Today I Read…Made You Look

Today I read Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know by Shari Graydon and illustrated by Michelle Lamoreaux, the revised edition.

Made You LookHow many ads do you see in a day? Where do you see them? What are they for? How do they influence you? And why should you care?

Ads are everywhere in our everyday life, and they target you from birth to death, trying to sell you everything under the sun. Sometimes ads tell you important things like public awareness campaigns, and sometimes they just want to buy stuff you don’t really need. The important thing is to be a critical consumer–to think about ads and what they are trying to do and to make up your own mind. For a well-balanced look at an industry that effects and targets kids from a very young age, Made You Look is a great resource for kids to explain the ins and outs and tips and tricks of advertising, with funny and thought-provoking illustrations from Michelle Lamoreaux to accent the text.

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Sorry, I’ve been having laptop troubles, and I finally had to get a new one. Windows 8.1 is awfully finicky, though. Any tips to make it less sensitive and stop changing windows on me?

This is one of the books that I got from the OLA Super Conference this year. The cover grabbed my attention, with the confused look and the sea of advertising that the figure was surrounded by–it certainly feels like that sometimes, especially since I was in the middle of a trade floor at the time, where there were a thousand people present with booths all designed to sell things to librarians. Books, furniture, archival supplies, databases, library schools, magazines, audiobooks, ebooks, graphic novels, book-themed merchandise…we wee there because we were librarians, and the products that they were selling were of interest to us, but it’s very crowded with a lot of things to see all at once.

I really enjoyed this book. The language Graydon uses is plain and direct, and she poses a lot of hypothetical situations and simple experiments that encourage the reader to think about their own experiences and to recognize the effect that advertising can have on them. It points out different strategies, like using celebrities or cute cartoon characters to connect to kids, or showing toys dong things they can’t really do or with lots of accessories that are sold separately and can greatly increase the price of a toy. She uses charts to compare the arguments for and against advertising, explains some of the history of advertising and the laws and how they’ve changed over time, and lists some of the words ads use to persuade someone buy something and why they work. The cartoon-style illustrations are colourful and funny, but also do an excellent job of enhancing the text and illustrating the point in a different way (pun intended). This would be a great school library resource, or a book for a parent trying to show their child another way of thinking about advertising. It’s especially apropos at this time of the year, when advertising to children is ramped up so much, between Black Friday and Christmas.

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One thought on “Today I Read…Made You Look

  1. Pingback: OLA Super Conference 2014 review | wadingthroughbooks

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