Joseph Jaffe, author of Life After the 30-second spot, offered the keynote presentation for the first of four tracks at Picnic ’06. His talk, which revolved around the topics covered in his book and was directed towards marketers, encouraged the audience to look beyond the 30-second spot in order to provide consumers with a story of their brand. The marketing world has changed and the ad industry needs to change with it or they will be left behind. It’s time to move from the linear one-way communication and towards conversations with the consumers.

With so many options available to marketers, there is no longer a single choice on how to reach and connect with today’s elusive disenfranchised consumer. Consumers have begun to outgrow marketing as they can easily access information about the products as well as when and where to buy. That along with the clutter (so many ads), the lack of creativity (what’s the last TV commercial that you *really* remember), consumer awareness (knowledgeable about products and marketing), and unacceptable levels of wastage (broad appeals weaken the message) is killing the 30-second spot. Add in the fact that it’s now more expensive than it ever has been to advertise on television to a “potential” audience and it’s time to rethink the process. It’s time to rethink branding, consumers, advertising, and advertising agencies.

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