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Published on September 17th, 2009 | by Niall


Cool but Ultimately Pointless – Video Killed the Print Media Star

This could be the birth of a new column for Cool but Ultimately Pointless Things. Introducing the world’s first video advertisement inside a printed magazine/paper. This week’s copy of American magazine Entertainment Weekly has included a video advert in a limited subscriber run of the mag.


The advertisements from manufacturer Americhip utilises a small 2.7mm thick screen which is built into a cardboard insert. The technology is described as being akin to that used in musical greeting cards and uses mobile-sized screens with rechargeable batteries. This instance contains an advert for Pepsi Max and trailers for US TV network CBS. The advertisers have also added in-built speakers so that the viewer can listen to the advertisements too.

While each one of these can hold up to 40 minutes of video there is a distinct time lapse in loading the content, which may be off-putting to potential viewers. Also the fact that the screen must be embedded in thick cardboard hampers the readability of the magazine as a whole. With each screen costing in the region of $20 we are unlikely to see wide-scale uptake any-time soon.

So is it the next-step in print advertising or just a pointless gimmick? I’m going with the latter as online video advertising is much less expensive and much more relevant.

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About the Author

The proverbial man lost in La Mancha. Sports aficionado and all-round scoundrel. Über-geek to boot. I run the movie website Scannain.com and can usually be found twittering away as @niallxmurphy.

3 Responses to Cool but Ultimately Pointless – Video Killed the Print Media Star

  1. Niamh says:

    Saw this via Twitter sometime last month and though some people thought it was a great departure for magazines, my reaction was the same as yours – pointless gimmick. If I want to see a preview of something of course I am going to watch it on tv or on my laptop on a generous sized screen and in HD if possible. That tiny screen is just all kinds of ridiculous.

  2. Lottie says:

    This is genius and terrible all at once. This was eventually going to happen and given time they will find a way of manufacturing the chips in a cost effective manner so that they can justifiably be used, even if it is just in the more upmarket mags.

    But gradually, little by little, people will forget how to read. Brilliant but totally unnecessary.

    Love the idea of “Cool but Ultimately Pointless Things” posts. I know there’s a joke in there about the Lisbon Treaty…I must try harder!

  3. Ronan says:

    I like it already. Just because I can see The Big Bang Theory on the left. Roll on next Monday! Woooo!

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