In September, CBS will start advertising its fall lineup right on your breakfast. Jesus and Mary may be frequent guests on your toast, but Shark, How I Met Your Mother, and Smith will be showing up on your eggs. That is, if you’re the one who makes the omelets in your house. Through the magic of laser imprinting, 35 million eggs will have copy promoting new and returning shows with corny slogans like “Hard-Boiled Drama,” “Funny Side Up,” and “Leave the Yolks to Us” – part of a little campaign CBS likes to call “egg-vertising.” “We’ve gone through every possible sad takeoff on shelling and scrambling and frying,” said the Eye’s head of marketing. “It’s a great way to reach people in an unexpected form.”
The imprint is applied in the packaging plant, as the eggs are washed, graded and “candled,” or inspected for flaws, when the eggs are held by calipers and moved along a production line at 225 feet a minute. Right before an egg is packaged, laser light is applied to the shell, giving it the etching. Each imprint takes 34 milliseconds to 73 milliseconds, so the processing of eggs is not appreciably slowed down, Mr. Parker said. The etching is ultrathin, to a depth of 50 to 90 micrometers, or 5 percent of the shell’s thickness.