A report by the BBC explains the screen is built into a wafer-thin, cardboard insert and contains an ad for Pepsi Max, as well as trailers for CBS television.
“This is an extraordinary way to refresh how we interact with consumers,” said Pepsi-Cola’s chief marketing officer, Frank Cooper.
Desperate ploy, marketing breakthrough or annoyance? The chip technology, which holds up to 40 minutes of video, is likened to those singing greeting cards which have gained popularity. They are activated when you open the card.
The cardboard can add bulk to the magazines, and some male consumer have already complained it makes it hard to roll up a journal and stick it in your pocket.
BBC News‘ Los Angeles correspondent, Rajesh Mirchandani, says the magazine advert is mounted inside a cardboard insert and is instantly distinguishable from a normal flimsy page.
“You can’t really flick through the magazine, because the 4-page insert that includes the video screen is relatively bulky,” he reports.
“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.
Magazine containing the screens have been sent to several thousand subscribers in Los Angeles and New York. Will they catch on by other magazines to save the trade? We shall see.
Some other facts about the adverts: