Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know - Shari Graydon

Title: Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know
Author: Shari Graydon
Publisher: Annick Press, 2013 (Paperback)
Length: 150 pages
Genre: Children's Nonfiction
Started: March 3, 2014
Finished: March 5, 2014

From the back cover:

Have you ever noticed that ads are everywhere? Ads are trying to be your friend on Facebook or message your phone. You might even be wearing an ad right now (check out your T-shirt or shoes). But what exactly are ads, and how do they influence us?

Made You Look is the essential guide to advertising's secret strategies. Discover the history of advertising, where ads come from, how they work, and why you need to be informed.

This revised and updated edition maps out the modern ad landscape, from digital tracking and cookies to social media, viral videos, and reality television.

Media Literacy is part of our curriculum here, so I'm always on the look-out for appropriate resources that can be used. As soon as I saw this, I knew I had to read it and see if it would work for classroom use. I'm happy to say that it would be a wonderful addition to elementary and high school libraries.

This is a revised and updated version of a 2003 release originally, so it includes more relevant information on advertising through social media and smartphones. The book is broken up into several chapters full of bite-sized snippets of information: one on what ads are and the forms they take, one on how ads target specific audiences, another on advertising techniques, one on advertising in more subtle forms, and one on what you can do to as a consumer.

The information conveyed here doesn't go as in-depth as I would go in a classroom (given enough time of course), but for an introductory book it's very good and covers a breadth of information. The cartoon illustrations are eye-catching and appealing for kids, and there's even a section at the end with  advertising resources for Canada and the USA.

A wonderful book on advertising in the digital age, intended for children and appropriate for elementary and high school readers.

Thoughts on the cover:
I like the style of illustrations and how they employed the metaphor of "to the fish, water is invisible," with the swimmer surrounded by ads.

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