Shaping the body and technology: Discursive implications for the strategic communication of technological brands

Margo Buchanan-Oliver, Angela Gracia Bondesto Cruz, Jonathan E Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to provide a theoretical analysis of contemporary brand communication for technology products, focused on how the human body functions as a metaphorical and communicative device, to shed insight into how technological brands make their products understandable, tangible, and attractive in interesting ways. An interdisciplinary conceptual review and analysis focuses on issues of metaphor and the body in marketing research and social theory. This analysis is discussed and applied to the communication of technological brands. The paper argues that to successfully communicate technological brands requires interdisciplinary insights in order to understand consumption contexts. It proposes an analytic framework for practice and research focused on visual communication for technology brands and products, and demonstrates how advertising both creates and contributes to culture. Researchers need to understand that a sole focus on the advertising system needs to be supplemented by an understanding of how the symbol of the body in technology advertisements is reflective and productive of meaning in socio-cultural discourse. Brand researchers need to add to the prevailing advertising as persuasion model to encompass representation and culture in brand communications. The paper contributes to understanding how basic visual forms, such as the human body, are employed in technology product marketing. It challenges marketers and researchers to broaden their conception of branding and marketing communications to one more consistent with an image economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635 - 652
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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