Yes, you read that right. There is a video ad running in the current edition of Entertainment Weekly magazine. This is not an ad on their web site it is actually in the print edition of the magazine.
This is a world first. A paper thin video player is being embedded in the magazine that will begin running when a reader opens the magazine to the ad pages. Unfortunately, you can't go out and just buy this magazine, it is only being sent to some Entertainment Weekly subscribers in the Los Angeles and New York City areas. The advertisers are CBS and Pepsi, with CBS featuring video of its upcoming fall TV shows and Pepsi promoting its Pepsi Max diet cola.
This is highly significant news in many ways. It means that video technology has advanced enough for screens to be paper thin. It means that a suitable power source to run these video screens has been developed that is also paper thin. So, it is only a matter of time now before we see these video screens on a product label. Sure, in reality we are probably many years or even decades away from seeing video ads on the shampoo bottles in your local grocery store. But I can see a day when high-end cosmetics, pharmaceuticals or wine carry a video ad on their label. I expect it will become common place in this coming decade.
One of the big obstacles to overcome will be environmental. I presume this magazine can no longer be included in the recycling stream. But this is not an insurmountable problem. Recyclers often have to allow for new materials. There will be a public backlash if the recycling stream is not able to handle this kind of electronics. Before video ads in magazines or on product labels become common place I expect this challenge will have been overcome.
Esquire Magazine Makes Printing History
Print CEO blog - Video Ad to Run in Print
Advertising Age - Details of the CBS and Pepsi Ad
YouTube Video Showing Ad in Action