I reviewed this over at the CMA - Canadian Marketing Association - Website and I thought it was appropriate to post it here as well...
Life After The 30-Second Spot
You should own this book. I don't even know you, but I know enough that if you're reading this, you are somehow involved in advertising, marketing and communications and that means that you (and everyone you know in this space) should be clutching a copy of Life After The 30-Second Spot - Energize Your Brand with a Bold Mix of Alternatives to Traditional Advertising by Joseph Jaffe. If you employ people or know someone studying our world, they should be forced to read this book before starting their first day on the job. My guess is, this is the one book most marketers wished they had written (I know I wish I had written it) or are scared to read.
You're right, that's a strong statement to make - especially about a book - but it is well deserved.
Jaffe points a sniper rifle at the advertising world and picks off great (and new) opportunities one at a time. By identifying ten quick wins and how to execute them (or, at least, why you should be paying attention to them), Jaffe shines as a marketer who is more inclined to grow a business organically than hop on the word-of-mouth buzz-hype of the moment (which usually results in a quick jump up in brand lift and then a much sharper drop down to irrelevance).
How often have advertising agencies pulled clients aside and proposed a gaming, experiential or branded entertainment program? It's not always an easy subject for marketers to broach with their clients. Now, thanks to Life After The 30-Second Spot, you have the manual. Jaffe does not provide all of the gory details and answers, but there are enough insights to spark your curiosity and construct a long-term plan that works.
So, is the 30-second spot really dead, or is this Jaffe's marketing shtick to get you reading? "Consumers aren't as stupid as they used to be," Jaffe muses. "Rumors of its (the 30-second spot) demise may very well be exaggerated, but they are irrelevant. Using the 30-second spot today is like taking a wooden sword to fight a fire-breathing dragon. You better have fire insurance."
That "fire-breathing dragon" is you and me. Life After The 30-Second Spot follows the same logic path as anyone who is following Web 2.0, Listenomics and Brand Democratization. It's getting harder and harder to jam 30-seconds of original exaggeration into a push channel that people hardly care about anymore. We're all off IM'ing each other as we create a MySpace and Blog about how bad the new screens are on the iPod Nano.
Jaffe uses many real-life examples of brands and companies to highlight the success of people who have already dared, and mixes in his own clever writing pace and humor to keep the book from going dry with academic marketing slang - he's a cunning linguist. If you're looking for that New-Year's-resolution-to-start-reading book, look no further than Life After The 30-Second Spot... it may even make you reconsider some of your marketing-related resolutions for 2006.
Final note: I got Life After The 30-Second Spot for free from Joseph Jaffe. I heard him speak here in Montreal and signed up to be a part of his UNM2PNM - Use New Marketing to Prove New Marketing program. If I did not love Life After The 30-Second Spot, I would have said so. This really is a must-read.