The #HowLifeUnfolds Campaign is Turning the Page for Paper Demand

In the digital age, some people think paper has been given its walking papers. But while digital may dominate our lives today, there’s still a place in our lives for paper. The Paper & Packaging Board launched a multi-million-dollar promotional campaign called “Paper & Packaging–#HowLifeUnfolds.” It was created to make paper and packaging more visible and contribute to more extensive use of paper and paper-based products. To see how this new campaign is taking a page from major advertisers, explained how paper packaged its marketing message.

Who’s Peddling Paper?
Launched in mid 2015, the entire campaign is funded by a government-operated “paper check-off program” that will bring in millions of dollars over the next seven years. The initiative is supported by U.S.-based paper and paper-based packaging manufacturers and importers. Their aim is to curb and control the decline of paper use, while boosting the widespread demand for paper and paper-based packaging among younger adults whose lives have become dominated by digital.

Packaging the Marketing Message
For maximum exposure, the campaign is a multi-channel initiative that features television, print, online ads, and social media. To reach its target market of 18- to 49-year-olds raised with digital alternatives to paper, social media is a large part of the campaign and is being carried out through socially driven efforts including a website, a Facebook page, Twitter activities, a YouTube channel, Instagram photos, and a LinkedIn component.

Some of the major social media promotions of the campaign are:

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  • #PaperAnniversary: Building on the tradition of paper as the perfect gift for a first wedding anniversary, this promotion is designed to promote the use of paper-based presents like photo albums and flipbook. It features celebrities who were slated to celebrate their first anniversaries in late 2015, like Lance Bass, Lauren Scruggs Kennedy, and Candice Accola.
  • #SharePackages: This promotion was developed with Macy’s department stores to bring gifts to children hospitalized over the holidays. For the promotion, 15,000 pre-paid mailing boxes with a Share Packages theme were produced and offered to customers in the major department store. Customers were invited to purchase a gift from a selection of paper-based and non-paper products, then purchase and send it to one of many children’s hospitals throughout the nation. The campaign resulted in the filling and mailing of almost 2,000 packages.

The campaign has a substantial paid media spend, which will increase as the campaign continues through 2016. In 2015, its paid media spend was more than $19 million in the six months it ran. And in 2016, its media spend will surpass $20 million. But with its seven-year span, its funding and media spend will only increase.

To determine the campaign’s performance, organizers will conduct an econometric analysis in the upcoming years. For now, expect paper and packaging promotions to paper most media channels.

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