CBS to Run Magazine Ad on TV this Fall (and other lame ideas)

In: advertising| marketing

20 Aug 2009

cbs_pepsi_magazine_videoNEW YORK–Broadcast network CBS will be advertising its fall TV season with a print ad from an issue of Entertainment Weekly airing during an episode of Two and a Half Men.

The September 18 episode of the long-running sitcom will feature the first print ad to appear on TV, George Schweitzer, CBS marketing president, said Wednesday at a press conference at the company’s headquarters here.

The ad will be launched in partnership with PepsiCo to promote Pepsi Max soda and the TV network’s Monday prime-time lineup. Not everyone will be seeing it: the print ad will only appear to viewers in the New York and Los Angeles areas–an episode without the magazine ad will be shown to viewers elsewhere.

Of course, the above isn’t true. But sadly, it’s not too far from reality.

It’s been all over the news and blogs today that CBS will be running a small video ad inside of a magazine this fall, kind of like a musical birthday card (sidenote – how long until we see video birthday cards?). The announcement was accompanied by comments about “leadership in innovation” and the “evolution of marketing.”

Consider me unimpressed.

Gimmicks like this may provide short-term interest, but with the wrong audience. You’re going to attract people interested in checking out some snazzy technology instead of building an interest in your programming lineup among potential viewers. Unless their target demographic is advertising executives, they should think of something else. When I see big media companies taking this kind of approach, it just makes them seem out of touch.

The rules of marketing have changed. Using mass-media gimmicks like this won’t work. If you want to be innovative, truly innovate. Don’t just move around the deck chairs.

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Mark Webster

About Mark Webster

One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.