Green Advertising and Environmentally Responsible Consumer Behavior: The Level of Awareness and Perception of Malaysian Youth

By Rahim, Mohd Helmi Abd; Zukni, Ros Zayanah Johari Ahmad et al. | Asian Social Science, April 2012 | Go to article overview

Green Advertising and Environmentally Responsible Consumer Behavior: The Level of Awareness and Perception of Malaysian Youth


Rahim, Mohd Helmi Abd, Zukni, Ros Zayanah Johari Ahmad, Ahmad, Fauziah, Lyndon, Novel, Asian Social Science


Abstract

The study determines to find the level of awareness and perception on green living amongst Malaysian youth through the use of advertising. The main objective is to explore awareness and perception of Malaysian youth towards green advertising promoted by the government. A survey was conducted to gather responses from online respondents using the social media website. Three hundred and twenty respondents have responded to the six month survey time, to a 20 questions questionnaire. The result indicates that, generally, the Malaysian youth have some awareness on what the term 'green living' denotes. However, those who practice green living are lower. They have been exposed to green advertising, but not all practice green living due to the lack of comprehensive understanding of the concept. The Malaysian youth exhibit positive perception towards green advertising. The finding concludes that there is a need for current and upcoming green advertising, especially ones that are done by the government to improve on their message delivery, creativity and information for the youth to respond in practice.

Keywords: Green advertising, Green living, Environmental awareness, Perception, Youth

1. Introduction

The green issue is a worldwide issue. Countries have been actively adopting the sustainable green living concept in mitigating the negative by-products of development and modernization, to name a few, pollution and deterioration of natural resources. The Obama administration in the U.S. was reported to have spent USD150 billion for their investment plan of clean energy, hybrid cars and renewable power (Desan, 2009). The Asian regions too, embracing the power of 'going-green' as environmental threats are disturbing local governments and citizens (Lee, 2008). The Malaysian Green Technology Policy is the nation's commitment to the vision of a 'Green Malaysia' a reality. The Green Technology Policy was launched on 24th July 2009 by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The said policy outlined five strategic areas in implementing the 'Green Malaysia' framework; (i) strengthening institutional frameworks, (ii) providing a conducive environment for green technology development, (iii) intensifying human capital development in green technology, (iv) intensifying green technology research and innovations, and (v) undertaking of promotions to increase public awareness (Desan, 2009).

Much has been done to achieve these strategic thrusts. The property sector, for instance, has seen the rise in the development of green buildings such as the Gtower and 1First Avenue. Hypermarket chains such as Jusco and Carrefour have adopted the No Plastic Bag Day policy on Saturdays in their bid to reduce dependency on plastic. The corporate sector has joined in with campaigns such as Sime Darby's Plant a Tree Program and Digi's Mangrove-Saving Project. At hand, various parties have made efforts in promoting green concept and as to raise the public awareness. The government has been actively involved in green advertising promoting the green campaigns.

Green advertising can be seen as any advertisement that may explicitly or implicitly addresses the relationship between a product and the biophysical environment (Banerjee, Gulas & Iyer, 1995). It should also have the characteristics of being able to promote a green lifestyle and, at times, enhance a corporate image of social responsibility. Government's green advertising campaign, besides promoting the green environment concept, embeds the promotion of good living and of government's good image to the citizen.

This research studies on the green advertising campaigns done by the government. Research has been somewhat limited in studies regarding green advertising (Mayor, Scammon & Zick, 1992; Scammon & Mayer, 1991), more so in countries where the level of awareness is still at its infancy. There is also little known about the nature of what green consumer perceive as important in green advertisement. …

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