Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"The 30-second spot - at least as it exists today - is either dead, dying, or has outlived its usefulness." Joseph Jaffe

Jaffe writes about much more than TV creative in his book Life After the 30-Second Spot. While agency, broadcast and cable execs, along with their clients, will benefit from reading this important book so too will every professional with a marketing budget. A good example of Jaffe's big picture approach may be found online. He has posted a pdf of the book's Chapter Ten Re:think the Agency: Fix the Agency Mess which you may find here. In fact, there is no Chapter Ten in the dead tree version of his book only a page directing the reader to the online posting while also inviting attention to his blog Jaffe Juice (a concept perhaps too clever by half). The Chapter Ten writing serves to illustrate the plain spoken, take no prisoners style of Jaffe's 276 page book. I found myself in agreement ("this business is all about selling") and at odds ("emotion is so overrated") with Jaffe's thinking, no matter, in each case he raises the right questions. Jaffe's book is a room packed with elephants and he opines, unvarnished, on each; as Sinclair once wrote of unhealthy industry standards now Jaffe offers up his version of Packingtown replete with sacred cows. On one page Jaffe is suggesting a new role for advertising (empower, demonstrate, involve) and on others he says branding has changed forever, he calls for new metrics, and makes the case that it's past time for a new definition of creativity. His playful mix of hand drawn illustrations on beverage naps, along with screen grabs and traditional exhibits add to the character and style of the book. Jaffe's writing is brash and bold in the positive and game-changing fashion of a revolutionary artist (Stuart Davis comes to mind here). Some may read his writing as rant (pure of heart & purpose), I choose to read it as a show of his passionate declaration of the pregnant moment. Whatever, Jaffe is both direct and dense in his delivery. Just the right wink of snark for flava.

The book has three sections. First- The Problem - he sets the stage for his "perfect storm" the four ingredients for success or disaster. Broadband, Wireless, Search and Networks. The second section is The Solution wherein he calls for marketers to re:think (sic) four primary areas of the business. The Consumer, Branding, Advertising and The Advertising Agency. Finally in section three he serves up 10 Approaches That Are Transforming the Marketing and Advertising Games. He offers solid insight and practical counsel across a great variety of disciplines from The Internet to Games to Experiential Marketing to Consumer-Generated Content and Branded Entertainment. If its an issue that marketing and advertising professionals are (or should be) talking about you'll find Jaffe's refreshingly candid take. Life After the 30-Second Spot is one of the year's best books on advertising and a great introduction to a keen fresh intellect. Bravo Joseph can't wait for the next one.

(FD: As part of marketing his book Joseph made an offer via his blog. He would send a book in exchange for a review. My thanks to Joseph for providing his book to me; I highly recommend his book to you. I'll have more writing on Jaffe's book in the month ahead.)

Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

David - thanks for the review, btw, what other books would make your best of 2005?


David Martin said...


I'll post my best books of 2005 in my next post. In the interval...check out the recommended reads in the right column. Thanks. Best, Dave