I don't know who's doing the PR for plywood but they're doing an amazing job (the former PR rep for Ikea, most likely). Knotty-looking wood in general took a big hit after extreme overuse during the 90s and since then the design world has been understandably hesitant to resurrect the trend. Until now it seems.
From subtle accents to the material of choice for built-ins, plywood is popping up everywhere. Affordability and utilitarian look also help make it an entirely accessible trend to try.