Monday, September 21, 2009

Tidbits on the new Video-In-Print Technology

Technology from Americahip can embed a video chip in a print product like a magazine. The technology was launched in the September 18 issue of Entertainment Weekly. As Julian Gratton, Red C’s creative director explains, “The video advert will work by having slim screens inserted into the magazine that are activated when the magazine pages are opened – kinda like what happens on greeting cards.”

How does it work? “Each chip that feeds the screen can hold up to 40 minutes of video with the battery that powers the chip and screen being able to play for about 65 to 70 minutes. This battery can then be recharged by plugging in a mini USB cord and once you’ve got bored of the content contained in the chip… you can download additional content from the Web.”

As Gratton noted, it “sounds clever, and expensive… so will it take off?” Comments on LinkedIn’s Direct Mail Group expressed curiosity and reservation.

Miri Thomas, Editor at Catalog e-business saw possibilities for retailers. “Imagine what catalogues could do using the moving image. We could soon see product demonstrations, catwalk videos, and nonselling content such as interviews with celebrities/brand experts within their pages.”

John Noble, owner of the UK's Pro-Active Business Information Limited, shed light on practical aspects – and high costs -- of the technology in talking about his own company’s involvement in the production of the first speaking magazine advert.

"At Pro-Active, we were involved in the production of the world's first speaking magazine advert. It was in Media Week and the advert was for Radio advertising. The centrefold of the magazine was blank, and on opening the centre pages, the voice module was activated (extolling the virtues of radio advertising). It was a very powerful campaign. 

The cost of the voice modules was not too bad, the challenge was to implant them in the spine of the magazine. This proved to be tricky and could only be done manually. The labour costs of implanting the modules was the most expensive part. This also had a bearing on turnaround times as each magazine (from a total of 50,000) had to have each implant placed, primed and tested. 

Voice modules, however, must be far more cost effective to produce than video as the use of voice modules (especially in greeting & birthday cards) are widely available. If anyone fancies having a voiceover for their magazine advert, get in touch as we can help on the physical production side. 

As for the moving images, although the technology may be coming down in price, surely the largest cost is in the execution? If so, then surely overall production costs would only come down once the affixing or implanting becomes automated? 

I can certainly see this type of approach taking off as it breathes new life into print media."

Gratton noted journalistic as well as advertising applications. "If this technology is used in support of articles there are clear benefits. No more can people in the public eye claim to be misquoted… especially when news stories and articles where they are featured have them speaking in full colour on the page. And instead of sports writers trying to tell us that a goal was spectacular or a tackle was horrendous… we can actually watch it back ourselves in full colour… in print and on the train to work."

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

No comments: