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Advertising to Chinese youth: a study of public service ads in Hong Kong

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Purpose ‐ Hong Kong youth's general attitudes toward government publicity were studied and their responses to two public service advertisements promoting green lifestyles were measured. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Thirty-four Chinese youths in Hong Kong aged 17 to 22 were questioned about their understanding of and attitudes toward public service advertising in face-to-face interviews. Their opinions of two government television ads promoting "green living" were then solicited. Findings ‐ The interviewees described government publicity in general as credible and practical. Some liked the green living ads for their creativity but others disliked them as boring, unrealistic, irrelevant and uninformative. Recommendations are presented for designing public service campaigns that target youth. Research limitations/implications ‐ The results were based on a small convenience sample. More than one interviewer participated, so the results were subject to differences in interviewing techniques. Practical implications ‐ The study developed useful information for those organizing public service ad campaigns, especially campaigns aimed at Chinese youth. Originality/value ‐ This has been the first study to measure youth's attitudes toward public service ad campaigns in the Hong Kong context.
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Keywords: Advertising; Behavioral change; Interviews; Public service advertising; Public services; Qualitative research; Research; Social marketing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 30, 2013

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