So I was just walking through Bourke St Myer at lunch time and my eye got caught by a display for Playboy Beauty. My first thought: “Since when do girls take their fashion cues from porn stars”. And, yes, I do realise the impact that the porn industry has had on popular culture. But beauty products?
Just think about this for a second. Playboy was a porn magazine. Now it sells women’s fashion and cosmetics. I actually think Playboy Beauty is really quite excellent. I think it says a lot about the nature of brands and the role of marketers in positioning brands.
Hugh Heffner didn’t set out for Playboy to become the Disney of the Porn Industry. It evolved that way. That’s right; you heard me, the Playboy brand evolved. Now I am not going to go on a spiritual-marketing preach about how brands are living, breathing orgasms (I mean organisms). So long as people, trends, tastes, technology and opinions change and evolve - so too will brands.
As taste and attitudes to porn changed, and the cult of Heffner and the Playboy bunny/mansion grew, Playboy was flexible enough with its positioning to capitalise on this. It allowed people to view the Playboy brand differently and in new ways. In doing so, Playboy was constantly sending new and revised brand messages that were more closely aligned to the changing consumer perceptions of pornography, sexuality and the Playboy Brand.
I was wondering what other industries / markets Playboy could move into. Funeral homes. Hospitals. Sports Gear. Trucks. Any suggestions?