Thursday, June 15, 2006

Review: Life After the 30-Second Spot

"Community is the ultimate killer app. The success stories of both today and tomorrow pivot around the dynamic energy that comes from the ability to tap into, harness, and maximize the power of community." - Joe Jaffe, Life After the 30-Second Spot

The above quote could either be said to capture the spirit of the lessons that Jaffe is trying to reach us with Life After..., or perhaps it's more accurate to say that the above quote captures the spirit of the move toward non-traditional marketing, and that Life After... is our handbook for this journey.

Either way it, like the rest of Life After..., makes damned good sense.

Jaffe takes us on a tour of how traditional advertising and marketing is steadily losing its effectiveness, as the consumer becomes more intelligent and more empowered with every passing day, while advertising mostly continues to stay stuck in the past.

I'm torn on how far to go with this review. On the one hand I want to break down each chapter because it's hard to pick out one area that was stronger than the rest of the book. Jaffe tells you what is wrong, gives you reasons why it's not working, and tells you how to correct the problem. Where Life After... differs from certain other business/marketing books, is that Joe gives examples and numbers to back up every argument he makes. That's what transfers this book from being a work based on theory, to one based on ideas that have been shown to work, or not work, depending on which section you are reading.

But on the other hand, I don't want to give away too much about this book, because if you are reading this blog, you need to own this book. It's that simple.

Life After... has three main sections: First Jaffe tells us what is wrong with traditional advertising, then how we can change our thinking/tactics in Section Two, and finally closes the book with Section Three, which details 10 'non-traditional' avenues for advertising/marketing. Section Three is probably my favorite, covering vehicles such as the internet, gaming, on-demand viewing, and communal marketing(yes!). One interesting aspect to this section is that Jaffe lets 10 different experts from the advertising and marketing worlds riff on the topics he's raised at the end of each chapter. Jaffe talks about communal marketing in Chapter 16, then lets Charles Porter of Crispin Porter + Bogusky give his views on what makes a successful viral marketing campaign (Subservient Chicken, anyone?).

And finally, there is the way in which Jaffe promoted this book, by giving it away to bloggers. Doesn't get much more 'non-traditional' than that. But again, this is the future of marketing, embracing your community and finding ways to empower them. You are reading this review now because Jaffe believed enough in the promise of non-traditional marketing, to 'put his money where his mouth is'.

It turned out to be a very safe bet. When you read this book, you will laugh, you will nod your head in agreement, and most importantly, you will be a smarter marketer when you finish reading it. You can order Life After the 30-Second Spot here through Amazon, or here through Barnes and Noble.


"David" said...

Joe is smart. He's practicing what he preaches. By sending you the signed book—he knows you'll become an evangelist for his "brand". Then his brand will spread naturally vs him having to force it down people's throat.

It's a good strategy and marketers need to take note of this.

J.D. said...

Signed anything gets me. I'm an autograph collector, and a sucker for someone who will send me one.

Ann Handley said...

"David" said:

"By sending you the signed book—he knows you'll become an evangelist for his "brand". Then his brand will spread naturally vs him having to force it down people's throat."

Hmm....sort of like a music company sending 100 CDs to 100 bloggers? Wait a sec. I might be on to something here....

Seriously, I share your juice for Jaffe. Great post, Mack.

Paul McEnany said...

I disagree with David. I think he should have concentrated on scoring a Super Bowl ad. Talk about a captive audience!!!!

J.D. said...

I hope you are either being sarcastic or are Bob Parsons from in disguise.