Playboy South Africa is about to nail its ‘distribution resistance’ issues to match the logistics and supply of the magazine to an “unsatisfied demand” within the next six months.
Editor in chief, Charl du Plessis, says the magazine has seen a “25% increase in uptake from retailers during the past six weeks and new outlets continue to come on-board weekly due to a very targeted and detailed set of strategies between ourselves and On The Dot. For the past three editions, almost 30% of our retail outlets sold out every magazine on their shelves”.
“The industry was very tough on us last year, often deservedly so for mistakes we made when re-launching such a high-expectation brand in the SA market. But, we have learnt from the constant advice and feedback we get, and we are finally seeing a groundswell towards people really getting behind Playboy and the refreshing space it represents. In 2011, we focused on getting up and walking. In 2012, we will work hard towards running out way ahead of the pack,” he says.
Du Plessis believes an “aggressive and innovative” social media strategy has helped position the magazine over the past nine issues. He says Facebook’s new audience engagement metrics just available show that Playboy has a higher connection with its audience than Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, FHM and GQ all added together.
Playboy’s Blake Horowitz, or ‘Digi-Dude’ as his colleagues call him, says Facebook’s introduction of its People Talking About feature has allowed brand managers to “finally gauge whether a publication has a proper audience connection and engagement, or whether it has just been around about as long as Facebook.
“Our Playboy US colleagues have done and continue to do pioneering work in the digital era. Their dominant presence absolutely dwarfs all other magazines in the US social media space and they have been very generous in sharing their expertise. Our Likes have grown in leaps and bounds, despite Playboy not being allowed to advertise on the rather conservative Facebook. Yet, it is now with the new enhanced measurement features introduced by Facebook that one can truly get a sense of how our audience is actually living our brand,“ says Horowitz.
Du Plessis says for the past three editions, “almost 30% of our retail outlets sold out every magazine on their shelves. Retailers are starting to realize that there is no fear of a backlash and that after nine editions, Playboy is becoming a regular feature of the local media landscape”.
“We are also offering free short-term digital subscriptions to anyone who connects with us for the first time through competitions, our Playmate of the Year voting and event attendance. All of these engagements add to growing an understanding that Playboy is simply in a class of its own when it comes to men’s magazines in this country.”
And he adds a point to ponder: “How many other publishers in this country can walk on the beach during summer and see its logo tattooed on the arms, backs and rears of beautiful people? Playboy is ‘happy man space’ and we are confident that advertisers are overcoming their initial skepticism of the brand and of our local version of Playboy. It is a place where they need to and want to be.”