Made You Look
"People in Ghana, a country in West Africa, have a saying: To
the fish, the water is invisible." In other words, when you're
surrounded by something all the time, you don't notice it. You take
it for granted and assume that it's natural, or that it's always been
there. You don't think about whether it's good or bad, or how it's
affecting your life.
In the parts of the world where people have a lot of modern
conveniences and up-to-date technology, you could say that advertising
has become 'the water in which we swim.'"
In 2003 when Shari Graydon's Made You Look: How Advertising
Works And Why You Should Know came out an American growing up saw
20,000 to 40,000 commercials a year. That was before adding in other
sources of promotional content, say those pesky pop-up ads on the
Internet. I can only imagine what the numbers would look like today.
Readers are asked when their parents had the talk about
advertising. Surprisingly, given its ubiquity and persuasiveness, a
lot of moms and dads never get around to this. Graydon takes on this
task, analyzing why it works so well and giving ways to not be
suckered in. Some of the topics include:
*how campaigns actually create needs (Did you know that diamonds were
not favored for engagement rings until 1947?);
*how companies use info gleaned through Internet games and contests to
more cleverly target youth;
*how ads tap into social anxieties;
*and how through guerilla marketing companies take promotion off
screens and into neighborhoods and schools.
Scattered through the book are exercises titled Don't Try This
At Home with the Don't crossed out. They are really good ways for
readers to personalize the content of the book. Although they are
very much within the capability of our sons and daughters, some of
them would offer insight to adults and families.
Making this "water in which we swim" is an important survival
skill for kids, adults, and families. Made You Look is a great
On a personal note, Real Food Challenge is teaming up with Nutrition
Club for some activities. I am really excited imagining the
A great big shout out goes out to both clubs and Nutrition Club's
faculty advisor, Sue Sullivan, whom I've heard only good things about.
Sent from my iPod