Kaplan Thaler: Life Begins After :30

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - An industry executive who's helped craft some of the most memorable 30-second spots in recent memory sought to reassure colleagues the sky is not falling - not yet anyways.

Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO and chief creative officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group with clients such as Aflac and Revlon, employed thick sarcasm as she spoofed the drumbeat that the 30-second spot is dying or even dead.

"I'm going to really miss the 30-second commercial," she said tongue-implanted-firmly-in-cheek during an address here at the AAAAs Management Conference for Agency CEOs on Friday.

As she made light of television's oft-suggested waning influence, she turned serious at times, saying obituaries about the :30 have "gone way too far" and arguing that "advertising in some form has to continue."

"Nobody knows where anything is going, so why don't we just enjoy today," she said in an interview after the speech, which was received with hearty laughter. "We're just getting too obsessive about what's going to happen."

Asked to offer her sarcasm-free feelings on the state of the :30 in 10 years, she said: "Commercials as we know them will no longer be in existence, but the idea of selling stuff in creative ways will always be there."

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