Advertising’s workhorse, 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.
[Originally published 3 January 2006]