Playboy's Digital Rebrand Shows Less Skin

Opts for safe-for-work look, shareable content

The magazine brand wants to attract more mainstream traffic.

Playboy is cleaning up its Web presence—at least a little.

Starting today, Playboy is rebranding its digital content with an increased focus on safe-for-work content and shareability, Digiday reported. The front page of the site has removed all nudity, pivoting to a focus on editorial content on subjects like nightlife, lifestyle and celebrities.

That isn't to say the front page of the site doesn't still aim to be provocative. A sample of the front page's current articles includes "Why Do Guys Like MILFS," "Flowchart: Should You Catcall Her?" and "The 70 Hottest Pics from the 2014 Midsummer Night's Dream Party." The playmates are not gone, either. One front page article is entitled "17 Playmates Without Makeup."

But for the most part, they are relegated to the new "Girls" section of the site, where they are featured in non-nude erotic content. Nude content is still available through Playboy Plus, the publication's digital subscription service.

"Girl content does well, but there’s a ceiling on that," Cory Jones, Playboy digital content svp, told Digiday. "But if you’re doing really shareable fun viral things, you do even better. That content has a higher ceiling."

The digital refresh has the feeling of a full-scale rebranding, as it marks a departure away from both the publication's NSFW content and its more literary roots featuring short fiction from top writers. Instead, Playboy is banking on snackable content to appeal to a younger audience, who it hopes will share that content for maximum viewability. But even Jones admitted in the Digiday piece that the rebrand "won't be over night." According to Jones, the site's editorial team of 25 and a pool of freelancers "plan to publish an average of 25 pieces of content a day, including blog posts, galleries and videos."

Slowly, they hope to change people's perceptions of the publication, so it can become a source for content people won't be afraid to share on social media.

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