With advertising at its print flagship declining, Playboy Enterprises is looking to the Web for revenue growth. On April 6, Playboy will unveil an advertiser-friendly redesign of its Web site that it hopes will open the door to marketers who might otherwise shy away from racier content.
“We’re no longer peppering the site with girls,” said John Lumpkin, divisional vp, associate publisher of Playboy Digital, who worked on the overhaul with former Heavy.com colleague Jimmy Jellinek, now editorial director of Playboy in print and online. “Our goal is to create a site that’s comfortable to more conservative advertisers.”
Among the changes are an online version of Playboy Forum, a culture and lifestyle news section; segregation of sexy photos to a Girls section; and scaled-back promotion of The Club, an online section where visitors can find edgier material for a fee. Advertisers also will be offered new types of skins, an advertising format; and more preroll opportunities.
Playboy hopes the changes will appeal to packaged goods, prestige grooming and fragrance; and gaming marketers. The new approach has already helped attract Bridgestone Tire and Patron as launch sponsors.
Playboy.com—whose unique audience averaged 1.7 million users for all of 2008, with a high of 2 million in March 2008, per Nielsen Online—also hopes to drive traffic by adding more interactive features that let users express their views, more video throughout the site, city entertainment guides After Hours, and regularly updated content.