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Life After the 30-Second Ad Spot Fades

WSJ reports that it finally sank in on Madison Avenue in 2005 that the 30-second commercial is fading as a means of hawking products and services. Ad executives will be busy in 2006 trying to figure out what to put in its place.

Good luck to them: Audiences are splintering off in dozens of directions, watching TV shows on iPods, watching movies on videogame players and listening to radio on the Internet. All these activities cut out the usual forms of sponsorship and take place when and where consumers -- not media executives -- choose.

The upshot is that any advertiser with an urgent message needs to start planning now to reach consumers in new and unexpected ways. Some already have. Here are some of the strategies more advertisers will be trying in the coming year: Everyday Encounters, Smaller Screens, Selling Showbiz, Spreading the Word, and Buy the Whole Thing.

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