Technological advancements have provided various new mediums for advertising to consumers and have further allowed organisations to better reach consumers with regards to the frequency and impact
of advertising. Advertisers have to be more creative in the formulation of advertisements and selection of advertising mediums so as to gain the attention of their target market. The need to create new mediums for advertising has lead to the creation of new-age media such as inter alia, short message service (SMS) advertising. Before this medium can be effectively used to reach South African consumers, the attitude of consumers towards SMS advertisements need to be determined. This study therefore focuses on determining the perceptions of the younger consumer segment towards SMS advertisements. It is expected that this segment, due to their changing consumer behaviour and media habits, will be the future focus of a great deal of SMS advertising campaigns. Quota sampling was done
in a large university and self-administered questionnaires were completed by 198 respondents.
It was found that consumers’ perceptions of the entertainment value, informativeness and credibility of SMS advertisements are positively correlated to consumers’ overall attitudes towards SMS advertisements. The study further found consumers’ perceptions of the irritation aspect of SMS advertisements is negatively correlated with consumers’ attitudes towards SMS advertisements. Consumers have generally negative overall attitudes towards SMS advertisements and it must be cautiously used when attempting to gain the attention of a younger segment of consumers. Permission-based marketing, the sending of SMS advertisements to only those who have agreed to receive promotional information, is an important element for the success of SMS advertising.