Now Playboy won’t be carrying nude photographs! Not that it’ll be a complete no-no, but of course, the Indian version of the magazine will talk less of sex and display lesser number of nude photographs. That’s what the CEO of Playboy Enterprises of the USA, Christie Hefner, would have you believe. Given the astute marketing person that Christie happens to be, few would doubt the success of her new venture, “but how” is something that remains to be seen.
In the recent times, the globally-acclaimed sex-entertainment magazine saw a decline in its domestic sales, whereas its sales abroad went just the opposite. That’s why, the lady has decided to focus more on the overseas markets. And India, as the Playboy management looks at it, is a potential market. How? Well, as an Indian, I didn’t like the analysis by Taipei Times. The weird explanation said:
The magazine once saw itself as America’s gateway to a sexual revolution. Now, with that revolution won and its societal impact fading, Playboy has a chance to renew itself as a magazine of high living in a country that celebrated sex in antiquity, then grew prudish, and is now loosening up again.
…India in the 2000s is similar to the US in the 1950s: on the cusp of a sexual revolution. In an attitudinal sea change, one-quarter of urban, unmarried women have sex, one-third read erotic literature and half go on dates… India is not only on the brink of a sexual revolution, it is also overflowing with ambition…
…And therefore, all Indians will stop buying all other magazines and running riot for a “watered down” Playboy, that too selling by a different name. How funny!
In this age of consumerism, every single thing sells for carrying a distinct identity of its own. I don’t know what role Playboy played in 1950s in America, but ever since I have heard of the magazine, it’s been known for its “colourful” pix. As for the diluted Indian version, why at all would an Indian go for an American magazine to know about India’s social values and culture is beyond my comprehension. There’s no dearth of home publications on these subject(s).
However, there’s at least one reason that, I feel, may work in favour of the Playboy Enterprises: the neo-rich Indians’ love for imported goods. This factor is potent enough to make the American magazine sails through in India. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to watch out whether the visualisation of Christie Hefner turns out to be a reality.