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Paid Attention: Innovative Advertising for a Digital World (Cambridge Marketing Handbooks) Paperback – April 28, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This fantastic book will challenge how you think and view the world – it also happens to be incredibly useful for anyone who wants to understand the current and future direction of advertising. Faris takes us on a journey through communications theory, neuroscience, and the history of media, and leaves us with practical and actionable ideas on how to do better work. An absolute must-read!"
(David Passiak Head of Innovation and Reseach, Dubizzle)

“Great ideas, as the book explains, are borrowed bits of other great ideas recombined in new and interesting ways. Paid Attention doesn’t just explain the concept, it lives it, combining ideas from economics, psychology, philosophy, media studies, and, of course, advertising, into a coherent narrative for this particularly incoherent time. The book is well worth your attention and you’re sure to find a few ideas to steal for yourself and your brand.” (Noah Brier, Founder Percolate)

"Reading this book felt a little like intellectual pinball as I was bounced between the worlds of psychology, philosophy, economics and advertising history: always entertaining while also sometimes genuinely profound.  At a time when almost every pundit seems to be questioning whether advertising has a future, Faris is offering some answers."
(Will Collin, Founding Partner Naked Communications)

"Sometimes, reflecting on a broken mirror is a fascinating thing. When chaos disrupts the perception of order it can offer a fresh perspective and jarring insights.  Faris brings indisputable advertising credibility to the fluid timeline of the now. The ongoing polemic of conversation in advertising and the precision and force of his thought, against an ever changing context, not only makes Paid Attention a powerful read, but a necessary one for any practitioner in marketing today and likely for years to come.  I’m not usually one for grand pronouncements, but this could be the most important 'tool' I equip myself with for a very long time."
(Michael Kasprow, Partner and Director of Innovation Union Creative)

"In the digital age and beyond, marketers can no longer buy attention. That means how we define strategy, creative ideas, media, and even the role of the consumer has to change. Faris Yakob has spent a career writing and speaking about these topics. Few thinkers better understand the challenges that confront marketers, advertisers and agencies in the years to come. Finally, we have his knowledge --captured in a clear, logical text that offers readers an understanding of the recent changes, and what we can do to prosper."
(Edward Boches, Professor of Advertising, Boston University formerly Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Mullen)

"[A]n interesting and challenging book that allows any person in charge of marketing or advertising a business to rethink their advertising system."
(Charles Franklin Small Biz Trends)

"The most over-asked question by five-year-olds is the most under-asked questions by adults – 'why?' Why do we do things this way? Why do we make certain assumptions? Why don't we try a different method? Faris steps into the role of advertising’s irritating toddler in an effort to understand why the industry is in the state it’s in and what it can do to regain its relevance. Faris asks the questions the rest of the ad industry are too scared to ask. And now that he’s done it, it’ll be interesting to see which agencies will make the changes the rest of the industry will be too scared to make. Here lie the nuggets of wisdom you’ll hear repeated in ad agency board rooms for years to come. Take a read, collect some quotes and sound like the smartest person in the room before someone else does."
(Dave Birss Editor at Large, The Drum)

"In today's global, 24/7, hyper-connected environment, our attention is the most prized commodity. New media call for new approaches to strategic communication. Drawing upon a rich and highly interdisciplinary body of scholarship on the links between cognition, symbolic expression and behavior, Paid Attention is a primer for the praxis of persuasion in the 21st century. Clearly fluent in both academic research and marketplace realities, Faris Yakob offers a welcome bridge between theory and practice. Scholars and professional communicators alike should pay attention."
(Gwenyth Jackaway, PhD, Assoc Prof & Assoc Chair of Communication & Media Studies Lincoln Center, Fordham University)

"Great ideas happen when you ask a lot of questions. If you want to ignite culture, you need to challenge conventions. Faris is one of the brightest and most curious minds in advertising, and in Paid Attention: Innovative Advertising for a Digital World, he asks questions that every advertiser and marketer should be asking themselves today about breaking through in an increasingly on-demand and attention scare world. In the process, he arrives at some revealing brand tactics and strategies that will help you create advertising people seek out not skip. Recommended reading for anyone in the advertising and marketing business.”
(Winston Binch, Chief Digital Officer Deutsch LA)

"A lively, penetrating, thoroughly intelligent investigation of how content wins attention...or fails to do so. Let Faris be your guide to new ideas and best practice."
(Grant McCracken Affiliate Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University)

"Faris has hosted sessions for my students on our many trips to New York. His passion and particular lexicon have both challenged and inspired students from around the globe.  His new book is about the now and treats digital as the norm that it has become.  Unusually for this genre of book, it is light of touch, eminently readable and seamlessly integrates different cultures so as not to appear out of the US. Philosophy, yes in part, but with the common touch."
(Bruce Sinclair Principal Lecturer, Bucks Adschool, Bucks New University)

Paid Attention gives a comprehensive view of how the advertising industry has evolved and how new technologies and social media have affected what people demand from brands today. Faris covers philosophy, psychology, behavioural economics and social behaviours to look at how planners and creatives  can ensure their work is relevant, engaging and appropriate. He covers a great deal of information in an approachable and straightforward way, with stacks of recent examples of successful advertising.”
(Emily Hare, Managing Editor Contagious Magazine)

"Ever been on a roller coaster? They tend to hold your attention well. Slowly scaling great heights, then wonderful views, sharp unexpected turns, fast paced, and great fun. Faris's book is a roller coaster of a book - full of ideas on ideas, it held my attention at every turn. Packed full of theories and evidence to weigh and consider, this is the advertising/communications/ideas book of the year."
(Adam Ferrier, Chief Strategy Officer Cummins & Partners)

Advertising, marketing, and media professionals; advertising, marketing, and media students

"What Faris does a great job at is walking the reader through the recent past to the now in advertising, punctuated by case studies that help add color along with good footnotes. It is the evolution of tools at our disposal that have really changed the way we communicate, and to a degree, what we communicate."
(Jane Goldman Adland.tv)

"Paid Attention is a must-read for anyone struggling to understand media’s changing relationship with consumers in a world being transformed by digital. Funny and provocative, and packed full of great examples, it’ll get you thinking differently, whether you’re an advertising professional or a media entrepreneur trying to reposition your business to take on the next generation of opportunities."
(David Flynn Chief Creative Officer, Endemol UK)

"The brand communications playbook has changed little in the last century. I think it’s safe to say the world we live in has changed dramatically in that time. Paid Attention is a hugely useful playbook to draw from in order to develop communications for the world today, not the world of yesterday."
(Gareth Kay Co-founder, Chapter. Former CSO, GS&P)

"A new marketing philosophy for our time."
(Ben Richards Global Chief Strategy Officer, Ogilvy & Mather)

"Faris Yakob, you most certainly have my attention. But, then again as one of my most valued advisors in this world of communication and creator of the LIA NEW Category, you always have always made me pay attention. What a marvellous read. Intentionally or unintentionally, you have put into perspective the way all media are converging with one another and share similar methods for success, despite which platform they come from or how content is now consumed. Brilliantly, you examine how crucial it is to distribute your work in order to achieve your goals. It is incredible how the concepts, like sharing, which were learned as toddlers in the sandbox, are now the governing rules for a fruitful,
profitable campaign. I know this book will be the gold standard for understanding modern concepts about media. But then again, technology changes so quickly, that by the time you finish reading my review, this book will need to be amended in your enviable style.  A MUST-read for anyone living in this world of infinite content. I really Paid Attention to every single word."
(Barbara Levy President, London International Advertising Awards)

"Faris's phaser is set to stun as he reverses the polarity of the ad industry in a cautionary tale against old media thinking. Salvation comes in the form of numerous helpful thoughts starters for those genuinely interested in exploring the future of marketing."
(Johnny Vulkan, Founding Partner Anomaly)

"We don’t think of it this way, but advertising is an industry with a history of its own, shaped by heroes, epiphanies, disasters and luck. It’s not often analysed like other industries, but in his book, Faris has laid out a rich and intricate landscape that not only frames the state of advertising today, but the events that contributed to it, and how advertising should evolve in the face of that fast-arriving future we’ve heard so much
about. Grab a thesaurus and get ready for a Billy Madison-esque learning montage." (Amber Finlay Director of Communications Planning, Converse)

Book Description

A guide to modern advertising ideas: what they are, where they come from and how they are evolving

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Marketing Handbooks
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Kogan Page (April 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749473606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749473600
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Wineberg TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 17, 2015
Format: Paperback
Faris Yakob starts off as you would hope for a book called Paid Attention, explaining that it is no longer possible to purchase the magazine, program or time slot to have your entire target audience seeing and/or hearing your message. Media have multiplied, fragmented and taken the audience with them.

But then he walks away from the argument. He gets on his horse and rides madly off in all directions. There are lots of references to studies, psychological, biological and case. There’s lots of name dropping. But he doesn’t examine the state of paid attention. The last third of the book is about working in ad agencies: what do ad agencies do, the importance of advertising awards, how creativity works and how it should be broken out. The exalted act of stealing. The evolving role of the planner.

He cites all kinds of wonderfully creative marketing campaigns which were considered successful, but as in medicine, the operation might have been a success, but the patient died (New products have an 80% failure rate). There’s a lot of evidence Yakob reads widely, fiction and non. But then, he cites the dubious authority of Jonah Lehrer, a totally discredited author/researcher. Twice.

Yakob can be refreshingly truthful, calling market research wrong and the traditional purchase funnel “explanatory fiction”. All the brainscanning advertisers pay for only proves we don’t know how or when decisions are made to purchase their products. Forget about why. Dictating when and where content will be encountered is impossible for much of an on-demand world, he says. “Calling people consumers tricks you into thinking they spend their whole lives buying stuff, or thinking about buying stuff. But they really are not that interested.”

Which brings me to his focus on brands.
Read more ›
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An excellent work with exceptional currency. In my experience, Paid Attention was substantive enough to add knowledge, insightful enough to help me "break frame", and short enough to hold my attention. All in all well worth reading if you are a marketer, a technology executive with a business model predicated on social technology, or a media or business executive framing your corporate social strategy.
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Faris is a genius. Read this book if you want to understand the soul of marketing and advertising. It's not just about campaigns and ads and social media. Faris elevates the conversation to the fundamentals of grabbing human attention, and the history of the industries that attempt this every day. His wit, intelligence, and thoroughly researched concepts will give you a strong foundation from which to build a business and brand.
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I just finished reading this book and I have to say: Thank you Yakob! It is very hard to find books that combine theory, personal experience and case studies in a way that you actually learn from. Plus, the storytelling of the book is great and easy to follow. It has a bonus, it give you real tools that can actually help you in your everyday work. If you are in advertising/marketing you have to read this.
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Format: Paperback
The world of advertising is changing, even though it still relies upon basic, long-standing principles. It is just that advertisers are slowly getting a greater understanding of what makes us tick and, of course, they seek to utilise the latest communications technologies and methods.

As consumers and recipients of advertising we are being bombarded by more and more commercial messages in an ever-increasing multitude of ways, so perhaps we are becoming on one hand hardened and resistant to the messages whilst, on the other hand, being softened and more receptive to the messages that do break through.

This book draws upon a multidisciplinary approach, pulling elements from areas such as communications theory, neuroscience, history, culture and technology to look at how advertising can be made efficient, relevant, targeted and reactive to changes. Reading the book feels, at times, like one is sitting on an intellectual rollercoaster as you bounce between different subjects and disciplines, twisting and turning along the way with the senses being submitted to all sorts of pressure and stimuli. Yet the ride is exhilarating and you don’t feel cheated at the end of the journey: you just want more, more of the same!

It is certainly a challenging, engaging read, being something that is more thought provoking than spoon-feeding “what you need to do to achieve X”. This reader liked it and found it a pleasant way of spending a few evenings on the sofa: it easily beat the dire fare being offered by the television. As it typical of a book from this publisher, it is well laid out, clearly signposted and a mass of further reading sources are presented for the reader’s attention. Plus, of course, buoyed by excellent, engaging, focussed and considered content!

If you are interested in the world of advertising or work within it, this could be a little gem that you should strongly consider adding to your library.
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Format: Kindle Edition
With the publication of his first book, “Paid Attention,” Faris Yacob has created a blinder. Which, for the benefit of the hoi-poloi out there, is Brit-Chat for “blinder.” Full disclosure… He’s also a mate, but as he well knows, I will not go easy on him if I think he is trying to sell us a pseudo-blinder. Fortunately, he isn’t. Although his tome is cloaked in the kind of esoteric language that requires ready access to a 24 volume, unabridged edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the essence of it is brilliant. He delineates and identifies the constantly changing, La Brea Tar Pit like landscape within which the poor sods of today have to operate, compared to when I first started out and the choice was papyrus or clay tablets. More than that, he suggests logical methods of approaching possible solutions to the current conundrum… Yes, logical solutions. When was the last time you heard that applied to the ad biz? On page six he writes… “The objectives of commercial communications are to influence mass opinion and behavior.” Oh my God, David Ogilvy couldn’t have expressed it better. “Homage of the Century” to Faris for that. Then on the last page of his epic, his advice to people just entering the biz… “Don’t worry too much… It’s only advertising after all.” Ha, yes indeed. Faris has “homaged” that from me when in the past I have advised young ad wankers not to get their knickers in a twist, ‘cos… “It will never hang on the walls of the Louvre.” Forego a couple of pints and buy Faris’s book. It’s meatier than my old mum’s black puddings. “Eh, even the white bits were black.” Homage to Eric Olthwaite there! Pay attention.
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