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Ad Execs Gaze Into 2011 Crystal Ball

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By Suzanne Vranica

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Brands Get Fit

More marketers will look to sponsor lifestyle activities, such as running, triathlons and yoga. "Those sports tie to a macrotrend in individual consumers being focused on fitness and wellness," says Kevin Adler , president of sports-marketing consulting firm Engage Marketing Inc.

Going Long

Over the past few years, shorter ads have risen in popularity as marketers trimmed their pitches to match consumers' dwindling attention spans. But longer ads will make a comeback, thanks to new technologies, such as Internet enabled TV's, Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +0.68% Corp.'s Xbox, Apple TV and interactive features coming from cable operators, says Alan Cohen , chief executive of the U.S operations of OMD, a media buying form owned by Omnicom Group Inc. "Creative agencies will be developing deep, long-form content as consumers engage in marketers brands as they do their favorite TV shows," he says.

Big Government

The ad business has seen plenty of legislation and federal oversight, including the Federal Trade Commission's recent call for the development of a "do not track" system that would enable consumers to avoid having their activities monitored online. There is more to come. Dan Jaffe , executive vice president of government relations for the Association of National Advertisers trade group, says he expects major legislation or regulation this year. Look for a tougher hand in areas such as Internet privacy and food advertising directed to children, he says.

Getting Real

Brands will be more honest and open about their products as companies seek to develop deeper relationships with consumers on sites such as Facebook, says Andrew Keller , CEO of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Domino's Pizza Inc. with the help of Crispin took that tack last year, when the chain created a campaign centered on having consumers bash its product. Customers in a focus group compared the crust to cardboard. The company said it used the criticism to fix its pizza and the move helped generate buzz around Domino's remaking its recipe.

Return to the 1980s

"There's going to be a renaissance for '80s actors," says Rob Schwartz , chief creative officer of Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/ Day Los Angeles. "The Brat Pack and other John Hughes alums will be shilling for their suppers." Why? Consumers are longing to regain their "American mojo" and the "Reagan '80s was a confident time" in the country, he says.

Ringing Up Jingles

Jingles—short songs used in commercials for decades—began to resurface last year, a trend that is expected to pick up steam this year. "Coming out of the Depression in the '30s, happy music became very important," says Susan Credle , U.S. chief creative office at Leo Burnett, a unit of Publicis Groupe /zigman2/quotes/207669560/delayed FR:PUB +0.05% SA.

"I think we are due for a really infectious jingle. As the Grateful Dead Song says: 'Let Me Sing Your Blues Away.' "

Emily Steel contributed to this article.

Write to Suzanne Vranica at suzanne.vranica@wsj.com

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