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Thirty good seconds.

The advertising and media industries have teamed up for about the past 50 years to train people that 30 seconds is all the time they need to dedicate to a message. For a while, I thought this long-taught learning only applied to advertising, but I’ve realized now that it applies to videos, news, your portfolio, websites, weddings. Everything.

For an ad a minute can sometimes seem special, but in most circumstances just seems long. A three-minute sponsored video seems to last forever. Most websites users get to, tick off most of the time on site looking for the one thing they need, absorbing that and getting out. Personally, if I am greeted by a load screen, I get itchy.

Fragmentation has given us tiny slivers to deal with.

Fragmentation is our business.

When it was easy it was still overwhelming. Even with the old media empires and a few standard shapes and sizes of what were then known as "ads", it was a near impossible task to produce something you could be proud of. It was still rare. There was TV, radio and print. I started my career in the apocalypse of this time. The end times. We knew it was happening, but we didn't know what was happening.

This isn't a good-old-days piece. F that. I was there. They weren't so much better than now. Like everything there are plusses and minuses of every situation. But realistically, to appreciate the plusses of today, it helps to understand where we’ve come from.


Ad Chat: Åsk "Dabitch" Wäppling

As we get close to another year’s end, today I’m turning the tables on the CEO of Adland to get her perspective on the current state of advertising vs. when she started this site back in 1996 when Clinton was President and Quad City Dj's had a hit with C'mon N' Ride It (The Train).

1. You’ve been doing this since 1996, Other than the obvious media changes, what other changes have you seen?

There's a lot less branding and a lot more "storytelling" these days. Not that there's anything wrong with telling a story, but sometimes it's so far off the map of the brand that one wonders why brands are putting money into it. Brands have given up their adjectives. Volvo is no longer "safe", Volkswagen is no longer "reliable", the Economist is no longer "informed." Instead brands are entertaining, or trying to entertain you, like they did in the late 90s with the BMW films. They hope that by catching a viral wave, they might sell some product.


Brands in social media: Robert Taylor shows "fanatical support" for Rackspace

Robert Taylor, A.K.A "Robot Terror", accidentally became a Social Media professional from 2008 to 2011 while at Rackspace. He has since returned to his customer service roots and lives in Seattle, WA, which, appropriately enough, is home of the Cloud. Since Adland has been watching how brands engage in social media, with Kidsleepy listing the heroes and scoundrels of superstorm Sandy, and me discussing dark social in Adweek, we thought we'd talk to the people who have been the brands in social media.


Lee Clow's beard is not Lee Clow and in fact has no beard either - meet Jason Fox

Once upon a time, a little red TV wondered aloud Dear Lee Clows beard... did any birds build a nest in you?...


Take This lollipop wants to Kickstart the sequel

Take this Lollipop, the creepy stalker thing, was seen by over 120 million people and had almost 14 million Facebook likes. It received Best in Show at SXSW, 4 AICP Next Awards, Webby Award, Clio, Art Directors Club and most recently it won a Daytime Emmy Award. Now they want to kickstart the sequel.

So I asked Jason Zada director of Lollipop; With the wild success of Take this lollipop one - why do you need to kickstart a second one?


Collateral Damage Part Three: Rob Levine

On the subject of the collateral damage online piracy is doing to advertising, we’ve heard from David Lowery and Adam Weber.

Now Adland has an exclusive interview with former executive editor of Billboard , journalist and author of “Free Ride,” Rob Levine.


Copywriter telegrams: Need Work (Stop) In good shop (Stop).

Did you hear about that copywriter who is attempting to get his foot in the advertising door by using the oldest of old media, telegrams? For one thing, I had no idea that one could still telegram. Where do you send them off from? Are they hand delivered to the agency by a guy in a neat uniform and hat like in the old movies? I've never even seen a telegram, you've piqued my curiosity for retro-tech, tell me more Zack Filler the telegramming copywriter.

Zack: "There is a website called and they will send the telegrams to any address you like. All over the world. They get delivered to the agency, barring any complication in the mail room. I've never seen a real one either. "


Collateral Damage Part 2: Adam Weber.

Everyone knows about that dude Tom Waits. Gravelly voiced, make your heart break in a million pieces singer songwriter artist with hobo beatnik persona.

You know what else he is? He’s smart enough to know that Tom Waits is also a guy with integrity, who knows the the thing he offers to the world--his talent--is unique, and shouldn’t be copied or stolen by anybody. And he’s willing to keep suing every time it happens to maintain that integrity.


Collateral Damage: How Free Culture destroys advertising.

A funny thing happened on the internet last week. On Sunday, an NPR’s “All Songs Considered” intern named Emily White wrote an intriguing post called I never owned any music to begin with. Miss White is 20 years old and missed the milestone when we changed how we acquire music. In the post, she speaks of having 11,000 songs, despite only having purchased 15 cds.

In the short post two things jumped out at me.

“…I honestly don’t think my peers and I will ever pay for albums. I do think we will pay for convenience.”