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Joseph Jaffe
  Joseph Jaffe

Is the 30-Second TV Spot Dying?

12/20/2006 --

Marketing consultant and author Joseph Jaffe thinks so.

The 30-second television commercial is dying, according to marketing consultant Joseph Jaffe, who recently spoke as part of the Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication 2006-2007 speaker series at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Jaffe, president of jaffe L.L.C. and author of the daily "Jaffe Juice" blog, told an audience of marketing students and local practitioners that the 30-second spot is dying due to a lack of creativity in TV ads.

"Advertisers are desperate to break through the clutter," said Jaffe. "Any bright spot gets bastardized."

In his book, Life After the 30-Second Spot, Jaffe encourages marketers to reinvent themselves by rethinking four fundamentals of marketing: the changing customer, branding, advertising and the ad agency.

Today, the consumer is a lot more savvy and critical, according to Jaffe. "You don't succeed by reaching the average consumer," he said. "You succeed by reaching the influencers, thought leaders and early adapters."

When focusing on branding, Jaffe said the advertiser should be thinking about providing a solution. Consumers leave a trail of information that marketers should follow. "Embrace the residue they leave behind," Jaffe recommended.

He added that new roles should be adopted in advertising: involve, empower and demonstrate.

Jaffe said the biggest threats to TV advertising include search marketing (Google), the Internet (allows for more interactivity), gaming (movie celebrities in games), on-demand viewing (TiVo), communal marketing (marketing to and through the community), music/mobile (iTunes), branded entertainment (product placement) and consumer-generated content ( and

Jaffe also suggested various steps to achieve marketing innovation, including rejecting the status quo, embracing change, accepting a higher level of accountability and challenging internal and external partners.

"New marketing is a state of mind. Experiment or you'll be experimented on," he said.

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