Like Drugs, 'The New Yorker' Makes Everyday Events Interesting

If you’ve ever walked through a crowded train station on your way to the train and thought, “Wow, this is really interesting -- all these people are so different and, well, interesting!” then chances are you’ve been on drugs. Or, you’re the kind of person who reads The New Yorker. Or most likely, both.

The New Yorker is celebrating its ability to transform everyday situations into intriguing experiences, especially if you’re high, with a new consumer advertising campaign, including online video, social media and print components.

The campaign, created by SS+K, centers on a video directed by J.C. Chandor, who also directed movies “A Most Violent Year,” “All Is Lost” and “Margin Call,” which will appear on YouTube, Hulu, and The New Yorker Web site.

The video shows a handsome, well-heeled young commuter hurrying through Los Angeles’ Union Station to catch his train. On the way, he notices all kinds of slightly odd things -- including a disheveled businessman in handcuffs being led away by the police, a woman throwing away a box full of flyers from a political campaign, a man in a cartoon bear outfit, and an old guy who looks like Sigmund Freud, among other things.

Weird, right? Finally he gets to the train, sits down, opens his tablet computer and starts reading The New Yorker -- and then he looks up and this beautiful woman across the aisle is reading the print version of the exact same issue.  How crazy is that?

At this point the guy smiles, and you can just see him thinking: “Thank God I ate that pot brownie when I left work! Say, I wonder if there’s a dining car on this train.”

Print ads around the same theme will appear in the Financial Times, The Economist, Food & Wine, People, Travel + Leisure, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit and Vogue.

The new ad campaign comes a year after The New Yorker implemented a metered paywall, and a month after the launch of “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” which is best experienced in an opium reverie.

According to publisher Condé Nast, The New Yorker is reaching its biggest audience ever across print and digital: subscriptions to the Web site are up 61% year over year. Total Web traffic is up 25% over the same period.

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