Made You Look

Made You Look

by Shari Graydon, Warren Clark (Illustrator)
Publisher: Annick Press
Trade Paperback, 120 pages
Current Retail Price: $14.95
Used Price: $11.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

A kids' survival guide to advertising. Smart thinking! Did you know that over 12,000 U.S. schools have agreed to show commercials in the classroom? Or that cartoon character Joe Camel, the cigarette mascot, was created with kid appeal in mind? Advertising is everywhere today. A typical North American child views a staggering 40,000 ads every year on TV alone! With such a vast number of commercials out there, who's helping kids decode the messages? In Made You Look, media maven Shari Graydon offers an intriguing exploration of advertising's inner workings. From the earliest roots of advertising to the guerrilla marketers of the 21st century, this revealing book shows kids where ads come from, where they're going, and how they work. Bursting with real-life examples of compelling ad campaigns, thought-provoking "Try This at Home" activities, and plenty of tips to empower young consumers, Made You Look is any child's ultimate guide to the advertising universe.

This skillfully age-tailored overview of the advertising industry has an appealing cover design, a fast-paced and friendly text, cartoon illustrations, and a generous smattering of juicy, relevant sidebars and quotes. Though the book is decidedly unscholarly in look and feel, it is thorough in coverage and thought-provoking. Using examples readers will find familiar, it deconstructs ad campaigns without undue condemnation or bias, exposing their sometimes less-than-salient subtexts and neatly outlining the common techniques advertisers use to manipulate consumer appetites. It then provides a quick list of questions young consumers can use to help ensure that their purchasing decisions are tempered by a healthy degree of critical thinking. The book concludes with a simple but eloquent overview of how advertising impacts both the quality of life and overall worldview of North Americans. It suggests some responsible alternative strategies budding young capitalists might someday apply to marketing their company's products and services, and lists resources for both consumer complaints and anti-consumer activism. Useful for reports, but also an alluringly hip selection, this title will be a particularly effective "heads-up" for kids immersed in—and, therefore, often oblivious to—consumer culture.
— Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI Copyright© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Advertising, explains Graydon, is increasingly "the water in which we swim," a reference to a Ghanaian proverb, and some of the most sought-after fish in the pond are consumers in the 8-14 demographic. This lively analysis seeks to raise preteens' awareness of themselves as targets and vectors of advertising messages. Brimming with anecdotes, facts, and quotes ("In our factory, we make lipstick; in our advertising, we sell hope"), the text covers controversial programs that bring ads into the schools, and describes traditional marketing methods as well as "stealth" techniques: hiring "cool hunters" to hang around trendsetters, using movie product placements, drawing on the media resources of a conglomerate to tout entertainment products under the guise of objectivity. Graydon never simply holds forth. She often ends sections with a provocative question ("How many female mascots can you think of?"), and she helpfully includes addresses of watchdog organizations, tips for writing effective complaints, and an impressive set of endnotes. Young adults attracted by the hip jacket may cry "false advertising!" when they see the naive-looking cartoons inside, but once they start reading, they'll find themselves sucked in as readily as younger readers: "Made you look," indeed.
— Jennifer Mattson Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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