Monday, February 3, 2014

Magic Mondays - The Magic of Ads..

Advertising - Merriam Webster defines it thus: a noun that means: published or broadcast advertisements; the business of creating advertisements. The full definition is also given:
1:  the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements
2:  advertisements
3:  the business of preparing advertisements for publication or broadcast


Advertising - the word's earliest use is recorded as far back as 1751 (per MW's definition page here) but advertising dates back way farther than that. Cave drawings, anyone? I am sure that homo sapiens were selling wares using these drawings on cave walls (indoor malls are historic!). I can just imagine that mall - a large (or smaller sized) cave - lit with the flare of strategically placed wood fires and stores setup with wares for sale. Whether or not the cave drawings served such a purpose, we have certainly come a long way from that to the $4 million price tag for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl.

So what was your favorite ad? We loved the Doritos time machine ad - full points for cuteness and a box (not cuteness in the box though!) - you can see it here. As I was going through the ads, I found out this ad was actually a fan-made ad for a budget of $200 and won a 'Crash the SuperBowl' contest sponsored by Doritos. 

Advertising held a different lure for me as a kid - I loved the jingles and knew them all by heart (though I do not recall asking my parents to actually buy things I saw in ads - well, in my case, if I had a book, I was happy) - and I loved writing; so advertising, mass communications, journalism were all fields I dreamed of pursuing for a career. Though I did not really end up in a career like that, I did find my way here to this blog to pursue my love of the written word, of rules of the language, of the stories behind each word I read too!

Talking about advertising makes my book review today very relevant.
The book: 
Made You LookHow Advertising Works and Why You Should Know
Shari Graydon; illustrated by Michelle Lamoreaux
Annick Press Ltd.

Book Description: The kids' survival guide to advertising, revised and updated for the digital age.
Ads are everywhere these days: they are trying to be your friend on Facebook, popping up in the background of your video game, and even messaging your phone when you walk by a store. More than ever before, kids are the prime target of these marketing messages. But they also have more power than ever to fight back.
For ten years, Made You Look has been an essential self-defense kit for anyone trying to make sense of the complex world of advertising. Now fully revised and with a fresh new look, the book has been updated to reflect the modern ad landscape, from digital tracking and cookies to social media, viral videos, and reality television. From the earliest roots of advertising to the undercover marketers of the 21st century, this revealing book shows kids where ads come from, how they work, and why it matters.


My thoughts: If you ever need an Advertising 101 for kids (for anyone, actually), this will definitely help.  This book is a treasure trove of information, trivia, and of advertising tricks too! How the Mad Men of Madison Ave get your attention, and how you are buying something you did not really need before you know it is explained in this book.
For example, did you know -The name soap operas came about when soap companies started sponsoring radio dramas in the early days of the radio.

Advertising has changed over the ages - from names of the royalty on ancient temple walls to cookies on our laptops; from convincing people that products made in factories were as good as those made at home to getting people to buy things they might (not) need in the future.
This book is an updated version of the original book and includes more relevant information for today's world. A look into the history of advertising, into how it impacts us, and how we can control its impact - all this is explained in simple terms in this book. With cartoons that speak to the intended audience, and clear and humorous text that is also informative, this book will surely appeal to all.


The book is geared towards preteens and teenagers, though adults will also find a lot to learn and enjoy in the book. It also has useful discussion points, questions, and ‘try-this-at-home’ exercises for classrooms or groups. The author also includes useful resources, and reference notes for all the information included in the book.


Rating: B+
Reading Level: 12 years and above (references to advertising more geared towards adults/older children)

 “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” - Wayne Dyer

Disclaimer: Thanks to Netgalley for a e-copy of this book. The opinions here are my own and not influenced by the publisher/author/or NetGalley.

Linking this book to What are you Reading? From Picture Books to YA at Teach Mentor Texts and

What are you reading? @Book Journey
This book also goes towards challenges. Linking them soon. 

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