Enough with elections and discord and fear and worry. Time for some magic, brought by a U.K. magazine publisher, the Harry Potter franchise, Warner Bros., and an innovative attitude.

Great design isn't enough to create success for a company -- not even for Apple these days. But splashy innovation can energize your company and provide a way to stand out and get attention.

The newest chapter in the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is slated to hit the screen in just under two weeks. It's bound to be a hit and offer some broad coattails to companies that want to hitch a ride.

However, Empire Magazine, an British publication that covers movies, television, and gaming, decided to do more than be carried. It pulled out an impressive technical feat of a limited edition of its print magazine into the front page of the New York Ghost, the American wizarding paper version of the Daily Prophet from the Harry Potter series.

One of the supposed magical marvels was that figures in pictures the newspaper included could move. And now they do in real life -- well, to the degree technology makes possible by embedding video players into the paper. It's still pretty cool.

The movie's trailer is available in the player, and the publication's site explains. There's also a behind-the-scenes tour and interviews with the cast, director, and J.K. Rowling. When the power is running low, you can actually plug the cover in with a mini-USB cable.

They produced only 5,000 copies of the edition, which isn't surprising as it must have been a bear to pull off. The cover price was £9.99, or just under $12.50, and copies were only available at Sainsbury's supermarkets.

It's not the first attempt at integrating video into traditional print publications. Esquire had a digital ink cover on its 75th anniversary issue with moving words and flashing images about eight years ago.

For a long time there's been an implicit assumption that print would always be static except for the occasional inclusion of a gimmick like a printed holograph. Empire's latest adventure suggests that there are still many assumptions and limitations to be overcome. And a lot of exciting possibilities waiting to be uncovered and explored.

So, what's your next promotion going to look like?

Published on: Nov 7, 2016
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