NEW YORK--Broadcast network CBS will be advertising its fall TV season with a video-chip ad embedded in an issue of Entertainment Weekly.
The September 18 issue of the Time Inc.-owned magazine will feature the first video ad to appear in print, George Schweitzer, CBS marketing president, said Wednesday at a press conference at the company's headquarters here.
The ad will be launched in partnership with PepsiCo to promote Pepsi Max soda 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 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 ad can handle about 40 minutes of video.
Here are some more details about the Americhip technology: the screen, which is 2.7 millimeters thick, has a 320x240 resolution. The battery lasts for about 65 to 70 minutes, and can be recharged, believe it or not, with a mini USB cord--there's a jack on the back of it. The screen, which uses thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD) technology, is enforced by protective polycarbonate. It's a product that has been in development at Americhip for about two years, spokesman Tim Clegg told CNET News via e-mail.
"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.
PepsiCo 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. It more recently launched a new Mountain Dew flavor by inviting prominent Twitter users to a party at a trendy Brooklyn venue.
Pepsi Max is the company's new diet soda geared toward men, 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, holding up a vintage copy of TV Guide. "It was axiomatic in those days. If you took an ad in TV Guide, people watched your program. Not anymore."
Disclosure: CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.
This post was updated at 1:38 p.m. PT with more details about Americhip's technology.