The language of advertising offers one of the most pervasive archive of the aesthetic imagination of Western culture, revealing fears and fantasies accorded to technology, and forecasting our technological existence in the future. Advertising that is, is one of the most effective way to turn techno-scientific discourses into figurative paradigms that marks the social imaginary of an era, and help to provide shared meanings of the everyday practices of technological consumption. Therefore, the relationship between technological discoveries, visual languages and forms of consumption can’t be reduced to a purely causal explanation, where science and technology feed our aesthetic imagination of powerful visual metaphors, but need to be understood as a recursive mechanism, where the high-tech metaphors themselves are influential models to make sense of the innovation in technology. In light of these theoretical assumptions, the aim of this paper is to examine how high tech technological innovations are displayed within the contemporary forms of advertising. From a visual analysis conducted on a set of cases expressly chosen, the work identifies the main figurative metaphors that contribute to the social representation of technological innovation. These high-tech metaphors provide us with a set of shared representations that influence the direction and the values tied to our everyday practices of technological consumption.
Keywords: Advertising, visual culture, technological consumption, high technology, imaginary.