Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

This Month: Playboy

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

This Month: Playboy

Article excerpt

IT'S LIKELY YOU'VE SEEN--or at least heard about--Playboy's November cover featuring Marge Simpson.

The collector's edition cover, which featured a cartoon character for the first time in its history, hit newsstands October 16 in conjunction with the Gracie Films /20th Century Fox Television show's 20th anniversary.

"The Playboy team heard from the people over at FOX that in an upcoming Simpsons episode, 'The Devil Wears Nada,' Marge disrobes for a charity event," says Playboy editorial director Jim Jellinek.

This made it a "perfect opportunity" to showcase Marge on the cover and create an incentive for people to go to the newsstand and pick up a copy. Jellinek and his team, along with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, worked hand-in-hand with The Simpson's creator Matt Groenig, who "drew the cover by hand specifically for us," says Jellinek. "The entire process was nurtured by Hef using his knowledge and experience in illustration."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The final version of the newsstand cover was a take-off of Playboy's October 1971 issue featuring Darine Stern, the first African American model to appear on the magazine's cover. While subscribers received a cover with a similar look and feel to the Marge cover, their covers touted live model Alina Puscau. "Hef wanted it to look like Alina stepped out of one issue and Marge stepped in," Jellinek says.

While Marge may not be a lad mag virgin (Jellinek notes her appearance on Maxim's April 2004 cover), Playboy still considers her a newsstand win. "Online you can create something viral, but not the amount of orchestrated, tension-filled drama as with a cover reveal," Jellinek says. "I don't think there's been another magazine from a men's brand that has created this kind of buzz this year."

mag stats

ISSUE: NOVEMBER 2009

FREQUENCY: MONTHLY

LAUNCHED: DECEMBER 1953

CIRC: 2. …

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