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Washington Post: The Paper Industry is Planning a Big Comeback

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In an article yesterday (July 29) by the Washington Post, Washington, D.C., USA, a reporter gave a positive review of the work of the paper industry's new "How Life Unfolds" campaign. In one television ad, a little boy writes letters to his military father overseas. He folds them into paper airplanes, then launches them across his backyard fence, where the neighbor boxes them up and ships them to the dad. In another, a young woman hands her grandfather two baseball tickets in an envelope. They pick up a box of doughnuts, head to the game and keep score.

As the author put it, "goosebumps practically radiate from the screen."
 
Giving more detail into the workings of the ad campaign, industry representatives the newspaper talked to said their target audience is people they call expressives: educated, working people who like paper, but aren’t using it as much anymore. This group faces constant nagging about how paper is wasteful and digital products are better for personal productivity, particularly at work, where employers have found that adding a second monitor to workstations decreases paper consumption.
 
Also noted in the article are signs that paper being used with digital equipment is happening once again, such as when punch cards were used with some of the very first computers of the 20th century. Evernote, the popular digital notetaking and organization platform, sells Evernote-branded Post-it notes and Moleskine notebooks designed for easy scanning and uploading. The software recognizes handwriting, and users can easily search for notes. Moleskine sales grew 13% last year, according to a corporate filing viewed online in PDF form by the newspaper. 
 
But the paper industry is said to know that the "writing is on the wall" when it comes to conventional P&W paper, except in some developing markets, as is pointed out in their diversification investments such as Domtar's (Montreal, Que., Canada) recent focus on fluff pulp for adult diapers. 
 
More information can be found in the full article online as well as links to other recent Washington Post articles that have covered the resurgence of / or preference for paper products, such as "Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right", "Group tries to slow federal government’s move away from paper to the Web", and a story about how the Cleveland Browns of the NFL decided to keep using paper and pen for their playbook in order to engage their minds more while the rest of the league switched to iPads.
 

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