How The New Yorker Works With Brands to Bring Cartoons to Life

Land Rover returns to publication's festival for second year

The New Yorker's cartoonists work with brands like Land Rover on fun, creative images. Emily Flake for The New Yorker

The New Yorker is capitalizing on its iconic cartoons to bring the legacy of the publication and artwork to life.

Cartoons have always been at the foundation of the publication, even when it first launched as a humor magazine in 1925, said Risa Aronson, vp of revenue at The New Yorker.

But in the past 20 years, the magazine has, in partnership with brands, used the now familiar voice of its cartoons to create sponsored content in the magazine, online, in the app and as an animated cartoon series, Aronson said.

The annual New Yorker festival takes that one step further. The New Yorker, in partnership with Land Rover, will offer two custom cartoons at the three-day event this weekend.

Emily Flake for The New Yorker

“It’s a nice keepsake,” Aronson said. “It’s a unique way of tapping into the DNA of our brand and bringing it to life for an advertiser.”

It’s the second consecutive year Land Rover has participated in the festival, and the brand sees it as a way to “nurture” its loyal customers in the area.

“For every piece of creative, we try to make it fun and creative without the branding,” said Chris Jeyes, senior media specialist at Jaguar Land Rover North America.

This year, the partnership will offer two cartoons with the brand in mind to be distributed at the event, including a branded luggage tag and a cartoon on a coffee cup.

The cartoons are a “collaborative” process between The New Yorker’s clients and its internal teams in which The New Yorker’s cartoonists work on the product. That ensures the custom cartoons have a tone similar to that of editorial cartoons. will sponsor an event in which cartoonists speak about the creative process and draw custom cartoons.

As the saying goes, “95 percent of our readers read our cartoons first, and the other 5 percent are lying,” Aronson said.

In its 19th year, the lineup of The New Yorker festival this year includes Sally Yates, Maggie Gyllenaal, Jimmy Fallon, Janet Mock and Jack Antonoff.

Overall, the festival is sponsored by Land Rover, Hennessy,, the Nature Conservancy, and Bermuda Tourism Authority.

The festival hasn’t been without controversy. The event made headlines last month when New Yorker editor David Remnick, facing backlash, pulled Steve Bannon from the festival’s lineup. He had planned to speak with Bannon onstage. The Economist also scheduled Bannon to appear at its own festival but kept him in the programming.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.