Young consumer's responses to personal loan commercials

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Personal finance, Advertising effect, Consumer perception, Young consumers


The personal debt problem is common among Hong Kong people. Personal loan marketers have been promoting their products and services aggressively, especially to young consumers. The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a qualitative study that was conducted to examine how young consumers respond to personal loan advertisements using face-to-face interviews. Altogether 20 males and 18 females aged 18 to 25 participated in the study. They were shown three personal loan TV commercials from United Asia Finance, one of the top three personal loan advertisers in 2014 and 2015. These commercials were broadcast during prime-time evening hours on free-to-air Chinese television channels in 2014 and 2015. They aimed at different target audience groups. The first one, featuring a couple relaxing at a seaside resort, targeted young couples. The second one, featuring two men playing videogames, targeted male consumers. The third one, featuring a young woman shopping around the world, targeted female consumers. After viewing the three selected TV commercials, participants were asked to report their impressions of each advertisement, their attitudes toward personal loan advertisements in general, and the perceived impact on their affective and behavioral levels. The results indicated that the overall impression of these commercials was that borrowing money was easy and quick. 88 out of 118 responses demonstrated this point. Besides, the majority (26 out of 38 participants) held a negative attitude toward personal loan advertisements. They perceived that these advertisements encouraged over-consumption and did not tell all the truth, which were the two key reasons brought up by the participants who disliked personal loan advertisements in this study. Each reason was raised 15 times respectively. In addition, nearly 51% (54 out of 106) of the responses mentioned that these commercials had no effect on the participants. Some participants, however, reported that they would consider the brand if they had a need to borrow money in the future.

Source Publication

2017 International Conference on Research in Advertising (ICORIA)

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