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playboy's naked is normal campaign

Way back in October of 2015, we talked about the announcement that Playboy Magazine was no longer the place where young boys would see their first naked woman, borrowing their Dad’s subscription for some very private time, reading articles about new technology. I saw what you were thinking. At the time, then CEO Scott Flanders said that there was a huge market that the company was not tackling because many advertisers would avoid being associated with nudity.

Fast forward a few months and on our radio show, The Marketing Checklist, Sharyn and I discussed how their advertising revenue was up.   Things seemed to be “hopping” for the rabbit.

Fast forward a few more months, May 2016, and Flanders left Playboy to work for a health insurance exchange and Cooper Hefner, took over as Chief Creative Officer.   You know what’s creative?  Naked women.

As of March of 2017, the “mistake,” as Hefner called it is over and the magazine is “taking its identity back.” Along with the #NakedIsNormal tag, the magazine is adding back its dirty jokes, too. What is very interesting is that they took off the long used tagline “Entertainment for Men.”

Something I have not been able to find though is WHY.  None of the dozen or so articles I read about this naked come-back gives me more than the identity reclamation as a reason. My assumption is that there HAS to be a financial component to the decision. That, or the 25-year-old Hefner wants to see as many naked breasts as his legendary father, founder Hugh Hefner.

It is possible that their circulation was dropping at an even faster rate than it was prior to the magazine saying good bye to bare breasts and butts. Maybe Naked is Normal will improve those numbers. Maybe Naked is Normal won’t. But either way, Naked is Normal is Playboy returning to its roots and in the marketing world, that is a fantastic thing to do.

Stay tuned to both this space and our radio show, we will be discussing this further.  Oh, and don’t forget to buy Playboy… for the articles.

(hey, if you have an idea of why Playboy made the switch, shoot us an email to RadioShow@TheMarketingChecklist.com Whomever has the best answer, true or not, at our sole discretion, will be invited to share their idea on a future radio show…if you have a business, we’ll let you highligh that, too!)