What Playboy’s Rebranding Means for Advertisers

Sexy Woman with Bunny Ears. Playboy Blonde. Smiling Easter Girl isolated on white.

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When you think of magazines that are safe to read at work, Playboy probably isn’t the first to come to mind. This magazine has a reputation for producing adult content hidden behind black sleeves on newsstands.

Now, the magazine is shaking things up and going through a major rebranding effort. Starting in March 2016, the bunnies will be fully clothed and the articles will take the main stage.

Why the Switch?

Playboy attributes the dramatic content change to a rise in Internet pornography. Still, others believe there’s a little more to the story. By not printing the nude pictures Playboy is so well-known for, it opens the door to more advertisers and bigger spending.

In August 2014, Playboy tried this approach online. Their website, Playboy.com, decided to make the shift to entertainment instead. Go ahead and click the link. It’s safe for work.

The goal was to make their content more social media friendly. Nude pictures didn’t meet that standard. Sure, there are still girls and articles about sex and culture, but those subjects aren’t as prominent on the homepage. Doing so brought in new advertisers, such as Stoli Vodka and The Weinstein Company. It also brought a new demographic of younger readers, with the median age dropping from 47 to 30.

The Digital Advertising Growth Will Continue

Playboy wants to continue building their online revenues while also using their non-nudity print magazine to bring in more advertisers.

One new opportunity for advertisers will be presented at the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts. Playboy is one of 37 presenters vying for advertising dollars. Here, publishers pitch marketers the benefits of using digital ads over television.

It’s odd to see such a familiar face take the stage as a first time host, but the rebranding efforts have already opened the door to the $3 billion digital video advertising arena. Marketers spent $3.3 billion on digital video in 2014. This is 17% more than they spent in 2013, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Print Advertising Growth is Likely to Follow

With Playboy growing their advertiser base via their online presence, they’re likely to see spill over to their magazine advertising.

Brands who are still targeting the older demographic may also want to take advantage of Playboy’s new look. The average age of magazine readers continues to grow, inching closer to 50 every year, according to State of the Media.

Younger magazine readers also consume content when their smartphone is within arm’s length. By combining print and digital advertising efforts, brands could see a bigger ROI. Branded content, such as advertorials and digital videos, are becoming increasingly popular and could be an effective way to reach more people across various channels within the same publication.

Will You Advertise in Playboy?

Although the publication is going through a major rebrand, advertisers will still need to be cautious of how they’re representing their brand. The magazine soon won’t publish nude pictures anymore, but there is still adult content between the pages.

Will your company take advantage of the reduced adult content to get in front of this reader base?

This article was written by Nikhil Sharma from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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