not end in relaying only the benefits and the good news. As a social responsibility, they are also bound by morals to relate if their products have side effects or anything that might be detrimental to the welfare of the consumer. On the sidelines, the six primary sources of ethical decisions that marketers make, according to Earl Clasen of the Pillsbury company are: (1) personal conscience, molded and formed by the ethical traditions of our society; (2) the law and its corollary; (3) organisation structure and procedures; (4) the marketplace; (5) professional knowledge or the business and technical expertise; and (6) consumer wants and acceptance (as cited in Kelley & Lazer, 1973). These six factors affect how marketers make their decisions that would consequently be beneficial or damaging to consumer welfare.
However, this does not seem to be the case in most advertising and promotional tools nowadays. In essence, only the products who are what they claim to be will work excellently according to the consumer’s needs, products that they could use to the extent of their potential use as they are fully informed and well aware of the mechanisms, processes and the correct usage or consumption of the said products. At least three negative practices associated with advertising and promotion namely failure to inform, manipulation and deception (Samli, 1992) should be overcome by the marketing profession so that they would be, in part, responsible for the way their consumers use their products. The phrase ‘in part’ was mentioned not by accident, as the responsibility is now clearly becoming a shared thing for both the marketers and the consumers.
On the other hand, there is the ‘free will’ argument, where it is claimed that people, as specimens given the ability to think for themselves, should have what is termed as ‘consumer social responsibility’. It is, by definition, ‘the conscious and deliberate choice to make certain consumption choices based on personal and moral beliefs’ (Devinney, Auger, Eckhardt & Birtchnell, 2006). Gaski argued that customers are very knowledgeable and therefore they can make very good purchase decisions (1985). It is also widely contended that consumers need to be socially responsible in that they are expected to take into account the public consequences of their private consumption or who attempts to use their purchasing power to bring about social change
In the advertising of Australian beer, the Advertising Federation of Australia, the body representing companies in advertising and marketing communications to industry, government, media and the public in the country, set a regulation called the Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC). The Code was first introduced in 1998 and updated in 2004 to take into account changes including the growing use of internet advertising and promotional events for alcohol beverages. Summarily, the Code is designed to ensure that alcohol advertising will be conducted in a manner which neither conflicts with nor detracts from the need for responsibility and moderation in liquor merchandising and consumption, and which does not encourage consumption by underage persons, specifically stating that ads for beverages must not suggest that the consumption or presence of alcohol beverages may create or contribute to a significant change in mood or environment (‘The ABAC Scheme’, 2004). Interpreted, there is a balance of responsibility on the part of the consumers and the marketers to have socially responsible behaviour in the consumption of such products.
In academic literature, Samli countered Gaski’s argument that the marketing people is not in any position to make socially responsible decisions because it does not know enough about it. In Samli’s book, he refutes that this could not be true as who other than a particular business knows more about its particular products or services? (Samli, 1992) This is true especially in the case of beer companies who should recognise the probable impact of their products upon a reasonable person within the class of persons to whom the advertisement or promotion is directed and other persons to whom such may be communicated, as they are the people who know more about their products than anyone else. On the flip side, there is also the consumers’ responsibility to regulate the consumption of beer products. The efforts of beer marketers to inform the general public about its possible effects to the human system will ultimately come as no avail for some products, even though not inherently harmful, can be potentially harmful to consumers due to abuse or misuse (Choudhury & Cui, 2003). For instance, targeting alcoholic beverages at poor inner-city consumers is particularly problematic, as this segment already suffers from a greater number of alcohol-related health and social problems than the general population (Smith & Cooper-Martin, 1997), meaning that ethical evaluations of many products depend on their interaction with consumer characteristics and marketing practices (Choudhury & Cui, 2003). Thus, marketers must study the perception of the public when formulating marketing strategies in order to avoid potential misunderstandings when it comes to the use or consumption of the products (Smith, 1995).
The research method that will be used for this study will be quantitative method combined with descriptive method; quantitative method will be used as it will utilise respondents from which the information will be gathered from, and as such statistics are important for the completion of the study. Meanwhile, descriptive method will also be combined with the original method of study. Although it can be admitted that descriptive method more often accompanies qualitative research method, it nevertheless gives a different approach to the study as it will give more depth to the assessment of a the quantitative study. With the subject of the study focusing on the role of social marketing strategies to drunk driving cases, it will be better to gain the statistical analyses of the respondents to the advertisement, and couple it through the use of the descriptive research method will be highly competent in depicting the behaviours of the consumers. Moreover, quantitative coupled with descriptive methods are more likely to be used for the analysis and the study of the culture and their effect on society, which makes it the ideal method to be used for the study of their causes and effects, as well as helps with the possibility in isolating several factors; it also helps to provide closure with regards to the outcome of the study that focuses on qualitative analyses backed by the statistical evidences (Anzul, Ely, Friedman et al, 1991: 210) as well as continuity that occurs within the community despite the possible biases that this may bring to the study (Purcell Jr., 1973 and Yow, 2004).
With this, it is then understood that the study will be focusing on information gathered from both respondents and from the researcher’s account and notes concerning the pricing strategies. Statistical information will lend to the credibility of the study and is important to isolate factors that may have affected the success of liquor companies. As such, the information-gathering will then be based on the method of the research being done and will also be utilising a combination of both information gathered from the respondents as with the information taken from the literatures.
Respondents and Area of Study
The method of this study will be utilising is through random sampling wherein the researcher will be required to randomly select people to represent the advances of the whole population. The study will be depending on respondents who are drinking liquors. Questionnaires will be distributed to the respondents who avail of the liquor products; this method of sampling is called the probability method in which the researcher will limit the customers to random choosing. There will be 150 respondents who will be selected to take part in the survey, with the researcher counting on them having various characteristics, backgrounds, and economical backgrounds will be regarded as valid sources of information.
At the same time and along with the respondents who will be asked concerning the influence of marketing strategies of liquor companies, the study will also be using articles and literatures as source of their information. Moreover, this research utilises the use of media art in the form of advertisements which that can be shown through television or magazine articles. A combination of such information analyses will hopefully show how liquor companies in Hong Kong interpret the needs and demands of their target consumers.
For this study, two research instruments were used to describe and assess how social marketing affect drunk driving. These research instruments included the survey and interview methods. A structured questionnaire was distributed to the selected respondents (See Appendix A). The questionnaire given to the participants aimed to evaluate the status of social marketing of liquor companies and their contribution to the incidents of drunk driving. The evaluation factors are developed in terms of the benefits and difficulties encountered from implementing social marketing of liquor companies. The questionnaire was structured in such a way that respondents will be able to answer it easily. Thus, the survey was structured using the Likert format with a five-point response scale. A Likert Scale is a rating scale that requires the subject to indicate his or her degree of agreement or disagreement to a statement. In this type of questionnaire, the respondents were given five response choices. These options served as the quantification of the participants’ agreement or disagreement on each question item (see data analysis procedures).
The Likert survey was the selected questionnaire type as this enabled the respondents to answer the survey easily. In addition, this research instrument allowed the researcher to carry out the quantitative approach effectively with the use of statistics for data interpretation. Once all the answers of the respondents have bee gathered, the researcher computed the weighted mean value for each survey item. The mean was then compared to the Likert scale to interpret the results. The weighted mean was used in order to obtain the average values that represented the sample’s response to each question in the survey. This helped the researcher identify the general response of the participants to the question given.
On the other hand, interview questions were given randomly to 10 respondents who are knowledgeable to the current stance of drunk driving and impact of social marketing of liquor companies in their region.
Data Analysis Procedures
To analyse the quantitative data, percentage and weighted mean will be the most suitable statistical method to be used. Percentage could be representing the whole population and it is descriptive statistics. It indicates personal behaviour in the some of the respondent. Weighted mean would perform the general opinion within the respondent of the survey samples, whether they agree to a given statement or not.
This research instrument was selected as it allows the acquisition of insights from selected respondents; with semi-structured interview, interviewees are able to express their feelings, concerns and opinions. This data-gathering tool is useful for both the study and the researcher since it helped in gathering relevant information from specific respondents.
After gathering all the completed questionnaires from the respondents, total responses for each item were obtained and tabulated. In order to use the Likert-scale for interpretation, weighted mean to represent each question was computed. Weighted mean is the average wherein every quantity to be averaged has a corresponding weight. These weights represent the significance of each quantity to the average. To compute for the weighted mean, each value must be multiplied by its weight. Products should then be added to obtain the total value. The total weight should also be computed by adding all the weights. The total value is then divided by the total weight. Statistically, the weighted mean is calculated using the following formula:
Once the computed mean for each survey item has been computed, the values are then compared to the likert scale:
4.50 – 5.00
3.50 – 4.49
2.50 – 3.49
1.50 – 2.49
0.00 – 1.49
The study will use different software or applications that can help to store, maintain and analyse the result of the data gathering activities. MS Word will be used in order to create different letters and memos as well as to create the sets of questionnaires. MS Excel and SPSS (Statistical Packages for Social Sciences) can also help to analyse the quantitative data that have been gathered from the interviews and questionnaires. The study will also use the Internet for some reliable electronic resources as well as other electronic libraries and journal database.
The use of interpersonal skill is also necessary in gathering data from the different entity that are related to the problems as well as gathering information and data that will be important in the study. The knowledge in business research is also a must, because this will be useful in analysing and documentation of data. The data that have been gathered using the personal interviews will be tally and analyse in order to convert the data into information. Primary data that are collected will be presented using graphs, tables and figures. The secondary data that will be gathered will be written in a formal writing style. This documentation will serve as a diary of the project. It will show the different task that have done and not have done yet.
Validity and Instrumentation
The questionnaire (see Appendix) is prepared based on the research questions that were presented. This is to ensure that the questions that will be asked from the respondents will be able to yield the necessary information for the formulation of the conclusion. Along with a letter to the respondents, the questionnaire will contain the following: the first part is for knowing the basic characteristics of the respondents for their identification; the second part focuses on the perceived methods that the product uses for addressing the needs of their target consumers; the third focuses on the consumers’ preferences and loyalty with regards to information on the product; finally, the fourth is on the effects of the product’s advertisements to the consumers.
Together, these questions will be used for the gathering of information from the respondents and will assist in putting together an assessment of the consumers’ perception of marketing methods of liquor companies.
As discussed, the method of analysis that this study will be using is based on the gathered information that provide methods of assessing the characteristics and the consumer behaviours especially based on the marketing strategy. The primary method of analysis that will be used for this study, however, will be focused on the information gathered from the respondents. Careful assessment must be done on the literatures themselves and notes were taken that helped in finding information that related primarily to the consumer behaviour and how culture affects the choices that the customers make. A combination of the information will be helpful for the study.
One of the problems that the researcher must deal with is to ensure that biases will not be given to the study; as the information will be based primarily on the information gathered from the literatures, which are secondary sources, this may be a problem that the researcher may face. As such, the researcher will then strive to ensure that the method of information analysis will be conducted in a very objective manner, and will not in any way affect the outcome of the study.
From the literature reviews, it shows that a two-sided appeal strategy by liquor companies can be uncertain. In some cases, the strategy backfires and the consumer forms a more negative opinion of the product (Perner, 2003). This appears to be especially the case for low involvement products, where the consumer may merely notice that something negative is being said while not taking the time to discover the significance of this predicament and compensating factors.
The major objective of marketing, particularly social marketing is to regard the product as a service from the viewpoint of its connecting value rather than its use value. It is more imperative for the company to know how its product can provide service and support the tribe in its very being, than how to deliver the offer to the consumer. Here the belief of ritual is significantly essential to depict the way companies marketed to the in-line roller tribe (intensive tribal marketing). According to Kotler, P & Armstrong, G (2001), rituals provide a social reality with permanence. Like every social relationship requires some kin of ritual to establish and sustain it self, so too a tribe relies on rituals to pronounce its existence and sustain its membership.
In a marketplace where there is often little differentiation between brands, the organisation, its people, its policies and its attitude can often be the point of difference. In many product categories the service, back-up and support is as important as the product itself. Customers need to have confidence in the organisation. Consumer crises such as product recalls usually relate to one product but they will put other products, brands and even the whole company under the spotlight. Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to remain anonymous behind their brands. Consumers are more aware than ever before, and with the proliferation of media titles and access to new media, they have access to more information.
Basically, the possible results of the study would somehow become helpful in the fulfilment of its aim to detect the impact of social marketing to the rate of drunk driving. This study can also assess the relationship of having a social marketing procedures imposed by liquor companies and its effect to alcoholism that may result to drunk driving.
Potential implication of the study would include the evaluation of the researcher of the conditions existing among the liquor lovers in Hong Kong. This study would also provide information and knowledge on liquor drinking, which can be attributed to the ones’ exposure or none exposure to alcoholic drinks or beverages. Another implication of the study also includes the responsible marketing procedures of liquor companies.
For this, it is very important for the researcher to consider the intimate relationship of these respondents (e.i. friends and family) to the subjects. Researcher should anticipate the possible answer of the interviewees in accordance to the real condition of the respondents while driving. Actually it is fine to interview these individuals but it is also the duty of interviewer to handle the art of questioning. Interviewers should know how to psychology the respondents in order to get real responses. Therefore, the first step is helpful to identify subjects who reported they did not drive who reported they did not drive while intoxicated but actually did.
Basically, in the study conducted by Choudhury & Cui, (2003), they justified that drivers who admitted to consume a large quantity of alcohol on at least one occasion and after the post test fails to admit it are good targets for in-depth interviews since they are not sure about their answer. Now, in this paper it is the role of the researcher to get further information. Most people who knows they didn’t do any drunk driving will possibly not admit anything or say NO but for those individual who said yes, we need more clarification and investigation since these individuals are either saying the truth or they didn’t understand the risk of drunk driving.
Apparently, this study will also consider records from law enforcement officials related to people who drive while intoxicated. These data are also useful since it describes the background of a certified drunk driver which includes attitudes and demographic profiles. These records will serve as a model in determining whether the person is saying the truth or not.
From the considerations, this study has also several limitations. One of its limitations is that it covers only a small number of participants cannot cover the entire Hong Kong for obtaining data. Another limitation is that the survey does not represent the total population of the liquor users with the age of 13 to 20 years, due to the limited number of participants to be included. Another limitation is that this study would not obtain blood samples from the participants to examine their blood alcohol content. This can be helpful to assess the condition of the participants.
From the profusion of information available on the subject of social marketing in the context of liquor companies, it could be summarily considered that marketers should be responsible for the way their products are used by consumers. Attached to that responsibility is the premise that marketers should provide all the necessary information possible which will aid the consumer in the decision-making process with regards to product usage or consumption. However, this paper brought out another side to the issue. The side of the consumers, who, in part, should also be socially responsible for how they use or consume the products offered in the market. Being given the will to choose from amongst a variety of products, it is in the sole discretion of the consumers how they would utilise the products after having been appropriately given the necessary information which would assist them in making consumer-based decisions. It will thus prove beneficial for both parties, the consumers, getting exactly what they need, and the marketers, gaining profit from the consumption.
Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism and Alcohol-Related Problems (1997). Patient Plus, viewed 25 June, 2008, <http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/40000645>.
Anzul, M., Ely, M., Friedman, T., Garner, D. & Steinmetz, A. M. (1991). Doing Qualitative Research: Circles within Circles. London: Falmer Press.
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Choudhury, P. & Cui, G. (2003). Consumer Interests and the Ethical Implications of Marketing: A Contingency Framework. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 37(2), 364+.
Devinney, T., Auger, P., Eckhardt, G. & Birtchnell, T. (2006). The Other CSR: Consumer Social Responsibility. Social Science Research Network. Retrieved October 3, 2006, from http://papers.ssrn.com
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The questionnaire is part of Marketing Research to examine the How Social Marketing Strategies Effect on Drunk Driving? This questionnaire will take you less than 15 minutes to complete. Please tick on the box to indicate your answer.
All information collected will be treated with strict confidentiality and only used for academic purposes.
SECTION 1: Personal details
1. Please state your gender: 1. Male 2. Female
2. Age: 1. 15-24 2. 25-34 3. 35+
iii. Clerk/office worker
iv. Junior management
v. Middle management
vi. Senior management
SECTION 2: Liquor Drinking Habits
4. How long have you been start drinking liquors (e.g. wine, beers, whisky, etc.)?
1. less than 1 year 2. 1-2 years 3. 3-4 years 4. 4 years+
5. What type of liquor you prefer to drink?
6. Do you drive when you are drunk?
Section 3: Buying Preferences of Liquor Products
7. What is/are the factor(s) that you take into consideration when purchasing liquors? (you may indicate more than 1 choices)
ii. Price/Special promotion
iii. Family influence
iv. Friend’s influence/recommendation
v. Its tastes/flavours
vi. Its stated functionality
vii. Health and safety consideration
8. Where did you acquire the certain Liquor Products’ information before you
make the purchase decision ? (you may indicate more than 1 choices)
i. Shop shelves
ii. Print advertisement
iii. TV advertisements
iv. Internet websites
vi. Family members
For questions 8-15, please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements.
1 2 3 4 5
9. Excessive Liquor drinking is a cause of drunk driving
10. Liquor companies should be responsible in drunk
11. Most liquor companies give warning to general
public regarding the possible cause of irresponsible
12. Drunk driving is the main cause of car accidents
13. Responsible marketing should be imposed by
Liquor companies to lessen car accidents
14. I am often drunk because of liquor advertisements
15. Liquor drinking is bad to our health
16. I only buy liquor products when it is on
17. I ask friends/family members for opinion
before I buy these liquor products
Section 4: Social Marketing Against Drunk Driving
18. Liquor companies are supporting the policies
imposed by the government regarding drunk driving
19. There is collaboration between the marketing
procedures of liquor companies and the government
20. The social marketing strategies of both liquor
companies and the government against drunk
driving was effective.
21. The general public is aware to the policies and
penalties of drunk driving.
- What are your personal insights regarding drunk driving?
- Do you drive while you are drunk?
- Are you familiar to the initiatives of the government regarding drunk driving?
- Do you think liquor companies’ advertisement of their products affect your purchasing decision?
- Do you believe that liquor companies’ advertisement is related to the cases of drunk driving in the country?
- Are most liquor companies’ advertisements responsible enough to lessen drunk driving incidents? In what way(s)?
- What is your personal opinion regarding the advertisement quote “DRINK MODERATELY”?
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