Player will promote fall lineup in print magazine

CBS and Pepsi are teaming to put a video ad inside issues of Entertainment Weekly magazine.

The ad is a significant component of the network’s multimillion-dollar fall television marketing push. A paper-thin video player with a rechargeable chip will highlight the network’s Monday night comedies and new dramas in a co-branded print ad for Pepsi Max, the soft drink maker’s high-caffeine, low-calorie beverage aimed at men.

“This has never been done before,” said George Schweitzer, prexy of CBS Marketing Group.

The video ad will be included in home delivery of the Sept. 18 fall preview edition of the magazine in the New York and Los Angeles areas. A videoless co-branded “Monday to the Max” ad will run nationally.

The video player includes spots for returning comedies “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory”; a preview of new Monday comedy “Accidentally on Purpose”; a Pepsi Max spot; and previews of new dramas “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Good Wife” and “Three Rivers.”

The campaign was created by OMD’s Ignition Factory. The chip holds 40 minutes of video; designed by Los Angeles-based technology company Americhip, it’s powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and is designed to withstand the rigors of mail delivery.

The Monday to the Max campaign, which also includes a Pepsi-Max branded microsite, a Los Angeles premiere party with CBS stars walking the red carpet and screenings of the “Accidentally on Purpose” pilot on college campuses, is designed to spur a word of mouth movement and, of course, media coverage.

“It’s a little bit experimental,” said Frank Cooper, chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages.

“We need to find ways to engage consumers in new and different ways,” he said. “That’s the future, and you’ve got to be in that game.”

(Marisa Guthrie writes for Daily Variety sister publication Broadcasting & Cable.)

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