Playboy to Test Viral Impact of MySpace

By Matt O’Conner
From XBiz

Playboy has published plenty of pictorials using the “Women of” theme, from the Women of Wal-Mart to the Girls of Reality TV, but the Women of MySpace pictorial, which debuts today as centerpiece of the June issue, might change the way the company markets itself online.

“This is a unique pictorial for Playboy because of the popularity of Playboy as social network,” Playboy Vice President of Public Relations Jay Jay Nesheim told XBIZ. “These girls have so many friends in their own networks, so it will be interesting to see how the viral nature of MySpace will affect the sales of this particular issue of the magazine.”

The pictorial features nine women selected from an online casting call. More than 600 women from around the country answered Playboy’s invitation earlier this year to pose for the issue.

Nesheim said the theme will extend to a multi-tiered project that includes a larger feature on Playboy.com with unpublished photos and video as well as the planned release of a DVD.

If the company sees a real impact on sales thanks to the viral aspect of MySpace, you might be seeing a whole lot more of the Playboy bunnies on the social networking site in the future.

Women featured in Playboy’s Women of MySpace pictorial include Jessica Difeo, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Heather Lutz, Reading, Pa.; Carrie Vaughn Huntington Beach; Brittany Fuchs, Annandale, Va.; Jeska Vardinski, Fullerton, Calif.; Chantal Alexandria, Los Angeles; Betty Lipstick, San Francisco; Ana Georgian, Chicago, Ill.; and Heather Lynn, Davenport, Iowa.