The Atlantic Signs W+K to Create a New Brand Campaign

By Erik Oster Comment

The Atlantic is teaming up with W+K New York to promote the media brand after the classic magazine lunched A&Q or Answers & Questions, “an editorial project challenging popular answers to pressing questions—and turning the conventional Question & Answer format on its head.” Wieden will create work tied to a new and related brand platform expected to launch some time this spring.

Specifics of the platform remain scant, but The Atlantic promises more details on the “consumer-facing campaign” in the coming months. In at least one respect, the new project is an example of sponsored content or native advertising: Pitney Bowes worked with The Atlantic’s internal creative marketing group on a series of three native ads “questioning topics of e-commerce, retail, and globalization” as part of a paid sponsorship.

So far the A&Q project–which launched today–includes feature-length answers to such interminable questions as “What’s the answer to political polarization in the U.S.?

For W+K, the appointment is surely welcome in the wake of Southern Comfort ending its global relationship with the agency and W+K Portland and FCA parting ways

“The Atlantic has been challenging conventional thinking for more than 150 years,” said The Atlantic president and COO Bob Cohn in a statement. “In our first decade, before the Civil War, our editors questioned the institution of slavery, which at the time was a widely accepted ‘answer’ to the economic needs of the time. Over the years we have returned time and again to that tradition, and A&Q is a reflection of how we continue to question easily accepted assumptions. The new platform we’re working on with Wieden+Kennedy will express this same spirit.”