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Local Content Drives Playboy's International Editions

NEW YORK — Though few magazines have a brand like Playboy, there are still lessons to be learned from its expansion, according to Christie Hefner, chairman/CEO of Playboy Enterprises.

Hefner gave the luncheon address here at the Direct Marketing Association's 17th annual Circulation Day yesterday at the Marriott Marquis.

Though Playboy magazine is the driver of the company's brand, Hefner said, its expansion resulted from being able to engage different audiences.

Playboy is the No. 1 men's magazine in the United States and also publishes 19 editions worldwide. The success of those editions is based on their specificity to each market, Hefner said.

“Seventy-five percent of the content in those editions is locally created, original content for that country,” she said. “Our philosophy is 'think globally, act locally.'”

Another successful venture for Playboy has been its online presence. Hefner said Playboy's Web site has a different audience than the magazine, and the audience is willing to pay for content.

Hefner said that though she is impressed by the success of No. 2 men's title Maxim, Playboy has no plans to create a similar title. She hopes to convert Maxim subscribers to Playboy as they outgrow that publication.

Also at the luncheon, the DMA's Circulation Council inducted John Squires into its Circulation Hall of Fame. Squires, who was named executive vice president of Time Inc. in August, oversees the firm's consumer marketing and interactive divisions as well as Entertainment Weekly magazine.

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