2008-09 Gathering of Voices

The Rise of Change: Observational Analysis of Samsung F300
in Mass Media

Yunjung Katie Baek, Bryan Beard, Amber Icay and John Drayer


The purpose of this study is to examine the commercial ad for the Samsung Ultra Music F300 starring singer/actress Beyonce Knowles. The analysis of this commercial was conducted through the use of four theories; Source Creditability, Agenda-Setting, Two Step Flow and Semiotics. Through observational analyzes these particular theories were used to better understand the content and general message present by the Beyonce Samsung Commercial and its effects on its audience.

The conclusion of this study found that Beyonce Samsung Commercial is indeed influence by these particular theories. Wherein, these theories create a frame work that allows for increased audience understanding and shows that a clear relationship is established between Samsung and its targeted audience through the Beyonce Samsung Commercial.


Company History & CEO

When most people hear the name Samsung they think of that name along side other brands like Sony, Microsoft or even Apple. Samsung which started in the 1950’s has grown to be a major world player and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon with great innovation and quality backing it’s brand name.

Samsung is a South Korea based company with its main corporate headquarters in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do. Samsung is the largest company in South Korea and employs over 164,600 people worldwide. Samsung’s CEO Yoon-woo Lee who was appointed in 2008 has been working to re-organize the company’s priorities. Lee looks to pull the company though these hard economic times with a new leadership team and continued production of quality goods and services by the Samsung Group (Samsung.com).

The Samsung Company is divided up into many branches with different focuses, the three core branches are Samsung Electronics, Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung C&T. The word Samsung means “Tristar” or “Three Stars” and as a company in 2008 had a revenue of $173.4 Billion, a net income of $10.7 Billion, total assets of $252.5 Billion and a total equity of $90.5 Billion USD (Samsung.com).

Samsung Heavy Industries deals mostly with ship building and is the second largest shipbuilder in the world. Samsung C&T deals with Engineering and Construction as well as Trading and Investments. And last there is Samsung Electronics which is one of the worlds largest electronic company supplying TVs, DVD/Blue Ray Players, cell phones, computers, washing machines, air conditioners and much more.

Over the years Samsung has continually tried to raise the bar in regards to technological advancement and has even surpassed Sony and Motorola in areas of Mobile Phone Technology. Samsung Electronics has even worked with such film/radio star as Beyonce to help campaign for products such as the Ultra Music Samsung F300 handset which combines the features of a mobile phone with a MP3 player (Technology Weekly). Beyonce was featured in a Television advertisement created by Cheil Communications who’s CEO is sister to Samsung general owner, Lee Kun-Hee. In the end, Samsung has as a company earned its marks and had the honor of participating in the Beijing Olympics as an official Olympic partner (Samsung.com).

Commercial Description

The commercial begins with a close up camera shot of a woman’s hand pushing play on what looks to be a MP3 player with the Samsung name on it. On the screen of the Samsung MP3 player there is a small picture a woman with illegible words underneath (the image is actually of Beyonce Album cover B’ Day which has sold 3.2 million copies worldwide.) The shot ends with the MP3 player being drawn up and off screen.

Next, with a quick transition over to a new camera angle we can now see a woman beginning to cat-walk down the right side of a side walk while listening to some music with visible store fronts in view. The shot is taken from a mid-long range angle with a panning effect following the figure slightly off to the right. The woman is seen to be wearing a white shirt, jeans and very bright red heels (very carefree natural style). Those shoes really stand out because red is such a powerful color and the setting is very bland. Before the shot finishes you see that the woman in the red shoes is being passes on the right by an African American male wearing what looks to be jeans and a grey hoodie (dressed very casually as not to take away from the Woman walking).

Immediately, the shot switches again to a close up framed shot of the woman walking down the street with the background out of focus. We now know the identity of the woman in the red shoes, who happens to be the proclaimed Pop/R&B Singer Actress Beyonce Knowles. At the bottom left side of the screen a small set of words can be seen, these words being in the same style as a music video stating the song being used which is “Irreplaceable” from her new album B’day. Also, her name Beyonce Knowles is seen in the description as well (which reconfirms that this is indeed Beyonce on the screen). She is seen to be actually wearing a white V neck T- shirt with large Hoop Earrings. Her make up is very simple and everyday so to speak. Beyonce is simply walking down the street humming to her own song as she enjoys the day. Now we move onto the next shot.

This new shot opens with the sound of a ring and Beyonce coming out of an elevator. This shot is a mid-close up of a now professionally dressed Beyonce in a black dress with hair pulled back and long oval drop shaped earrings. The shot once again quickly changes to a close up of Beyonce’s hand pressing a button on her Samsung phone to answer a call and then drawing it off screen. Then the shot changing right back to a side profile shot of Beyonce answering the phone and saying hello. The shot changes again panning left and you can now see that Beyonce is in a lobby of a Hotel (which is actually the Hotel Gansevoort in Manhattan). Beyonce jumps into the conversation by asking if “the House of Dereon samples are ready to be shipped?”

In the background you can see out of the Hotel Lobby’s large windows and a few individuals sitting and doing business (two African males and one Caucasian). As the shot comes to a close we can see an African American walking past Beyonce on the right dressed in a business suit and carrying a brief case (earlier in the commercial we saw the same situation with a person walking to the right of Beyonce on the street).

Now we cut back over to the Beyonce that was walking out side. The shot is still a close up framed shot of her shoulders and face. She is still listening to music with the song “Irreplaceable” playing as she sings along on her carefree day.

Here we have a shot that includes both professionally and casually dressed Beyonces’. This shot is setup with a long wide view of business Beyonce coming out of revolving doors of the Hotel Gransevoort’s lobby and casual Beyonce walking in from the right to pass the front of the hotel’s entrance. We quickly move to a blurred semi-close up from behind shot of business Beyonce coming out of the revolving doors as it pans out of focus and to the right to show casual Beyonce walking just in front.

They are both completely unaware of each other and as you can guess end up colliding with each other (with their left shoulders as the songs plays out the chorus, ON THE LEFT ON THE LEFT). Just before they collide you can notice a yellow cab in the background passing, also in an earlier shot there was a yellow dress in the store front these were used to foreshadow her next outfit (a way to ease a viewer into a sudden change). The phone and MP3 then drop together perfectly to the ground music side up.

After looking at each other for a quick second they both moved to pick up their dropped items off the ground. The camera angle changes yet again to show a brand new Beyonce in a yellow blazer. She picking up the phone and then flipping it back and forth to look at it. A British voice then speaks telling the audience that you can switch to your music or phone in just a flip of a phone and then back again with the Samsung F300 (the British voiced used to sound more technical and educated). Telling us that with this product it’s not too hard to imagine as the actual word imagine is shown every time they flip back to the phone. The new Beyonce then draws the phone to her ear and answers it as she continues on with her day. Her single irreplaceable starts playing again, and a picture of the phone appears back on screen. The Samsung logo is shown followed by a short jingle that is always played while you see the Samsung logo. The phone is also flipped from music to phone to music side emphasizing on the music side more than anything.

On the surface, the commercial may seem like it’s only about selling more Samsung phones, but if we look deeper into the commercial we find that there is much more to it than meets the eye. The entire wardrobe used in the commercial is actually from Beyonce Knowles and her mother Tina’s store named the House of Dereon. This store is furthermore the topic of discussion that the professional Beyonce is having while walking through the high class hotel lobby as she is walking towards the door. Another interesting fact is that every Samsung F300 Ultra music phone also receives a free ring tone of Beyonce’s new hit single “Irreplaceable” that is playing in the background during the commercial.

Theory Review


Semiotics is the study of communication and signification as part of social life. It is an approach to all different aspects of cultural analysis obtained from structural linguistics. It involves the study of sign systems and how meaning is made within a culture. Semiotics is a tradition of thought drawing audience’s attention to the formal structures of signification in terms of a shared language. The process of producing and interpreting signs is always present, even when there is no intent to communicate anything. Semiotics is a sign which is made up of these components: the concept named signified and its acoustic or written or painted image named signifier, plus the relation between the two, which forms the sign, plus the relation to the user (Thuerwaechter, 2007). A signifier does not constitute a sign until it is interpreted. Not only is the meaning arbitrary, but it also is a form of constructed character. There are two different types of sign systems; the denotative is the literal meaning without ideological content and the connotative is a second level of meaning which usually is an implied meaning of the sign, representing an idea of a thing rather than the thing itself.

Agenda Setting Theory

Agenda Setting Theory explains how media influences which issues the public finds important. The issue was first suggested in 1992 by the newspaper columnist Walter Lippman, concerning that the media had the power to present images to the public (U. Twente, 2004). McCombs and Shaw believe that mass media apparently influence voters' perceptions of what is important. They also quote University of Wisconsin political scientist Bernard Cohen's observation saying, “The press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about” (Griffin, 2008). In other words, the media accomplishes the agenda-setting function not by directly telling the public, instead, the media signal the importance of certain issues by giving more frequent coverage and more prominent positions (Jian-Hua and Deborah). McCombs and Shaw investigated presidential campaigns in 1968, 1972 and 1976, focusing on awareness and information, and assessed the relationship between what voters in one community said were important issues and the actual content of the media messages used during the campaign (U. Twente, 2004). The hypothesis predicts a cause-and-effect relationship between media content and voter perception (Griffin, 2008). As a result to this, they concluded that the mass media had a significant influence on what issues voters should mainly consider during the election campaigns.

In follow-up studies, McCombs and Shaw also discovered what kinds of people are more likely to be affected by the mass media. They concluded that people who have a willingness to let the media shape their thinking have a high need for orientation (Griffin, 2008). In other words, people with high relevance and uncertainty are more likely to be influenced by the media because they try to pursue more information.

According to the University of Twente in Amsterdam,

Two basis assumptions underlie most research on agenda-setting: (1) the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it; (2) media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.

Another area that has gained importance in concern to the Agenda Setting Theory is in commercial advertising, which was first investigated by Sutherland and Galloway. They concluded that instead of persuading the audience to buy products, the more achievable goal of advertising is to focus the consumer's attention on what vales, brands, and attributes to think about when considering purchasing a product. As a result, the Agenda Setting Theory became an important and necessary first step in the marketing process, ultimately ending in sales (Jian-Hua and Deborah).

The Agenda Setting Theory can be summarized as a theory which, “is a relational concept that specifies a transfer of salience from agenda primers to agenda adopters” (Shailendra, 1986). The news media, or advertising in the media has a significant power to influence audience' mind of what issues to think about, giving suggestions what to do unconsciously or encouraging a specific behavior at times.

Source Credibility Theory

Source Credibility is a multi-dimensional concept that refers to a person’s perception of the “Truth.” It serves as a means for the receiver of information to rate the source of communication in relation to the information. (Hovland, 1953, p. 21).

Source Creditability as a whole is a major contributing factor to the idea of how people’s thoughts are communicated to others in a given society through the use of mass media and other such channels. Source Creditability can be experienced in everyday life; it can be seen on TV during a commercial break, it can be heard on a popular radio show or even while reading a national news paper. This concept is very important in this ever evolving technological day and age because communication is the quintessential link between people, businesses and countries and the diffusion of their ideas and innovations.

Source Creditability in this study can be generalized as the believability of a speaker as defined by the viewers of that said speaker or in other words the speakers’ credibility in concern to a particular topic that they are speaking on or behalf of. Source Creditability in this particular study can then be separated into two main attributes for observation; one of which being “Perceived Expertise” and the other being “Trustworthiness of the Source.” (Gilbert, Daniel T. 1998, Parts of Source Creditability)

Wherein, “Perceived Expertise” can be defined as the perception of a given audience to the supposed expertise of a speaker on a particular issue. While the other attribute of Source Creditability being the “Trustworthiness of the Source,” that can be defined as the ability for people to believe a person to be honest. In other words, more simply put a measurement of character by a group or viewer.

C.I. Hovland and his colleagues are in many ways considered to be the fathers of this Theory of Source Creditability from their studies on persuasion and communication. However, some critics believe this theory to not really be a theory at all but more of a scientific re-statement of an already general piece of knowledge known to society at large.

Over the years the theory of Source Creditability has been observed and tested under various controlled conditions to see how it influences certain outcomes involving individuals and their opinions. Source Creditability can be applied to a variety of studies ranging from politics and law to even marketing and consumer buying trends. There were even studies on Source Creditability during World War II focusing in on the propaganda used during that time. One such study looked into the affects of Source Creditability on Communication Effectiveness which was conducted by Carl Hovland and Walter Weiss. While another study focused on Source Creditability and the Effectiveness of Firewise Information which was conducted by Alan D. Bright and others from Colorado State University.

In the study on Source Creditability and its affects on Communication Effectiveness the main focus was on administering similar informational journals from different levels of creditable sources (one highly creditable and the other with low creditability) to a group. For example, in the journals there would be two articles about the future of movies; one written by FORTUNE and the other by an unknown writer. It was hypothesized that “the extent of agreement is usually higher when the statements are attributed to a higher prestige source.” The results of the study showed that opinions were changed immediately after the communication in the direction advocated by a communicator to a significantly greater degree when the material was presented by a trustworthy source than when presented by a untrustworthy source (Hovland and Walters, p. 650).

In the other study they focused on Source Credibility and the effectiveness of Firewise Information. They were interested in how multiple roles of source creditability influences elaboration and the impact of messages about conducting firewise behaviors. This study was carried out by mailing various surveys to Coloradoan residents with informational flyers and surveys about Firewise behaviors in the wildland urban interface of Colorado. These informational flyers came from three agencies; the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service and last the local fire departments. The findings from this study concluded that source creditability does influence behavior change, where 5 out of 7 fire wise topics were affected. And, that such behaviors would change as a direct result of the information presented in the study.

The study of Source Credibility is at times a very difficult theory to grasp. At times being used in conjunction with other theories to help improved the general understanding of the nature of Source Credibility. The Sleeper Effect has been once such theory that has always been hand in hand when discussing Source Credibility. In the end, the study of Source Credibility will continue to be a topic of study with new findings and studies yet to be.

Two Step Flow Theory

The two-step flow theory was initially introduced in 1944 by Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet as a study of the Roosevelt vs. Dewey Presidential election performed on the decision making process throughout this campaign. In their quest to find support for the direct influence of media messages on voting intentions, they instead found that informal yet, personal contacts were mentioned far more frequently than exposure to radio or newspaper as sources of influence on voting behavior. Based on these findings, Lazarsfeld and Elihu Katz began constructing the two-step flow theory into what is still widely utilized today by communication theorists around the world.

Lazarsfeld and Katz study, titled “The People’s Choice” (U. Twente, 2009), hypothesized that the researchers would find a direct influence of the media’s messages on voting intentions. The theory emphasizes that information from the media progresses into two distinct steps. The initial step in the spreading of information consists of individuals who pay close attention to the media messages and then influences their own interpretations of the media content. These individuals are known as “opinion leaders” (U. Twente, 2009). “Personal influence” was the term chosen to refer to this process of intervening between the media’s message and the audience’s reaction to the message (Center for Interactive Learning, 2008). This personal influence has been found to be more effective than that of the media influence. As a result, this leads to opinion leaders becoming extremely persuasive in getting people to shift their attitudes in agreement with those they have an influence in. An example of opinion leaders would be Levi Strauss and the way he advertises his jeans or more importantly Samsung and how they utilize Beyonce Knowles to advertise their product. This theory has provided a new perspective on how the mass media influence public attitude, as well as helped to explain why some media messages may fail in attempts to change audience behavior. It also paved way the diffusion of innovations theory which was founded by sociologist Everett M. Rogers in 1962. The theory supplements the two step flow theory in that it “predicts that media as well as interpersonal contacts provide information and influence opinion and judgment” (U. Twente, 2009). These theories have been applied to commercials in order to influence society in purchasing the product advertised.

Theory Application


Mass communication techniques utilize the power of colors in commercials to invoke desirable emotions from the viewing audience. The advertising agency for Samsung has represented this clearly using an assortment of colors tied to signifiers within this advertisement.

The first Beyonce that is seen by viewers is walking very provocative down a city street in a semi-casual outfit thus representing her sexuality and femininity. The outfit consists of a white shirt, blue jeans, and bright red high heels. These colors together patriotically corresponds to the American flag colors that signify “red symbolizes hardiness and valor…white symbolizes purity and innocence…blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice” (Hughes, 2010). When such powerful colors are systematically placed together, it brings about meanings in a message.

In another scene, Beyonce is seen is in a black professional one piece dress suit coming out of the elevator with a briefcase symbolizing her status within the corporation. She represents a position of hierarchy by being able to execute orders over the phone to subordinates. Weaved throughout is the use of bright colored objects that foreshadow, placing emphasis on upcoming important details. The two color uses in this advertisement are red and yellow. “Color knowledge mediates object recognition and knowledge of an object’s color can be more influential in the recognition of an object than the actual surface color of the object itself” (Joseph & Profitt, 1996).

One example of this color foreshadowing is when she is walking in front of storefront windows that are displaying a bright yellow and bright red dress that automatically draws the eye toward those colors. These bold yellow and red colors are each observed over ten times in the thirty second commercial. This foreshadows the bright yellow shirt of the last Beyonce yellow shirt when the final product is finally being presented. The multiple continual uses of utilizing bold colors assisted in making the connections throughout the commercial, contributing in capturing the audience’s attention and being able to retain it until the end where the actual product gets introduced. The colors help to create a fond memory and relate it to an emotion oneness with the actresses’ character that she portrays.

Agenda Setting Theory

Simply stated, the agenda-setting theory describes that the mass media has the ability to tell the public what issues they should focus on and think about unconsciously rather than telling them what to do directly. The Agenda Setting Theory also has been used commonly in advertising, focusing on consumers' attention on what values, products, brands, or attributes to think about rather than try to persuade consumers what to think of these (Sutherland and Galloway, 1981). One of the most common strategies to get the consumers' attention is to catch their eyes by using a specific sign with a message, which is called branding. This branding strategy is used in certain ways in the Ultra music F300 commercial setting agenda to improve trust with the public towards Samsung brand and Beyonce.

After the new Beyonce draws the phone to her ear and answers it as she continues on with her day, the commercial shows the phone flipped back and forth with “Imagine” logo. This logo promotes Samsung Electronics' brand marketing campaign kicked off since 2005. There are four major ads followed by the campaign, and the ads consist of all aspects of people's lives such as work, hobby, leisure, and relationship. According to Samsung' website, the “Imagine” campaign is sending a specific message that “You become captivated by functions and conveniences you never dreamed possible. Then suddenly you begin to feel the limitless possibilities, With SAMSUNG, it's not that hard to imagine” (Samsung.com). It basically implies that all products are designed only for YOU, so you are the only one who can imagine a fuller, more engaged and satisfying lifestyle, and Samsung helps make that happen. The Samsung's blue elliptical logo is also shown followed by a short jingle, which is used in most of Samsung commercials at the very end. The jingle is composed of only five familiar tones to make a simple melody, and the viewers' mind gets caught by the melody unconsciously. This image advertising is to produce gradual shifts in our perceptions of a brand with regard to a particular attribute. Even the small effects of advertising can influence which brand we choose especially when all other factors are equal and when alternative brands are much the same (Sutherland, 2000).

The brand campaign uses images that make the consumers consider the products from Samsung, and they will be likely to trust Samsung products when it comes to purchasing them. Followed by the aforementioned branding agenda, the commercial has another major agenda, promoting racial issues.

Beyonce is the true American success story she came from your normal middle class Texas family, and worked her way up from a pop star to a prominent business woman. Beyonce is proud of her African American culture, and definitely has an agenda of her own to portray races in commercials other than just Caucasian. Race is definitely something that our country has had problems with in the past, and even though things have changed for the better you still do not see that many minorities in television commercials, or even ads. During the interview with Larry King, Beyonce says, “Of course, definitely here, but it's getting better. I always try to focus on positive progress that we've made. Hopefully in couple of years, it won't exist” followed by the question whether she ever felt racism (CNN.com). Beyonce also includes other races in her commercials in a positive light. In the Samsung Ultra music commercial Beyonce is surrounded by other African-Americans in various scenes. In the beginning of the commercial while Beyonce is walking down the street and singing she passes an African-American man who also looks very modernly dressed. This again happens when the commercial flashes to her in the business setting while she is walking and having a conversation about her business House of Dereon, in the background of the setting you see two very professionally dressed men talking. These features are also shown in Beyonce's other American Express commercial. She is surrounded by many African-Americans in her performance and business world except for the Caucasians: one is her assistant, and the other is a maid in a hotel room, implying that both are in lower position than Beyonce. This is something that is usually portrayed differently in American culture. Her commercials are part of an agenda to show a more tolerant American. Also, her implicit promotion during various interviews and performances also has impacted peoples’ thinking about racial issues unknowingly.

In response to the question of singing for the President Barack Obama in inauguration on the evening of January 20, she calls it “the highlight of my career.” Followed by the answer, she also says,

I'm so proud. I never thought that I will see this moment. I'm very happy with the progress that our country as made. It is time, and it is here. We are all so fortunate to be here. We all feel like we can give back and be more involved. Now it's called to be involved and to do other things for other people. (CNN.com)

Her composure brought to the surface the reality of what had happened: We had elected a black man to be the President of the United States. By the time the song was over, Beyonce had become not just part of historical moment but the perfect symbol of it (Vogue.com).

Samsung use of Beyonce benefits both of their agendas, because they can reach a wider audience with someone like Beyonce, than they could with other performing artists. She can use her star power to promote an anti-racist message, which reflects back on Samsung as a more tolerant and modern company. This is all part of the advertisements plan to create public awareness about an important issue, that in turn makes the company as a whole look better, while promoting sales.

Source Credibility Theory

In this next section we are applying the theories of Source Creditability to what this study is focusing on, which is the Beyonce Knowles Samsung commercial advertising the Samsung Ultra Music F300. The first two items at hand to discuss are the Perceived Expertise and Trustworthiness of the Source in regards to Beyonce and Samsung.

Beyonce derives much of her perceived expertise from the fact she is a known movie actress and singer on the international scene of world entertainment. Beyonce’s history in the music field speaks for itself, from being with Destiny’s Child, to going ahead with her solo career and marrying Husband Rapper renowned Shawn Corey Carter (better know by his stage name Jay Z).

Beyonce is also a successful business woman, owning and running the House of Dereon with her mother Tina Knowles. This is also significant to her perceived expertise, because when she is portraying her business side in the commercial she is not simply acting but really does operate an international clothing company. With this making Beyonce that more believable in the portrayal that a business person would use the Samsung F300.

As for Beyonce’s ability to be a trustworthy source in the commercial, this is reconfirmed through the fact she has not had any negative media coverage over the course of her professional career. Her image is untarnished on both a professional and personal level. Her story is an inspiration, a real rags’ to riches story. As a result of this, she is one of the most highly sought after individuals for product endorsement (having contracts even with Pepsi and L’Oreal) whom is not only trusted by the public but loved as well.

These attributes of Source Creditability in relation to Beyonce’s Samsung Commercial and the initial thoughts derived from the commercial are the best when first seen and in subsequent viewings. However, it is through repeated exposure to the commercial that those attributes are re-enforced to the viewer. Thus, increasing the creditability of the source or Beyonce, which in turns helps to sell the Samsung product. We have to remember that the very nature of commercials is to ensure that viewers are exposed to the message at hand as many times as possible (in many ways a hope that the commercial might go viral). A commercial is not simply created to be seen once then disregarded, that would be counter productive to the reason why the commercial was created in the first place with Beyonce endorsing the Samsung F300.

Another topic that is worthy of note is that viewers are personally involved in the commercial. This is because cell phones have a social standing in society and at times represent socio-economic status. They represent an interest in people in concern to how they are viewed by others, the same way clothes or jewelry might have. So, because of this viewers would be more inclined to pay attention to the commercial because of its indirect influence on their social status.

Two Step Flow Theory

After creating the new and innovative Samsung F300 cell phone and Mp3 player, Samsung Electronics needed to find an opinion leader who would represent and advertise their product well. While searching for their spokesperson, Samsung Electronics was looking for someone who was well known and versatile as well as would advertise to a wide range of consumers. Samsung was able to find Beyonce Knowles who they considered “a talented individual who has shown her versatility in the entertainment industry through music, acting, and as a fashion icon” (Samsung, 2007). This led to the first step of the two-step flow theory as Samsung sent a message of innovation to Beyonce to influence her into advertising their product in a commercial they came up with. Beyonce was then utilized as an opinion leader for Samsung and both set their sights on marketing this product to a wide range of consumers.

Charles Choi, Vice President of Samsung Mobile Philippines Business explains “Samsung is thrilled to be working with Beyonce because we share a lot in common – both have a strong passion for all music, video and entertainment, and are considered icons in our respective industries” (Samsung Electronics, 2007). Samsung was able to influence Beyonce into advertising their product for the reason that they believed both had common interests as well as aspired to make music come to life.

In the second step of the two-step flow, Beyonce took Samsung’s message of innovation and was able to send her own message to her fans. When Beyonce’s fans see the commercial they are immediately drawn in because they see her as a singer and a business woman. In the commercial she is shown as both a musician and business woman as her ring tone can be heard right before she answers the phone to deal with her fashion line business. These two communication strategies are utilized in the commercial to advertise Samsung’s innovative phone as well as show Beyonce as the opinion leader for the commercial.

In essence, Samsung and Beyonce worked together in influencing viewers of their commercial to buy their products. They applied the communication theories of two-step flow and the diffusion of innovation in order to effectively market their products. This shows the theory’s created by Lazarsfeld, Katz, and Everett M. Rogers many years ago are still widely used by communication theorists around the world.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of Beyonce as both singer and business woman in Samsung Ultra Music F300 phone commercial. The commercial was examined through the history of the company, the creation and methodology of creating the commercial using four theories of study: Semiotics, Agenda Setting Theory, Source Credibility Theory, and Two Step Flow Theory. Through these four theories we were able to show that Samsung successfully increased trust with the public by using Beyonce as a spokeswoman.

Semiotic patterns devised and delivered by biased advertisers show how all colors used in the commercial can be analyzed and that those colors are intentionally to manipulate the viewers' perceptions.

The Agenda-Setting Theory demonstrates that this commercial, along with Samsung's brand campaign and Beyonce' racial promotion, influences the audience's perceptions and trust towards the image of Samsung. It basically increases unconscious perception, built by the frequent media exposure, to the products offered by Samsung. The Source Credibility Theory focuses on the ability of Beyonce to connect with her audience and gain their trust. The two components that make up this audience trust are based off her perceived expertise and trustworthiness as a spokeswoman for Samsung. Through this trust a relationship is formed between Beyonce and her audience increasing not only sales but also the believability of the product to the public.

Lastly, the Two Step Flow Theory analyzes the idea that Beyonce, as an opinion leader, obtains information from Samsung and sends the message of information to the audiences in general. Beyonce' message is to connect the product with her fashion iconic image and to promote racial issues implicitly.

Samsung Ultra Music F300 Phone commercial was created intentionally edgy in the creative process to the media aftermath to create a marketing scheme to bring attention to the company and in particular Beyonce Knowles. Through analyzing this commercial, we were able to uncover substantial evidence that it was not simply an advertisement designed to raise viewers' awareness toward the image of Samsung, but a potentially racial promotion of Beyonce. This is important because it emphasizes the influential powers of the media as a whole, and raises the general awareness to look for hidden agendas in all advertisements.


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