Gird Yourself, Video Advertising Is Coming To Print Magazines

Here’s one horrible thought about the steady advance in display technology: there could be a future where a noisy, hyperkinetic commercial plays as you turn the page of your magazine, and your Tivo remote will not be able to save you.

According to the BBC, select copies of the September 18th issue of Entertainment Weekly will include little LCD screens that work pretty much the same way those singing greeting cards work:

The first clips will preview programmes from US TV network CBS and show adverts by the drinks company Pepsi.

  • Screen uses liquid crystal display (LCD) technology
  • Each is 2.7mm thick with 320×240 resolution
  • Can store 40mins of video
  • Battery can be recharged via mini-USB
  • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 70 mins

The company behind the gimmick, Americhip, calls this “multisensorizing,” apparently because their website copy was written by email scammers. (Warning: their website is an assault on the ears even after you press the “no music” button.)

Really, the good things about marketing stunts like this one—including the e-ink screen on the cover of Esquire last year and the USB flash drive that some car company handed out in EW a few years ago—is that you can re-use the technology if you’re handy with things like that. Or, if you’re like me, you can just keep opening and closing the page until the battery wears out, so mesmerized by what’s happening that you manage to ignore the message entirely.

Here’s what the technology looks like—and despite our “no Tivo remote” crack above, they do demonstrate a “Skip” button. We’ll be curious to see whether that makes it into the final version.

Also, that’s gonna be one bulky Entertainment Weekly issue:

Here’s a video of the actual ad as it will appear in the magazine.

“Video appears in paper magazines” [BBC via toni_jane]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.