Scrapbooks thrive in a digital world

Last week I posted on the flattening of functional foods in the UK, and wondered if this was another example of a "back to basics" approach. Are some people looking for less technology, and a return to good old traditional solutions?

Well, here is another example of this type of "zigging when the world is zagging": the explosive growth in scrapbooks. Yup, that’s right. In a digital world where millions of people are on Facebook and Flickr, there are also loads of people going back to the tradition of cutting and pasting stuff to make scrapbooks. According to an article in The Times, this is big in the US, where the industry is estimated to be worth a whopping $2.5 billion a year. It has also really taken off in France where its called "le scrapbooking" (reminds me of that classic scene in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta explains that in France a Big Mac is called "Le Big Mac").


The scrapbooks in question are a sort of artform, with "les scrapbookeuses" using all sorts of stuff to decorate their albums, such as dried flowers, stickers and ribbons. There are specialist shops, such as Le Temple du Scrap, that sells supplies and workshops at €50 a pop, and a major festival called Version Scrap.

The rise of scrapbooks is another example of how brands can inspire and help people re-discover the pleasure of being an active participant, not a passive spectator; encouraging us to do physical and manual things, not live in a purely digital world. Here are a few more examples:
– Jordans Cereals: joining forces with Country Life magazine to promote the return of the "nature table" into schools, where kids collect things they find, instead of just Googling them
– Seeds of Change: encouraging us to grow our own herbs and vegetables: get closer to nature, and save money!
– innocent: competition to design packs for their kids’ smoothies