What I Learned From Playboy TV
To be a blogger is to be a marketer, an advertiser and a salesperson. To make your name in the blogosphere you need to establish your brand and sell your ‘product’. Not an easy task for even the most experienced. One must identify a target market and appeal to its unique interests and keep them coming back week after week.
When I heard the December 7th episode of Q on CBC Radio with New York Times journalist Brooks Barnes (who had recently published an article Courting Women, Playboy TV Puts Emphasis on Intimacy) my ears perked up.
The Rebranding of Playboy TV
A lot has changed since 1982 (the year Playboy TV began). With the Internet and reality TV there are more people competing to make pornographic entertainment. The question is how can Playboy compete with the never-ending stream of hardcore content that exists today?
Hugh Hefner has strategically prevented Playboy from competing in the hardcore realm. On one hand this can be seen as foolish. How can soft-core adult content compete with its shocking contrast? On the other hand, maintaining a more wholesome reputation has contributed to the success of Playboy’s clothing and accessory line.
What Women Want
Do you know who it is that decides what channels a household will subscribe to? Well it’s you and me (assuming my target market identification has been successful and you are a woman, wife and/or mother).
That’s right; the person in the home who controls the cable bill is the woman of the household. So Playboy TV has made the strategic shift towards increasing female viewership.
So when it comes to viewing sex onscreen, what is it women want?
Barnes tells us that Playboy has done a number of focus groups to learn how women want sex to be portrayed on TV and here is what they found.
Women don’t mind seeing sex onscreen as long as it meets a few conditions. First the scene must flow organically from the story. We are not interested in the façade of the pizza delivery man or the cable guy spontaneously initiating a sexual escapade with the nanny.
Next, women want to see ‘real’ people with different body types and body shapes. We don’t identify with the large breasted, bleach-blonde plastic women that Mr. Hefner has resolved is ‘sexy’.
Hook, Line & Sink Her
With the lack of new subscribers, particularly younger subscribers, Playboy TV could be in trouble. Women haven’t deemed a subscription necessary in their household. PBTV needs to become something that woman want, are curious about or at the very least, something they don’t object to their husbands watching.
With shows like The Girls Next Door and Brooklyn Kinda Love which have almost entirely women viewers, they are starting to lure us in and are succeeding in identifying and captivating their new target market.
There is something we can learn from this strategy. Whether you are a blogger, an ad-executive or Hugh Hefner himself, you must know your target market. Ignoring this could cause even an empire like Playboy to crumble. Learn about them, appeal to them and give them want they want, so they in turn will give you want you want.
Who would have thought, Playboy TV educational?
How do you feel about Playboy’s marketing strategy? Are you in charge of decisions in your household such as the cable bill? Do you ever consider how you are being marketed to?