Summary of Life After the 30-Second Spot

Energize Your Brand With a Bold Mix of Alternatives to Traditional Advertising

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Life After the 30-Second Spot book summary
You win: the 30-second TV commercial is dead. What next: 10 new media alternatives for mass marketing mavens.


7 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


This book about the demise of the 30-second TV commercial poses a couple of problems for author Joseph Jaffe, who seeks depth in this dilemma. First, his case is hard to make, given that the airwaves are still teeming with 30-second spots. The Internet hasn’t ended newspaper or billboard advertising, so why should it kill the commercial? Secondly, Jaffe says interesting things, but doesn’t always share his factual ballast. He asserts, for instance, that consumers have "built-in authenticity meters." That would be handy, but it’s hard to prove. He makes the most of his examples, such as explaining that M&Ms’ ad agency empowered the public to select the candy’s newest color by soliciting votes on the Internet. That may be fun, but is it an earth-shattering case for the new media? Pay more attention to Jaffe’s solid introduction to new media advertising possibilities. suggests this spotlight on the 30-second spot to those who are new to the continuing debate about advertising’s future and need to get up to warp speed about new media marketing outlets.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the 30-second TV commercial is ineffective;
  • How consumers have changed;
  • Why those changes weaken traditional advertising; and
  • How to use 10 new nontraditional strategies to showcase your brand.


Mass or Past Media?
Mass marketing is changing, buffeted by shifting consumer demands and the offerings of the new media, from the Internet to video games. Generally, marketing firms and advertising agencies have not yet adapted to this revolution.

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About the Author

Joseph Jaffe is president and founder of jaffe, LLC, a marketing and consulting firm. He is the former Director of Interactive Media at TBWAChiatDay and OMD USA. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at USC’S Annenberg School.

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