My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
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Saturday, May 05, 2009

Forget the Newspaper Industry…I want to save Playboy!

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A lot has been written and reported lately about the possible demise of Playboy Magazine. There have been massive layoffs and it just seems like the writing is on the wall.

This kind of bums me out because Playboy is a very important pillar in the foundation of pop culture and without it the world may very well be a different place.
So while all other bloggers and just smart people are figuring out ways to save the Newspaper industry, I am going to tell you how to save Playboy!
…and I think it is pretty simple.
1-Drop The Naked Ladies: Everyone has heard the joke “I read Playboy for the articles”. Well guess what? Playboy has launched the careers of many great writers and their articles are quite good so the foundation is there to morph Playboy into a more Details or Esquire type publication and have a more broad (yes that is a pun) acceptance. Another reason to walk away from the nudity is that when Playboy launched they were unique but now there are nudie magazines for every taste and fantasy and Playboy is just another magazine on the shelf (and a very vanilla one compared to others) but by going away from the pack they can still stand out. Oh and I feel like I should mention this…no one loves naked women more than me so for me to say “drop the naked ladies” means I really think this is the best thing and I am not saying this from a prudish viewpoint but rather a prudent one.
2-Stop with the Rear View Mirror Air Fresheners: Playboy should be a premium brand and any merchandise that bears the bunny logo should be classy and expensive. Stop making drug store perfume and disposable cigarette lighters….take your brand back.
3-Go Back to your roots: A lot of people only think of naked ladies but did you know that Playboy has a super impressive history in publishing ground breaking fiction? A perfect example is Ray Bradbury’s incredible book Fahrenheit 451 first appeared (serialized) in 3 issues of Playboy Magazine in 1954. There are many other stories just like this.
4-Playboy should ask itself 20 Questions: I am making an assumption here cause I haven’t read a Playboy in a decade or more but everyone I ever saw had “20 Questions” with interesting people. 12 Issues a year x 50+ years is a lot of questions and fascinating interviews sitting waiting to be re-read. Playboy could open up their vault of interesting content and start re-publishing things with historical context. This could be in a magazine format or higher end coffee table format. If this is done properly this could be a modern day encyclopedia as told through the eyes of relevant people of their day….I know I would buy it. (PLEASE NOTE – I resisted the urge to make a joke about this idea being an oral history)
5-Lock the doors to the Playboy Mansion: I can’t be the only one who thinks Hugh Hefner is embarrassing and works against the brand am I? There would be no Playboy without Mr. Hefner but all he is now is a cartoon with his 8 girlfriends and pajamas and seriously should be kept out of the public eye if they decide to make the transformation I am suggesting.
I could go on and on with more changes but I am hoping someone powerful at Playboy will see this and pay for the rest 🙂
Playboy…call me I can make you all rich and famous again!
  1. I get the feeling that other shareholder at Playboy are waiting for Hef to pass on before they either do a few of the things you mentioned or sell the magazine and brand to another publisher.

  2. Great ideas, Saul. The only edgy part of Playboy is the articles. Otherwise, it is “naughty”, in a Mad Men kind of way. Given how available this content is online, they should focus on what is unique about their brand and, as you say, get it off mudflaps.

  3. Playboy should have gone for #winsaul. All great elements mentoned.

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