Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 10:35 UK

Video screens hit paper magazines


Rajesh Mirchandani takes a look at the latest marketing tool.

The first video advert inside a print title has been published inside the American magazine Entertainment Weekly.

The small screen, built into a cardboard insert, contains an advert for Pepsi Max and trailers for US TV network, CBS.

There are also in-built speakers, so the viewer can hear the advert too.

"This is an extraordinary way to refresh how we interact with consumers," said Pepsi-Cola's chief marketing officer, Frank Cooper.

Chip technology is used to store the video - described as similar to that used in singing greeting cards - which is activated when the page is turned.

The slim-line screens - around the size of a mobile phone display - also have rechargeable batteries.

Each chip can hold up to 40 minutes of video.

BBC News' Los Angeles correspondent, Rajesh Mirchandani, said that the magazine advert was mounted inside a cardboard insert, so it was "instantly distinguishable from a normal flimsy page".

Screen uses liquid crystal display (LCD) technology
Each is 2.7mm thick with 320x240 resolution
Can store 40mins of video
Battery can be recharged via mini-USB
Rechargeable battery lasts up to 70 mins
Developed by LA-firm Americhip

"You can't really flick through the magazine, because the 4-page insert that includes the video screen is relatively bulky.

"And when you do open up the relevant page, the actual advert takes several seconds to load and play and that's a lifetime's lag in the advertiser's world," he added.

Copies of the magazine containing the screens are being sent out to several thousand subscribers in Los Angeles and New York.

CBS and Pepsi won't say how much this limited commercial trial is costing, but manufacturers Americhip told BBC News that a multi-thousand print run with built-in screens would cost in the region of US $20 (around £13) for each magazine.

This has prompted criticism from some quarters, saying that the internet has already been delivering video-embedded-in-text for some time.

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