NBC, PepsiCo To Place Video Ad Inside Your Print Magazine

This fall, CBS will be spicing up print magazines with a little digital love with the addition of a video-chip ad into an issue of Entertainment Weekly. And really it’s just the first step to becoming the real-life Daily Prophet (except hopefully without HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED). Yes that was a shameless Harry Potter reference. Yes this technology really is that cool.
The ad is a partnership with PepsiCo as a promotion for Pepsi Max soda and CBS’s Monday prime-time television shows, and will feature about 40 minutes of video that will include fall TV previews. How do you get 40 minutes of video onto a nearly flat print publication you ask? Americhip, an L.A.-based company, manufactures the technology. It’s a TFT LCD (that’s thin film transistor liquid crystal display for all you non-techies) screen that is 2.7 millimeters thick and is battery powered. Added bonus: the battery can be recharged with a mini USB cord via a jack in the back of the screen, which is ideal for rewatching The Voice and Revolutions fall teasers over and over and over and… you get the point.
This screen insert is unprecedented as far as video ads to appear in print, and will be a first run at a possible new marketing technique to accompany the already nontraditional PepsiCo ads that have included product launches via celeb twitter party invites and distributing millions of 3D glasses for a Super Bowl ad. The ads were a collaboration development with Ignition Factory, an Omnicom Group OMD media agency.
Call me crazy, but could this be a desperate plea for an avante-garde and experimental solution to print magazine’s plumeting sales? A recent article by the New York Times says that the Alliance for Audited Media found that newsstand sales dropped by 10% in the first half of 2013 alone. And while some magazines like Cosmo and O, The Oprah Magazine both fell over 20% in newsstand sales, they also grew by over 20% in digital subscribers.
Whatever the reason for the new techy gadget, there’s no need to rush out to the stands to get it. The broadcast network only plans on embedding the small video advertisement into select September issues of Entertainment Weekly for their New York and Los Angeles subscribers. The rest of the issues (and unfortunately the ones on stand for you and me) won’t contain the magazine insert. Looks like most of us will still have to wait a while before our print ads start going digital. Oh wait, I almost forgot we can just go to entertainmentweekly.com for that.
(image via: Wired.com)

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