Atlantic touts theme issues

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The Atlantic is giving its July/August issue a publicity boost by branding it “The Ideas Issue” and tying it to the Aspen Ideas Festival.

The Ideas Issue, which hits newsstands July 15, is the first of three new themed issues that The Atlantic will roll out this year. They join the title's annual “State of the Union Issue,” which has proven popular with readers.

“The concept is these are some of the big issues that The Atlantic covers on a regular basis, and the timing of it, like the State of the Union issue, gives us an opportunity to package that content in a really smart way,” said Jay Lauf, VP publisher of The Atlantic. “The Ideas franchise gives the reader a chance to get all these brave and bold ideas in one place and encapsulate the most important events of the year, and it's something of interest. If I, as a reader, know I can count on an issue that tells me ‘These are the things to pay attention to,' that's of great value.”

Lauf also pointed out that the Ideas franchise, along with the other themed issues, gives advertisers a concept to plan around.

The Aspen Ideas Festival, sponsored in part by The Atlantic, offers a live event channel through which both advertisers and The Atlantic brand can reach out to consumers. Editors from the magazine will participate in events at the weeklong (June 30–July 6) festival, and The Current, part of theatlantic.com, will be re-skinned as the Ideas Web Channel during that time. The Ideas Web Channel will show live and extended content from the Aspen event.

Themed issues and multimedia events are all part of an ongoing revamp of The Atlantic, which also includes a redesign by Pentagram and the addition of shorter articles at the front of the book. A fall campaign will focus on re-marketing the brand as more contemporary, with the goal of adding new readers to the title's existing rate base of 400,000.

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