Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Herman Bennett

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


Africa, Nigeria, Advertising, media, western media, African advertising


Images of skyscrapers, well-built roads, and deluxe model cars are often absent in the mindset of Western audiences when it comes to Africa. This is because the popular image of Africa in the western world is that of a backward and impoverished continent. Western media is largely responsible for this image. On the other hand, African advertising and advertising produced in Africa reveal a different image of the continent. This image focuses on the technological changes, social improvement, and modernization that are taking place in many African countries. This paper examines television and print advertising produced in different African countries for this rarely seen aspect of the continent they reveal. This examination is done using the “Reflective Hypothesis” which postulates that advertising mirrors the target community in terms of values, culture, beliefs and lifestyle. I argue that businesses in other to sell their product or services market a more sophisticated image of contemporary Africa. What western media representation of Africa does not take into account is the presence of a consumer market in the continent. This consumer market is the target of businesses both foreign and local, who traffic a more appealing image of the continent. Although it is evident that poverty is a serious issue in the continent, a study of advertising opens up the possibilities of seeing the continent in a different light.