For those too young to remember or those with short memories, Ceefax was one of the first telext services.
It was launched by the BBC in 1974, and was hailed as the harbinger of doom regarding the printed word on paper.
When Ceefax first appeared on the nation’s television screens, there were those who boasted this was the future. The death knell had been rung for newspapers they prophesised, and therefore all methods of ink on paper distribution of information.
In the future we were told all information, news and advertising would be obtained on screen.
Well it is true that the screen has made some inroads to the ink on paper side of information distribution, but not in such a dramatic way as the prophets of the paper free society had us believe it would.
And the reason for this is the human factor.
The human factor
It would appear that we humans are proving difficult when it comes to reading on screen as opposed to paper.
Research has revealed that when asked why, most people claimed they absorbed more information when reading on a page. Many people claimed they tended to just scan information on a screen, especially advertising copy.
There is another advantage printed material has over the screen.
People value something they can feel and touch more than something they can only see.
People like leaflets
When printed advertising material, especially door drop leaflets that arrive without an envelope, enters the home, people seem to form an attachment to it.
By its very presence, it somehow changes the environment of the home.
For some reason people allow the leaflets their own special place in the household.
They store them and display them in their own space, where they are on show and keep sending their powerful sales message to all the people living in the house.
This is why direct mail and leaflet distribution are still thriving when it comes to direct selling and building brand awareness in the digital age.
Leaflet distribution is alive and kicking
Ceefax finally closed in 2012 after operating for 38 years after first appearing on our screens in 1974.
And despite the prophesy regarding the eventual end of the printed word, the printing of advertising material is showing no sign of disappearing, and newspapers are still with us.
It would be a foolish person who denies the effect that the internet and screen technology has had on some areas of the printing industry.
The advent of electronic books must have had some adverse effect on book printing. Although looking at the best book lists in the press there seems to be a very health market for printed books.
Perhaps future generations will take to reading from a screen with more enthusiasm than the present ones.
In the meantime the future for advertising using ink on paper looks very bright.
Despite all the technology surrounding them, most people still like their advertising messages delivered to them on something they not only see, but can also feel.
And the leaflet distribution industry is the ideal industry to deliver that successful method of adverting