HP Promotes Print with ‘Get Real’ Campaign

Designed to promote print – in particular printed photos and books – HP Inc. today launched a new campaign called “Get Real.”

The firm also released a new survey that indicates respondents value physical mementos – including printed photos – more than digital entertainment. Specifically:

71 percent of Americans are more willing to give up the Netflix video-streaming service for the rest of their lives rather give up a photo album of family photos; 74 percent would also give up going to the gym; 72 percent would give up social media; and 73 percent would give up alcohol for a photo album of family photos.

Printed Books Preferred

HP notes that “Despite our increasingly digital world, people are returning to and appreciate real things,” with the survey indicating that 65 percent of Americans still prefer printed books to audio and e-books, according to data from Vrge Strategies. HP also noted that there an 8 percent sales growth of vinyl records in 2018, according to the RIAA 2018 Year-end music industry revenue report, and 28 percent decrease in digital download sales according to Pew Research.

Worry among Parents

The survey also indicated that parents are worried about their children’s digital screen time versus “real life” experience:

  • 61 percent worry about the effect of screen time on their children’s social skills.
  • 58 percent worry screen time will affect their children’s ability to develop critical skills.
  • 64 percent  limit their child’s screen time so they can appreciate real-life experiences.

Deepak Masand, global head of Print Marketing, HP Inc., commented:  “Our insights tell us today’s connected world can feel more disconnected than ever – and people are hungry for real things to hold on to. The Get Real campaign was built on a cultural truth about our relationships with technology. We want to encourage the imagination and inventiveness that comes from a healthy balance between our digital and physical worlds.”

Our Take

Overall, HP makes some great points about how social media and excessive “screen time” can have very negative effects (including some research showing shortening of people’s attention spans – see here for more). At this point, though, we can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube and make any of this go away.

That said, one thing that stands out is that consumers still seem to prefer printed books versus ebooks. For instance, Inc. notes that according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. sales of traditional print books rose by 5 percent in 2016, while sales of ebooks plunged by 17 percent. Meanwhile, printed book sales were up 1.3 percent in 2018, according to Retail Dive. That’s reassuring news for sellers of production-printer equipment for books, magazines, etc., like HP Inc.

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