Representing it: Embodying the Electronic Economy

25 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2004

See all articles by Peter Dobers

Peter Dobers

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK)

Jonathan E. Schroeder

Rochester Institute of Technology

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

A general theme in this paper is how IT is represented in the electronic economy through visual images in marketing communications. The human body and how it functions to represent technology is a central concern, and we draw on recent work in marketing, photography, and management studies to situate bodily images within the marketing of the electronic economy. We focus on the cultural interactions between technology and marketing communications by identifying an important communicative theme in contemporary ad campaigns. We present an illustrative, cross-media selection of contemporary print, radio and TV ads for products such as Ericsson mobile phones, Sony digital appliances, and Sun Microsystems servers, and theorize how marketing communicates and embodies the electronic economy. We argue that such ads open up a window of how the IT is represented in the electronic economy. How such representation reflects conceptions of technology and how the human body assumes an increasingly central position in such communication and marketing ventures. Further, we speculate on the broader significance of the body in marketing imagery, particular when it is recruited to signify technological progress and information technology products. The use of the body in these advertising images helps shape consumers' imaginations about what technology is and what it can do for them.

Keywords: Advertising, high-tech products, marketing communications, visual strategy, brand and product positioning, consumer aesthetics, identity, imagery, picture effects, visual displays

JEL Classification: M3, M37, Z1

Suggested Citation

Dobers, Peter and Schroeder, Jonathan E., Representing it: Embodying the Electronic Economy (2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=520322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.520322

Peter Dobers (Contact Author)

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK) ( email )

Stockholm, 100 44
Sweden

Jonathan E. Schroeder

Rochester Institute of Technology ( email )

92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Eastman Building, Room 3006
Rochester, NY 14623
United States
5854752703 (Phone)

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