POST D: Youth advertising in Yogyakarta

Advertising is the key to selling any product and the indonesia tobacco industry is no exception, a range of mediums are used over the archipelago in an effort to coerce consumers into purchasing a product. Kedaulatan Rakyat is a daily newspaper publication based in Yogyakarta with a circulation of 125,000 copies split between print and digital form. Dyna Herlina Suwarto Nurhidayati Kusumaningtyas analysed and conducted research deconstructing the advertising and the messages appearing in the publication.. This research was produced in an effort to aid efforts in counter cigarette advertising. It’s important to note that tobacco companies in Indonesia do not compete in price per unit but rather but rather rely on a bombardment of emotional advertising.

It found that 45% of advertisements depicted models and of these the majority were middle class Javanese males, the main approach used by companies was transformational advertising – consuming the product will result in a positive increase of physiological characteristics (Christopher, 1984). Young people ages 10-19 in Yogyakarta make up a massive 17.6% of the population, many of whom are at risk from these advertisements. But this is not just specific to the region, rather occurs all over the archipelago.

Yayi Suryo Prabandari and Arika Dewi’s cross section in youth cigarette advertising found that “cigarette advertising and promotional messages are targeted at youths”. Leading me to believe that youth advertising is a crucial way to create customers for tobacco. But this is not just in Yogyakarta; “In Jakarta. 99.7 % of teenagers see cigarette ads on television; 86.7% of all teenagers see cigarette advertising in outdoor media space; 76.2 % of all teenagers see cigarette ads in newspapers and magazines and 81% of teenagers have attended events sponsored cigarettes” (Kusumaningtyas, 2015) . 

So the youth are heavily targeted in this advertising, this led me to investigate an example of one of these billboards that are heavily discussed in my research. This Advertisement was seen in Jakarta in 2012 by blogger Luke Regler and depicts a prominent english footballer Rio Ferdinand. Sports team sponsorship is a critical way for companies to engage a young audience.

Rio Ferdinand promoting Gudang Garam Tobacco in Jakarta

Sebayang, S., Rosemary, R., Widiatmoko, D., Mohamad, K. and Trisnantoro, L. 2012, Better to die than to leave a friend behind: industry strategy to reach the young, Tobacco Control 2012, pp.370-372, viewed 24 November 2019, <;.

Rus’an Nasrudin & Ledi Trialdi & Djoni Hartono & Abdillah Ahsan, 2013. “Tobacco Economic of Indonesia: Poor Households’ Spending Pattern, Tax Regressivity and Economic Wide Impact of Cigarette Excise Tax Simplification,” Working Papers in Economics and Business 201302, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, revised Mar 2013.

Christopher P. Puto and William D. Wells. 1988,”Informational and Transformational Advertising: the Differential Effects of Time”, in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 11, eds. Thomas C. Kinnear, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 638-643.

Regler, Luke. 2012. Rio Ferdinand promotes smoking in Indonesia! Personal Blog (WordPress)

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