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Hawking on Eggshells

Which came first, the advertising or the egg? No matter--now they're together at last.

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This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

TV ads can be fast-forwarded, radio ads can be tuned out--but eggshell ads just can't be ignored. Major companies are scrambling to participate in a new form of advertising called "On-Egg Messaging," where images are laser-imprinted directly onto eggshells--a technology introduced by Bradley Parker, founder of EggFusion in Deerfield, Illinois. CBS was so impressed that it signed on to be the exclusive advertiser last fall. Under the contract, 35 million eggs were distributed per month to promote the TV network's fall lineup.

While On-Egg Messaging is a great revenue builder, it all hatched from the idea of protecting consumers by marking a freshness date and traceability code on each egg. The date-stamped eggs first hit stores in 2005, and Parker expects to see a positive cash flow this year. Says Parker, 36, "I'm just trying to add some value to an existing process and change the world in a small but effective way."

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