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CW Print Ad Features Live Twitter Feed

10 Oct, 2012 By: Doug McPherson

LOS ANGELES – Print ads took a futuristic turn earlier this month when the Oct. 5 edition of Entertainment Weekly featured an ad with a live Twitter feed from an LCD insert.

LCDs with video have been around since 2009, but the live Twitter feed is a new twist that came from the CW Television Network promoting its fall lineup. The small LCD screen included looping video and the six latest tweets from @CW_Network beneath the words, “Follow Us Now.” It appeared in 1,000 copies distributed across New York and Los Angeles.

“We’re always trying to look at things that are first to market, that are really going to let people know that we are a digital network and that digital media is part of our DNA,” Rick Haskins, executive vice president of marketing and digital programs at the CW, told

The network’s media agency, OMD, pitched the idea to CW, and then Twitter was brought on board to help execute it. The ad was powered by a custom-built, smartphone-like Android device with an LED screen and 3G connectivity. The device was enclosed in two thick, stiff sheets inside EW.

CW was reportedly unable to track any metrics around impressions and display time, but Haskins and his team did monitor for increased activity on Twitter, as fans angled to get their tweets re-tweeted to appear in the magazine.

Haskins told Mashable that the ad was less about boosting the CW’s Twitter following than about “solidifying CW as a leader in digital and social thinking and execution,” Haskins said.

Three years ago, EW ran a video ad for Pepsi in 50,000 copies distributed across New York and Los Angeles. A 45-second video of Dolce & Gabbana also appears in the UK edition of Marie Claire this month.

Insiders say the push comes as networks are eyeing Twitter as a prime vehicle to introduce new shows and engage fans with existing ones. For instance, Fox this week scored another first by premiering the show “Raising Hope” exclusively on Twitter.

About the Author: Doug McPherson

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