The technology has been developed by U.S. company Americhip and is known as Video-in-Print (ViP™). While still a relatively new concept, the use of such technology is starting to boom overseas, with brands including the Discovery Channel, Citroen, Renault, Nike and Versace making use of the innovation.
The technology blurs the line between digital and print media by bringing consumers paper-thin, full motion, high definition video content within the printed page. Up to 45 minutes of high quality video and sound can be played directly from the page. The device allows touch activated play of up to five chapters of video material.
In Australia, earlier this year, Fairfax inserted a credit card-sized video screen into a magazine as part of a $250,000 marketing campaign for Peroni – creating a ‘world-first’ TV commercial inserted into print magazine. The screens, which showed a three-and-a-half minute video, were hand placed in 2,500 editions of Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Brett Phillips, chief executive of Hamilton’s Print House, is incorporating the new communication medium together with his existing print operation to make it available in New Zealand.
The cost of using this technology depends on the size of screen required, with two inch screens being the smallest and ten inches the largest. Prices start at $250 per unit, but can decrease to just $50/unit on a 5000 unit run.
Brett Phillips says to understand and get the full impact of the product it has to be seen in operation.
“It is very much a ‘show and tell’ medium. People who see it have without exception been impressed, so much so that when we have sent out demonstration samples to clients they have invariably been caught up in the wow factor and showed it to their friends and associates.”
The technology has, among other things, been used overseas for specialized direct mail, targeted promotions, training manuals, pitch documents and high-end magazine advertising.
The ten-inch screens are more suited for kiosks or display stands at a point of sale rather than for print products, says Phillips. "Whereas the smaller ones could fit onto a sports shoe."
He sees endless possibilities for the new technology, and while current projects remain top secret, Phillips admits there is a recruitment project in the pipeline, including a personalised video that entices candidates to certain specific jobs by showing them the benefits of the lifestyle in the area.
"Tourism is another good one," says Phillips, "where you can actually show people what experiences a specific holiday package could bring by following someone else through the experience."
Phillips sees training videos as another logical use of the technology.
"So if you were farming there would be no need for a computer or laptop, you would just need the manuel, and that includes an instructional DVD," says Phillips.
The technology used is similar to that used in a Smartphone, only many times thinner.