At South by Southwest, one of the world’s largest interactive festivals, Eric Mower + Associates helped Domtar launch a wireless hotspot called the “Paper Hotspot,” which made people halt and quickly became one of the show’s most popular highlights.
Here’s how it worked: In the middle of a conference with flashing lights and loud music to promote new websites, video games and startup ideas, the “Paper Hotspot” was an oasis of comfy couches, a fireplace and bookshelves filled with books, magazines and sketchpads. People halted and stepped inside to unplug for a moment, sit down and interact with paper—which some of them did for as long as 30 minutes.
See how people enjoyed the Paper Hotspot in this video. The Paper Hotspot created a lot of social media buzz, with many SXSW attendees—and the media—tweeting about it and one calling it “#GeniusMove.”
“We wanted to be at South by Southwest, because that’s where you always see some of the most creative ideas from some of the sharpest minds, and it was interesting to see how people responded to the ‘Paper Hotspot,’” said Paige Goff, Domtar’s Vice President of Sustainable Business & Brand Management. “No matter what people were working on, and no matter how fast they were working, this reinforced some studies that show whether you’re an executive or a millennial, people prefer to read on paper and it’s faster to read on paper.”
EMA came up with the Paper Hotspot concept and helped the client launch it on March 8 and 9 at the show.
“We developed the concept for Domtar around the idea of a paper oasis in the middle of a sea of video screens, tablets and smartphones,” said Matt Ferguson, managing partner at EMA. “It was interesting to watch as this techie crowd discovered the Paper Hotspot and used it as a place to connect, create and communicate. The Twitter buzz about the space being in the middle of SXSW was pretty cool to see.”
The Paper Hotspot is part of Domtar’s award-winning PAPERbecause campaign that showcases the effectiveness and sustainability of paper. The effort has ranged from producing satirical videos with exaggerated pressures to go paperless to working with environmental groups to help responsibly manage forests and keep them healthy. The New York Times recently wrote this article about the campaign.
“We thought the Paper Hotspot would be a fun, new way to highlight a key message,” Goff said. “Even after 2,000 years, paper has a place, even more so in a digital age—it remains a purposeful, personal and environmentally responsible communication medium.”