Posted August 20, 2009 7:42 am by with 3 comments

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Entertainment WeeklyIn a move that can be considered either brilliant or desperate at the same time, readers of Entertainment Weekly magazine (you know the one that has paper and that ink stuff ) will get an actual video ad in their magazine. This isn’t the Daily Prophet that Harry Potter and his ilk read but it is something that at least makes you take notice.

The Financial Times reports on a collaborative effort between Pepsi and CBS

The willingness to spend on such a promotion highlights the radical means marketers are employing to reach consumers at a time when a growing number of people are using new technologies such as digital video recorders to avoid ads.

The video, which will play on a screen about the size of those found on mobile telephones, will appear in copies of the Time Warner magazine sent to subscribers in the New York and Los Angeles areas.

While sounding like a neat novelty idea I have to wonder about the long-term viability of such a technique. For me, sitting down with a magazine is more relaxing than ever just because nothing moves! With the harried pace of life as it is it’s kind of nice to sit down for a minute or two and read an article that doesn’t have something on the left or right side of it vying for my attention when all I want to do is read.

Of course, this kind of experiment isn’t cheap.

The cost of the full-motion video ad was not disclosed, but it will be far more expensive than traditional print ads, according to executives familiar with the technology, developed by a US company called Americhip.

How much more expensive?

One magazine industry executive with knowledge of the technology estimated that running one video ad in 100,000 copies would cost in the low seven-figure range. That would translate into a cost of several dollars per copy. By contrast, a full-page colour ad in Entertainment Weekly costs about 9 cents a page per copy.

The folks at Pepsi and CBS see value and are putting their money on the buzz that will be created by the ads thus giving their products a boost. Great theory but it remains to be seen as to its effectiveness in making any cash registers ring. The report says that the magazine is only being sent to subscribers in the two markets so newsstand sales of the ‘techno-mag’ may not be available.

This is definitely the type of subject matter that Pilgrims should weigh in on, right? If you are a New York or LA reader of Entertainment Weekly and get one of these let us know what you think. And for those of us who simply stay uninformed about the Hollywood glitterati (or use that annoying Internet thingy to get this kind of info) let’s discuss the merits of this kind of move. Are there any? Is this brilliance or a stretch? Should print vehicles go this direction? Inspiration or desperation? You make the call.

  • With marketing budgets continuing to be under the microscope, and companies looking for more efficient and streamlined ways to reach their target audiences in local markets, it would surprise me that video advertising in magazines would take off. Most marketers likely would want some proof of ROI before dropping seven figures into such a method. However, if you have an enormous marketing budget and are looking for some “buzz” marketing, then maybe it’s worth a try.

  • This is a very trendy idea. Personally, I don’t want to “watch TV” while I am reading, and I know many others feel this way as well. The ads are 40 minutes in length also. That seems a little lengthy to me. Should be interesting to see the outcome of this one. Do you think this is here to last Frank? Please pass along any more information and opinions you gather on this.
    .-= Joel Gross´s last blog ..The Power of Outsourcing =-.

  • nice idea, pushing out the boundaries and maybe viewing channels. also tries to blend print with video so they may be on to something. one thing is certain, video ads will become common place