Trending Content

Check in on the Checkoff

By Joan Sahlgren

September 12, 2017

Just over two years ago, the industry joined together to fund a national promotional campaign, or checkoff program. Launched in 2015 with the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds™ tagline, the advertising campaign is charged with helping stem the decline in paper and grow demand for packaging.

To evaluate whether the campaign is having an effect, we measure in ways common to marketers. We report on product and campaign awareness and shifts in consumer attitudes. We measure whether people like, share, engage with, or watch our news across both traditional advertising channels (TV, digital video, print advertising) and newer media (social media platforms, public relations campaigns, video views).

As a checkoff program, we also use an econometric evaluation. Checkoffs, over their 50-year history, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), have found econometric modeling to be the most effective method for the evaluation of these programs.

Preliminary results from econometric data modeled to understand the impact of the paper and packaging industry’s checkoff program show the promotional campaign helped generate in excess of 500,000 tons of additional paper consumption in 2016. Analysis from Harry Kaiser, Ph.D., Cornell University, independent economist and expert on checkoff program evaluations, reported that monthly data gathered from government and industry sources, and representing the five grades participating in the program, revealed the checkoff program’s positive contribution to the market. The econometric model takes into consideration outside variables, without advertising, that impact demand for forest products. Then the model looks at how the addition of advertising affects the outcome.

“With two years of data since the campaign’s launch in July 2015, we are doing our best to meet the industry’s expectations for frequent and accurate reporting on their investment in the promotional campaign,” says Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board.

Further detail on the econometric modeling and additional campaign

results can be found in the State of the Campaign Report to the Industry posted

on or in hard copy by contacting P+PB.

width=150Joan Sahlgren is director of public relations at Paper & Packaging Board. Joan can be reached at 703-935-5386 or