Social number of other people” (Latane ,1981, p. 343).

        Social Impact
Theory by Latane (1981) is a social psychology theory which is employed in this
study to explain the effect of influencers in changing women’s beliefs. Several
studies proved that social media applications are subject to this theory
(Kwahk, & Ge, 2012; Mir & Zaheer, 2012; Perez Vega, Waite &
O’Gorman, 2016). It is an appropriate theory for understanding how companies
exploited influencers to increase their profits. According to the theory, “when
other people are the source of impact and the individual is the target, impact
should be a multiplicative function of the strength, immediacy, and number of
other people” (Latane ,1981, p. 343). To illustrate, three components make up
the Social Impact Theory: strength, which questions how powerful is the
influencing group comparing to the target group; immediacy, examines the
ability of influencing group and the target group to contact each other at any
time; number, questions the number of people in the influencing group. Powerful
individuals are causing social impact because they can persuade people to
change their perceptions, emotions, beliefs and behaviors (Latane ,1981, p.
343). Although influencers are few and people are the majority, the strength of
these influencers defeat the number of people. As figure 1 illustrated, people
became a small circle compared to the circles of the influencers. The result is
that people will start unconsciously to join the influencer’s ingroup circle,
and make it more bigger and more powerful. Thus, the influencers’ ideology
became naturalized and even common sense. On the other hand, the people’s
outgroup circle will diminish gradually. Snapchat application had become a fertile
ground for cosmetics advertisements. Users of this application are allowed to
exchange photos and videos called “snaps”. A photo or a video could
be viewed for 10 seconds or less before it disappears from the device, unless
the video is uploaded on the story page, where the followers can view it for 24

Social Impact Theory

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

women became obsessed with their appearance due to the emphasis of women’s
image in different media channels (Lupinetti, 2015, p.38). Cranny-Francis,
Waring, Stavropoulos and Kirkby (2003) claimed that female image is seen in all
forms of media showing us what a beautiful woman is, and providing instruction
on how to become pretty. This means that advertisements construct identities,
attitude and change ideologies about women’s image (Cook, 2001). They do not
only sell to consumers, but change a society ideology about beauty in order to
make people buy unnecessary things (Eagle, 2000, p.122-123). These ideologies
and beliefs are spread and naturalized through powerful people until the
ideology became a common sense (Fairclough 1985, p. 739). In local context,
cosmetics advertisements are employing the dominant influencers in Snapchat to
emphasize the importance of beauty. The contents presented, tend to affect
people’s decisions and beliefs. This phenomenon is explained by referring it to
a social psychology theory called Social Impact Theory (1981).

II. Literature Review

         The aim of
this paper was to shed light on how invisible ideologies in the discourse of
Snapchat advertisements shaped the ideas of the women in Saudi Arabia. This
study addressed the following research question: 1) What are the textual,
social and discursive techniques employed in the advertisement of beauty
products to manipulate women in Snapchat? 2) How does these techniques
contribute in affecting women idealized image? The findings of this research
would contribute further to the field. Also, the significance of this study is
that it draws attention to such ideologies implied in social media

Purpose of the study

Through decades advertisements have played a significant
role in building the ideal image of women through different sorts of media.
Thus, the study of advertisements from critical discourse analysis CDA
perspective has received considerable attention, to understand how ideologies
hidden in the advertisements construct the individual’s beliefs, and shape
people’s realization of the world (Iqbal, Danish, & Tahir, 2014). In Saudi
Arabia, the ideal image of women has been extensively emphasized by cosmetics
advertisements, especially after the emergence of the social media application,
Snapchat. This application has increasingly spreads between women in Saudi
Arabia (“Most snapchat users are women”, 2017). Thus, cosmetics companies
exploit this application to spread their values, ideologies and beliefs in
order to increase their profits, and make women buy a style of life as well as
a product (Kaur, Arumugam & Yunus, 2013). This is done through employing
Snapchat influencers to present their products and attract consumers. In these
advertisements, the influencers use their dominance to stereotype the ideal
women. They do that by employing image and language to manipulate Saudi women’s
beliefs and make them think that the ideal image is to apply many beauty
products and use set of professional brushes. Consequently, Saudi Arabia became
one of the biggest cosmetics markets in the region (Al-Fawaz, 2016). This might
lead to repercussion at different levels; thus, studies that investigates this
phenomenon is required. However, up to the researcher’s knowledge, few or no
studies have been conducted in investigating the social media advertisements in
the Saudi context from a critical discourse analysis perspective. Also, most of
the international studies on advertisements’ discourse analysis are conducted
to analyze how images are used to manipulate consumers, while the textual aspect
is somehow underestimated (Alperstein, 2015; Davies, 2016; Featherstone, 2010;
McCabe, Malefyt & Caleidoscopio,2017; Wagner, Aguirre & Sumner, 2016).
This is justified to an extent since the image is much more powerful than the
word; however, in Saudi Arabia the situation is partly different. Due to the
conservative of the society, women are advertising in Snapchat through texts
and not using their body image. Thus, this study examines the use of language
in Snapchat cosmetics advertisements from critical discourse analysis (CDA)
perspective. CDA have been employed because it helps to improve and change the
lives of ordinary people by making the relationships of power that “oppress and
diminish” more transparent (McKenna, 2004, p.21). Also, to raise the awareness
of these hidden ideologies which become at the end naturalized (Fairclough,
1985, p. 739).