Paid Attention – Book ReviewPaid Attention: Innovative Advertising for a Digital World by Faris Yakob
Published by Kogan Page on April 28th 2015
Pages: 216
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


I apologise to Faris Yakob for the lateness of this Paid Attention review. I started reading early, then grad school started. I picked it up again during the mid-year break and kicked myself for not reading it during semester. It was perfect for what I was studying. Alas, school started back, and it took this week’s storm and power outage to finish it.

Yes, the delay did impact my perception of this book, and I’m scared my review won’t give credit to such a well-researched and written book.

What’s Paid Attention About?

Putting it simply: branding and the advertising industry. Faris is a co-founder of the agency, Genius Steals and has worked with Spies&Assasins, MDC Partners, McCann Erickson NYC, and Naked Communications. An impressive resume and he uses that experience to give depth and personal anecdotes to the book.

He starts with discussing brand and its connection to communication. There’s some history, some anthropology, with some philosophy thrown in. Mixing it with case studies, Faris explains the importance of a strong brand.

As a generalist marketer with a slant towards digital, chapter five caught my attention. Yes, the marketing streams are merging, and brand is more important because of it. This chapter set the scene nicely for a discussion and honest critique of the advertising industry near the end of the book. The blurring has made it harder for advertising agencies because integrated marketing communications is effective, and specialized agencies need to evolve. It was a mature, well-presented argument for change, or maybe I’m more sensitive to it after last week’s #HootChat discussing the media industry’s unwillingness to adapt.

This is another of the books that support my views and ideas. I don’t know if that gives me bias, but Faris has used many case studies of brands and situations the reader would be familiar with. I suppose any bias can be excused.

Through Paid Attention, Faris has acted Tool Kits. These are half-page, quick reference guides to tasks like, “Six Steps to Being Social” and “”Combination Tool for Buyer Behavior”. They’re also on the publisher’s website as PDFs – very useful. I’ll be using “How to Create a Case Study” for grad school this semester.

Who is Paid Attention For?

This isn’t a book for beginners. It’s more descriptive than instructional. And before you read that as a negative, it’s not. It’s targeted, as brands and advertising should be. Those with a few years in marketing or advertising will get the most from Paid Attention.

Note: For those wondering, I tend to read novels and trash during the semester. It’s an escape from academia. I have six weeks to go until classes finish – any recommendations?

Read more marketing book reviews.