How Playboy Could Save Itself By Positioning Itself As The Anti-Axios

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have Playboy on the brain at the moment because it’s such an interesting brand to me, so humor me for this flight of fancy. You see, the reason why Playboy is so intriguing to me it would make a lot of sense for it to position itself as the anti-Axios.

As you may know, Axios is Website devoted “access journalism” devoted to the Trump Administration. It’s kind of the complicit media outlet of Trumplandia. At least, that’s my casual observer take on things from what I can gather from the buzz on Twitter.

Having said all that, there seems to be both a market and an audience for an anti-Axios of sorts. Now that Gawker.com doesn’t exist, there is a great opportunity for an online sit to take it upon itself to be the at the forefront of covering Trumplandia from the point of view of The Resistance.

I looked at Playboy.com recently and none of the articles really popped out at me. What I am suggesting for Playboy would require some serious thinking out side the box for it work. But imagine the buzz, the regained relevance of the Playboy brand if it tapped into the same “woke” reporting that Teen Vogue has managed to tap into. Given how much more significant a brand Playboy is in terms of its legacy, if became the go-to site for engaging coverage of Trumplandia from the point of view of The Resistance, there would be a huge upside.

The reason why I say all this is right now there isn’t a site online that serves as a one stop shop for what I want when it comes to coverage of Trumplandia. I get a little bit from New York Magazine, but mostly Twitter is where I find out all the information I need about Trumplandia right now. I really enjoy the podcasts of Crooked Media, but I want something more regular than once a week.

If a site, say, Playboy, really went out of its way to make a name for itself covering Trumplandia critically, I think the strategy would generate enormous positive buzz. Like I mentioned, there is both a market and an audience right online that is under served when it comes to critical coverage of Trumplandia. And given its past, Playboy and Playboy.com seem the obvious choice to fill that void, at least to me.

But as I have mentioned, if I was going to do it, I would do it in the context of a broader restructuring of Playboy Enterprises. I would, if possible, ditch L.A. altogether and move to New York City, specifically Brooklyn, and along the way I would poach as many writers from, say, Jezebel.com as I could. If Playboy started generating really biting, really intellectually stimulating sex-positive feminist content it would force people in the publishing industry to sit up and take notice.

Of course, I don’t even know if any of this is possible. Though it was founded in Chicago, Playboy is now such a staple of L.A. that it just might not be possible for it to leave the city as I suggest. Though, in defense of this concept, Playboy’s long-term survival is in question and desperate times call for desperate measures.

As an aside, as I have mentioned before, I also think the entire notion of what type of woman is the Playboy ideal should be re-imagined. Though the magazine should continue to feature stunning women, when it came to a go-to woman to serve as a mascot of sorts, I think Broad City’s Ilana Glazer would be perfect. Picking her from a marketing standpoint would be a stroke of brilliance because it would be so unexpected for Playboy and you could really leverage her popularity amongst people of both sexes in their early 20s.

Regardless, like I said, this is just me idly daydreaming. Someone, somewhere, needs to do as I suggest and start a major site devoted to being an anti-Axios. It is odd how quiet the other end of the spectrum is when it comes to the media ecosystem. There just isn’t really a credible site I can think of off the top of my head that people like me can go to for news and information from the point of view of The Resistance.

It should happen eventually. I’d like, however, for it to be my old acquaintance Playboy.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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