There was a lot of stuff on Twitter by the end of last week, spreading the announcement of the worlds first video in paper magazines.
The very fact that we had to talk about ‘paper’ magazines is in itself indicative of were we are now. In all my time as a reader of everything from Shoot! to Homes & Gardens I’ve never once felt it necessary to clarify I was picking up a ‘paper’ magazine in much the same way I’ve yet to ask for a ‘liquid’coffee at Starbucks.
But times change & obviously marketers feel generation Y needs no ambiguity before they can have new innovations sold to them.
It’s a joint venture between CBS, Pepsi and Entertainment Weekly in the States. According to the CBS press release, readers will be able watch video straight from the printed page via a paper-thin interactive video player featuring ads for several CBS programmes as well as a video promoting a Pepsi diet cola in select copies of Entertainment Weekly’s Autumn TV preview issue.
At the moment, to me, it all comes across as a short-sighted rather than innovative. The current rush within the media to multi platform at all costs reminds me of those games where you make ridiculous fantasy animals by sticking different parts of them together just to see how it’ll look. Hippopotobirds, donkeyguins, videopapermagazines….
The shame of it is that this is all about advertising rather than content. Turn the idea on it’s head and look on it as a new opportunity to create content rather than just sell things, and it suddenly becomes a whole lot more interesting. I could read an in dept interview with the Artic Monkeys in Q Magazine and watch their new video on the adjoining page. Alternatively I could flick through an Annie Leibovitz fashion shoot in Paris and on the last page check out a behind the scenes viral.
Additional and repackaged content is what propelled the home buyer DVD market a few years ago. But in forgetting that and going for the short term advertising novelty the magazine industry might be missing a trick.
Post by Tim Kerr (Director & Picture Editor PA Photocall)