New Playboy Spots Tease Design Revamp

Playboy TV last week announced a new branding campaign that's also phase one of the adult network's new on-air look.

The first new cross-channel spots should launch this month on a number of Playboy affiliates. In the effort, Playboy moves away from its multicolored logo to a bold, black-and-white design.

"Our brand has a singular impact, so we emphasized that visual, rather than incorporate hyper colors, effects and gizmos to get our point across," Playboy TV Networks worldwide president Jim English said in a press release.

Each frame of the commercial shows a different portion of the new black-and-white "Rabbit Head" logo for about five or six seconds. At the end of the ad, the pieces come together as the Playboy logo, with a message conveyed below.

"The messages add a clever, hip attitude to the logos," said Playboy TV vice president of on-air promotions Marc Brown.

The first group of cross-channel spots include five ads with messages ranging from a focus on the monthly subscription to twists on the overall Playboy culture.

One ad tells viewers: "Guys, it's easy to hide a magazine, but it's harder to hide a whole television."

The campaign was designed to help encourage appointment viewing. "We want people to think of Playboy as a subscription network," Brown said. "It has to be a place where people want to hang out."

The familiar Playboy brand should help draw viewers who are new to the adult programming category, Brown said.

"Playboy is the only brand that does exist in the adult category," he added. "The logo and the name recognition are invaluable."

The widely recognized Playboy logo is also likely to be more welcome in viewers' home during cross-channel spots than snippets of the network's programming, Brown added.

"Some affiliates may be worried" about the possibility of offending subscribers with more graphic ads promoting adult programming, Brown said. "The bunny image removes objections to running the spots."

Still, Playboy TV doesn't recommend that affiliates run the cross-channel spots everywhere. Family-oriented networks such as Nickelodeon and Fox Family Channel "are not a good mix," Brown admitted.

Instead, sports and news channels generally provide good demographics for Playboy TV audiences, said Brown.

In the first phase of the rebranding campaign, Playboy TV created specially tailored spots for key affiliates including

DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network.

Phase two of the rebranding effort is slated for early spring of next year, Brown said, when Playboy TV will send new cross-channel spots to its affiliates and introduce its new on-air look.