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The extent and nature of green advertising in magazines in South Africa: a content analysis.

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This study provides a South African perspective that is increasingly important in a globalised economy. Research shows that South African consumers are becoming environmentally conscious. As consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the negative impact of conventional products, organisations are encouraged to devise new strategies that reflect these consumers' interests. As a result, the use of green advertising by organisations targeting the green consumer segment is growing, with organisations interested in enhancing their green message. However, the extent or nature of such advertising has not been established within the South African context. This research seeks to assess and understand the extent of green advertisements in magazine advertising in South Africa and how the green message is communicated in these advertisements. This study followed the qualitative method, using a descriptive design and deductive analysis of magazine advertisements that were selected using a simple random sampling. This content analysis research on magazine advertising in South Africa provides insight into the nature of green advertisements. The findings revealed a limited number of green advertisements. The results provide evidence of the different green advertising appeals, message elements, message explicitness, green problems addressed and green solutions proposed in the green advertisements. Past research does not indicate how the green message is communicated in magazine advertising in South Africa. With insufficient information often reported as the cause of a lack of green behaviour, this study provides evidence of the extent to which this is true in South African advertising. Thus, recommendations are made to green product marketers on how to incorporate the green message into various elements of message structure to enhance green communication. The research also contributes to marketers using a green message, to understand the types of message elements currently being used in magazine advertising in South Africa and possible alternatives for making the green message unique. The study recommends future research to expand its investigation of green communications into websites, social media and television advertisements. Further, recommendations for green marketers, academics, policymakers and future research are provided.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.