In the latest example of finding media innovation where you’d least expect it, CBS is embedding a video player in a print ad in Entertainment Weekly that will serve up a buffet of its fall TV lineup.
The CBS foray into a print-digital alliance plays full-motion video at a crisp resolution. The ad, dubbed by CBS and partner Pepsi Max “the first-ever VIP (video-in-print) promotion,” works like one of those audio greeting cards. Opening the page activates the player, which is a quarter-inch–thick screen seen through a cutaway between two pages concealing the larger circuit board underneath.
The audio quality is equally good, but there are no volume controls, and in a quiet environment, it’s quite loud. This is surely a intentional design feature, aimed at getting the attention of people nearby.
The video-enhancement will appear in the September issue of Entertainment Weekly, but only in what sounds like a relatively small subset of the circulation: The promo itself will be in every copy, but the video portion only in some subscriptions delivered to New York and Los Angeles. It was released Tuesday to media outlets.