United Airlines relaunches in-flight title for high-end consumer

CHICAGO: Ink Publishing and United Airlines relaunched the in-flight title 'Hemispheres' on June 1, featuring revamped editorial content targeting an affluent audience.

CHICAGO: Ink Publishing and United Airlines relaunched the in-flight title Hemispheres on June 1, featuring revamped editorial content targeting an affluent audience.

The magazine's content reflects that of a general interest publication, and is less focused on routine city- or region-specific travel stories than in the past, according to Aaron Gell, editor-in-chief of Hemispheres. He added that in-flight titles must break the stigma of having staid content in order to compete with other airline features.

"I think people, in some cases rightly, saw in-flight magazines as being very vanilla, and the lowest common denominator, and unsurprising… that was mostly due to the assumption that they have a captive audience and they don't have to work hard to grab readers," he said. "And clearly, with Wi-Fi coming very quickly, that's not going to be the case."

Newly added content includes columns on what to do in a city during a layover, profiles of customers, and timely and newsy features, Gell said. He added that the redesigned content should attract advertisers seeking an affluent audience.

"We want to create an environment that high-end advertisers feel comfortable in and want to be a part of," he said. "[The readers] are people who travel, and they tend to be decision makers at home or at work, and these are exactly the kind of people that advertisers want to reach, and they usually pay a premium to at the newsstand."

The publisher will also redesign aspects of the magazine's Web site in coming months, Gell added.

Ink hired the Rosen Group last month to conduct media and advertising industry awareness for the relaunch, according to Shawna Seldon, SVP at the agency.

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