No, that's not a sign of bird flu. It's just CBS' new marketing scheme.

The network announced Monday that it will put laser imprints of its trademark eye insignia and some of its programs' logos on 35 million eggs this fall to help CBS crack its way into viewers' hearts through a campaign called "egg-vertising."

"CSI: Crack the case on CBS," "The Amazing Race: Scramble to Win on CBS," and "Shark: Hard-Boiled Drama" are some of the more dramatic phrases CBS has in store for unassuming breakfast eaters come September and October.

"Shelling Out Laughs," "Funny Side Up," and "The Class: New Grade-A CBS Comedy" are also on tap to help make your Monday-night TV-watching decisions over-easy in 2006-07.

"We've gone through every possible sad takeoff on shelling and scrambling and frying," George Schweitzer, president of the CBS marketing group, told the New York Times. "It's a great way to reach people in an unexpected form."

CBS is the first advertiser to use this writing-on-eggs laser technology, which was developed by a five-year-old Deerfield, Illinois-based company called EggFusion, and it has also arranged to be the only one using it this fall. (EggFusion's usual jobs, like etching expiration dates, tend to be more run of the mill.)

"Our marketing group has hatched a campaign that will take primetime promotion where it's truly never been before," CBS' Chris Ender said today during his network's often pun-filled session at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.

Despite already being the most-watched network this past season for the fourth consecutive year, CBS has put what it's calling an "Outernet strategy" into play, trying to reach people through untraditional channels, rather than through your average Internet, billboard, TV spot, print ad, etc.

"It's unlike any other ad medium in the world, because you are looking at the medium while you are using it," EggFusion founder Bradley Parker told the New York Times.

But while CBS' myriad primetime hits have definitely proven that they have staying power, we'll see whether "egg-vertising" turns out to be more than just a flash in the pan.

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