Star scores a 'world first' with print-embedded video

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What is claimed to be the world's first embedded video player has been published in a Malaysian newspaper.

But Star Media technical services manager Anandan Thangasamy says the project is one of several the publisher has undertaken in recent months.

As part of a promotion for a 'no-calorie' Pepsi drink, Star produced a special insert with an LCD video player in 40 per cent of the paper's mainland circulation and a sound chip in the remainder. Different marketing content accompanied each, and the products were colour-coded to avoid confusion.

The sound chip - activated by a light sensor when the page was opened - and the video player were each taped into the page, and presented the drink maker's "taste the future now" message. "In future, newspapers will narrate the news to you."

Thangasamy says the project - one of a number undertaken in recent months - presented a range of challenges including sourcing from China, manual pasting, stacking and sorting, and earlier print deadlines.

But he says, "you need to fight to gain attention for printed newspapers".

Other projects have included a resistance band giveaway as part of an "energy from milk" promotion, and a carrier bag which readers could fill with donations for underprivileged children and old people.

Thangasamy says a member of the technical team would typically accompany advertising sales staff to a client meeting to understand the concept and budget considerations. "These projects cost a lot, but the margins are bigger and the impact for the advertiser is considerable," he says.

The LCD video player is believed to be a world first, although sound chips have previously been included in newspapers by Times of India publisher Bennett, Coleman & Co.

Pictured: Anandan Thangasamy at Publish Asia in Bali with the video and talking newspapers

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