Book Review

Finally, on the heals of American Copywriter’s book review podcast, comes my belated praise of Life after the 30-Second Spot
by Joseph Jaffe.

Jaffe’s book does a wonderful job of simply explaining how the world of media, and those who consume it, are changing and what you as a business marketer can do about it.

For many it will be a much-needed wake up call. But for those of us who are “hip to technology,” and read on the bloglines about new nano/wifi crap that comes out every day, it does an excellent job of putting the many pieces of the new media puzzle into perspective. So, for just a moment, you can step back to view the whole picture without getting dizzy.

In his book, the 30-second spot becomes Jaffe’s whipping boy for the ad industry and media as a whole. He argues “The 30-second spot – at least as it exists today – is either dead, dying, or has outlived its usefulness.” Of course, many of us have heard something like this for years, and are asking, “when is it really going to happen?” But what Jaffe is truly talking about is the fundamental shift in how consumers consume media and how this change can only progress. He has a great quote:

“What used to be a collection of faceless eyeballs, blended into an anonymous audience, is now the glaring eye of the empowered consumer, who pulls at will and pushes aside irrelevance and unnecessary clutter and noise.”

Jaffe manages to light a welcomed fire under the seat of the ad industry and he truly gives the 30-second spot a bludgeoning. But print, radio, and traditional outdoor, for the most part, come out unscathed. Several of Jaffe’s suggestions and predictions can certainly be applied to these age old mediums. But are they also dead or dying? Do the mediums of print or radio have any place in the world of new media, or will they too be simply pushed aside by “the glaring eye of the empowered consumer?” These question seemed unanswered. Perhaps I smell another book – at least I hope so.

You can order Life After the 30-second Spot here.

Props to Mr. Jaffe for Using New Marketing to Prove New Marketing." Much thanks for a free copy of the book and my apologies for the belated review.


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