US broadcast network CBS -- which owns CNET UK -- will be advertising its autumn TV season with a video-chip ad embedded in an issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine.
The 18 September issue of the Time-owned magazine will feature the first video ad to appear in print, CBS marketing president George Schweitzer said on Wednesday at a press conference at the company's headquarters in New York.
The ad will be launched in partnership with Pepsi to promote Pepsi Max and the TV network's Monday prime-time lineup. Not everyone will be seeing it: the ad will appear in a magazine insert sent to subscribers in the New York and Los Angeles metro areas -- an edition without the video chip will be sent to subscribers elsewhere and show up on newsstands.
The technology for the battery-powered ads was manufactured by a Los Angeles-based company called Americhip, and each video ad can handle about 40 minutes of video.
"It's leadership in innovation, which we really stress at CBS in every part of our company," Schweitzer said of the ads, which were developed with the collaboration of the Ignition Factory, a division of the Omnicom Group's OMD media agency.
Pepsi has been experimenting with edgy, experimental ads for some time now, distributing millions of 3D glasses for its SoBe LifeWater Super Bowl ad earlier this year and more recently launched a new flavour of Mountain Dew by inviting prominent Twitter users to a party at a trendy Brooklyn venue.
Pepsi Max, which is aimed at men, was advertised earlier this summer with bold print ads that declared, 'Save the calories for bacon.'
"The evolution of marketing television in the fall, it used to be as simple as this," Schweitzer said of the decision to develop a print video ad, holding up a vintage copy of TV Guide magazine. "It was axiomatic in those days, if you took an ad in TV Guide, people watched your program. Not anymore."