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CBS and Pepsi, Bored With Plain Old Print Ads, Cram Video Into a Magazine

Illustration for article titled CBS and Pepsi, Bored With Plain Old Print Ads, Cram Video Into a Magazine

That's right, aging, future-minded denizens of the 50s, video magazines are here! Almost. Come fall, Entertainment Weekly will feature the world's first video-screen-in-a-page advertisement, to sell you some TV shows.


CBS and PepsiCo will take out a video-enabled ad, seen above in all its stamp-sized glory, which will pitch TV content to EW subscribers in New York and Los Angeles. The ads will probably be short, but the company that makes the video hardware, Americhip, says it can support up to 40 minutes of video.

Long-form video content in a magazine sounds pretty cool—think a full episode of a TV show in EW, or a mini-documentary in The Economist—but in advertising applications, it's firmly in "gimmick" territory. This blurry shot doesn't tell us much about how video quality is, or how bulky the insert will be. I'm going to make some wagers: Low, and very.


There's an undeniable, retro-futurist draw to the whole thing, but remember what happened last time a magazine shacked up with one of print's technological enemies? It was underwhelming, and a little sad. The emotions of the future, folks!

UPDATE: Advertising Age has some more substantive info on how this thing will actually work:

When Entertainment Weekly readers open the magazine to the ad pages, they will see a small screen flicker on and start to load a video. A brief segment featuring actors from "The Big Bang Theory" will explain how to use the player, while talking about features from Entertainment Weekly and the different video selections a reader can choose. By pressing one of five different buttons, readers can watch a video montage from [a bunch of different shows]


[CNETImage by Caroline McCarthy/CNET Updated with better photo from Ad Age]

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Great. More throw-away circuitry to end up in landfills or in 3rd world countries where everything has to be pulled apart by poor children for recycling.

I'd much rather see energy focused on better e-ink technology so we can ultimately end up with reusable flexible displays like in Minority Report.