Despite being a pillar of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, Playboy has a problematic history of objectification and misogyny and has now mostly aged out of relevance.
Playboy’s attempt to shed it’s sexist history is not working. They don’t have a strong POV or audience and don’t seem to know who they are.
There is a need for a solid “lad mag” that gives men an ideal to aspire to. Playboy has the authority and clout to create content that young men will look to for dating advice.
Women are demanding better treatment from the men in their lives. As a result, many men are feeling angry, entitled, and backed into a corner. They are flocking to wealthy content creators like Andrew Tate and Dan Bilzerian for advice and pointers because they are perceived to attract lots of women.
Shots in the dark
Since 2018, Playboy has operated independently from the Hefner family. In an effort to move the brand forward from scandals, lawsuits, and accusations, the company has shifted into a digital consumer brand—selling clothing, accessories and launching Centerfold, an explicit content platform similar to OnlyFans. After ending magazine sales in 2020, attempts to diversify their models, implement ethical practices, and reframe themselves with luxury fashion and streetwear is not working.
Introducing articles, podcasts, and Playboy Deluxe. The updated website reflects the cool, bold, and no-nonsense look and voice of Playboy with carefully curated content to attract male listeners.
Playboy was a gentleman’s magazine but has historically been anything but.
It’s time for them to act on their purpose and become an alternative voice for men to listen to. Written in the language of popular male influencers, Playboy's new articles will provide ideals for young men to aspire to, but without the toxicity and hate of the "manoshpere".
Playboy presents 'The Gentleman's Playbook', co-hosted by author Mark Manson and former Playboy Bunny, Holly Madison. The dynamic duo will tag-team a line-up of all-star guests, including influencers, athletes, models and musicians, covering topics around sex, dating, women, lifestyle, culture, and what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
Playboy Deluxe subscriptions add a new revenue stream and are offered in monthly, annual, and biannual payment plans. Members will receive exclusive access to additional podcasts, articles, interviews, limited edition clothing and accessories, as well as discounted admission to in-person events and afterparty mixers.
Playboy will select Centerfold models to tour college campuses across the nation in the Playbus. It will park on Fraternity Row and host large tailgates to entice young men in fraternities to party with Centerfold models. Having established the ‘cool’ factor, these parties will also act as a recruitment event for the Playboy Campus Ambassador program. A scannable QR code will send interested students an application form training modules to be completed in their own time.
Playboy will recruit ‘modern gentlemen’ of the future to represent their new brand platform on campuses across the country. Responsibilities involve seeking new opportunities for Playboy on campus; distributing merch at frat parties; surveying friends on relevant market research; and promoting Playboy social media channels.
Playboy is cultivating an elevated brand strategy by rubbing shoulders with "Modern Gentlemen" in the wild, sponsoring exclusive afterparties at SXSW, NYFW, CES, Cannes Lions, Art Basel, and the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
In addition to reflecting on our own personal experiences dealing with misogynists, we spoke to our peers and surveyed young men to find the source of these toxic habits. We also interviewed the head of marketing at Playboy to better understand where the brand is heading.
• 50% of survey respondents get dating advice from celebrities, influencers or the internet
• Men today think of Playboy as “Outdated, boring, with a problematic history.”
• 71% or respondents cited fear of rejection as the biggest struggle for men seeking a relationship
• Playboy doesn't need to hide it's problematic history, it needs to actively do good and look to the future
• Playboy has the authority to enter the sexual wellness and education markets
• Playboy's current audience is mostly older men and younger women
• Playboy is stepping away from content to become a tech company
• In a post me-too world, women feel more comfortable speaking out about their mistreatment and are subsequently raising their standards for the men in their lives
• Alpha male infliuencers have no good influence for men and sex in modern times
We will leverage toxic masculinity and ‘alpha male’ language to appeal to the types of men that flock to Joe Rogan and Andrew Tate. We’re not trying to make Playboy politically correct or ‘woke.’ This is not Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue wearing a dress. This is an alternative voice in the media landscape of Andrew Tate and Jordan Peterson that gives an ideal for men to aspire to without preaching to them. We’re building a Trojan Horse of familiar masculine language to deliver a positive message.
There are 6 external websites that take you away from Playboy.com—that leaves Playboy as just an eCommerce platform for Playboy-branded merchandise. The new sitemap merges sex toys and lingerie into the sexual wellness store. Centerfold is now Playboy’s only source of graphic NSFW content and is the only externally linked site. It allows Playboy to focus on creating content for their new audience of college-aged men. It also allows content creators to have more autonomy in the NSFW content that is made, making it less risky for the business in case of bad actors or foul play. The first new page includes free content to expand Playboy’s reach, with articles, podcasts, and interviews. The other new page is Playboy Deluxe, the subscription option for extras and exclusives with Playboy’s new content.
The future state of the business model reflects new revenue streams from Playboy Deluxe subscriptions.
Our society needs help from brands like Playboy to take responsibility for setting an image of healthy masculinity. Younger generations have a strong BS filter for corporations, but can't recognize bad advice from content creators.
Helping my generation stand up against misogyny while providing healthy ideals for masculinity will make the world a safer place for my friends, family members, and strangers.