The Influence of Media Advertisement on Young People’s Intention to Attend a Cultural Festival in Adelaide

Author: Sharareh Farbod

Farbod, Sharareh, 2018 The Influence of Media Advertisement on Young People’s Intention to Attend a Cultural Festival in Adelaide, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Festivals play a key role in attracting tourists in the tourism market. Festivals act as instruments to boost tourism and thereby the regional economy. The unique features of festivals as a type of cultural event make them travel attractions for cultural event visitors. Festivals which take place in tourist destinations are usually cultural festivals. South Australia is well-known for possessing artistic characteristics and cultural festivities. South Australia is often associated with events and festivals which create a party atmosphere. The Adelaide Fringe Festival, WOMADelaide Festival and the Adelaide Festival are popular exemplars of this. It is opined that the capital of South Australia, Adelaide in itself is an ideal venue for festivals, as every aspect of Adelaide’s socio-cultural environment can support festival aims. The aim of this research is to explore the influence of media advertisement on young people’s intention to attend three particular cultural festivals in Adelaide. The study will focus on some of the common forms of media advertisement as they fall into three categories: traditional (i.e. television, radio, newspaper, magazines and billboards), digital (digitally displayed which exist on the internet, smartphones etc.) and social (internet based like Facebook, Instagram, blogs, YouTube etc.). It will evaluate the influence of these different forms of media on young people’s (15-24 years old) intention to attend the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival and the WOMAdelaide Festival in Adelaide's Central Business District (CBD) and provide a comparison of these media advertisements’ effectiveness. This study adopted the case study methodology. This project used multiple case studies to undertake the research which should provide more reliable results in the end. As, according to the literature review, a qualitative methodology has become popular by researchers to investigate the application of media advertisement in the context of tourism studies, a qualitative methodology and interpretive paradigm were utilised in this study. Forty in-depth interviews with the students of Flinders University in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, were conducted in this study to collect the required data. The sample in this study is students between 18-24 years old who have heard about or attended all or at least one of these particular cultural festivals regardless of their citizenship. Therefore, the researcher contacted and recruited them face to face on site. Accordingly, purposive sampling was used as one of the nonprobability types of sampling to collect reliable data. The students were interviewed at one of the rooms of the central library regarding three different types of media advertisement of the festivals mentioned earlier, and the influences each media advertisement had on the participant’s intention to attend. Open coding, thematic analysis of iii the interview transcripts as well as content analysis were used for the interpretation of the collected data. Through the analysis of the forty in-depth interviews, it was shown that interviewees had found out about the Adelaide Fringe Festival through different types of media advertisements as well as word of mouth. The highest percentages belonged to Facebook 93%, posters 55%, television 45% and either word of mouth or radio 43%. In the case of WOMAdelaide Festival, the highest percentages belonged to Facebook 68%, word of mouth 35% and either television or posters 33%. Likewise, in the case of the Adelaide Festival, the highest percentages are related to Facebook 20%, posters 18% and television 15%. Overall, the results make it clear that advertisements through Facebook, which had the high percentage found for all festivals, had the widest reach in terms of informing respondents about these festivals. This study suggested Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are the most successful ones in comparison to other types of media advertisements. Analysis of the results of the study indicates that social media, as the three most successful media forms found fall under social media, is the most pronounced in comparison to both digital and traditional forms of advertisement in influencing young people's intention to attend a cultural festival in Adelaide. As all the respondents believed everyone in their age group is on the computer and internet, they suggested that cultural festivals use and invest more advertisements through social media. In particular, they specified advertisement on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as these are the most common, popular, usable and accessible ones between young people so that they would be more influential, and be able to reach more young people. Further research is recommended that investigates the intention of different demographic groups with a focus on other cultural festivals not only in Adelaide, South Australia but also in other states or countries. These would allow comparable data to highlight the differences and similarities across geographic space and time and would serve to strengthen the reliability of this study’s findings. Likewise, investigations could focus on not only cultural festivals but also other types of festivals to allow a comparison of the results of this study which is gathered in regard to three specific cultural festivals.

Keywords: traditional, digital, social, media advertisement, cultural festival, young people’s intention, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival, WOMAdelaide Festival, Adelaide and South Australia

Subject: Tourism thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2018
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Chris Fanning