Time Inc mulls animated ads in magazines

Ads in magazines that come alive and talk to you – like a tv commercial – as you turn the pages may be the next big advance in off-beat advertising.

Time Inc is already working on such a system and may introduce animated ads in a year or two.

The secret, according to a report in the US magazine Media Week, is a special electronic paper that, powered by a mini-coin-sized battery, would project an animated black and white image on to a printed page. Coloured ads could come later.

Already there have been experiments with mini animated ads in such publications as Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone. The ad in Rolling Stone – in last week’s issue – featured characters from the new Fox TV Sunday night line-up whooping it up on a roller coaster ride. As readers tilted the ad the images changed.

Time Inc’s Entertainment Weekly has a character from the new series Bionic Woman winking and her eyes lighting up as readers turned the page.

There is expected ultimately to be a big demand for animated ads – especially from entertainment companies – once the wrinkles have been ironed out. Although for the moment costly, the new ads are generating a lot of buzz and comment in the ad world.

Only one big question has yet to be answered. How will readers respond?

Although eye-catching there is a fear if the idea catches on readers might not like their reading to be constantly interrupted Big loud magazine ads like noisy tv commercials might not be tolerated.,

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