Playboy’s new creator chief on future-proofing the brand through influencers
Earlier this year Playboy hired a former Twitch exec to supercharge its influencer-led platform as it pivots from a publisher to compete with the likes of OnlyFans.
Loren Piretra, vice-president of creator and influencer marketing at Playboy
The Drum sat down with Loren Pietra, vice-president of creator and influencer marketing at Playboy, who laid out her plans to bring influencers to the fore.
“Influencers and talent have always played a central role in Playboy’s business, with a storied history of introducing talent,” Piretra says. Her task is to tap into Playboy’s existing talent pool and scout for up-and-coming influencers to feature on its Centerfold site.
The aptly named Centerfold went to beta in December. The platform hosts creators and influencers, and allows them to monetize through subscriptions and pay-per-view content. The platform is a core part of Playboy’s rebrand, which aims to future-proof the business after it wound down its print publication in 2020.
Playboy is probably keen to capitalize on the success of OnlyFans, which is on track to see its revenue jump from $1.2bn in 2021 to $2.5bn in 2022. It is well placed to enter the market as OnlyFans is the only adult self-monetizing platform that has broken into the mainstream.
Piretra previously served as global head of creator and influencer marketing at Twitch. She was drawn to the brand as it “has always been a welcoming space for revolutionary voices and ideas to push culture forward.” At Twitch, Piretra co-founded the Twitch Women’s Alliance, a program that aimed to amplify and support female creators on the esports platform.
Her time in post at Playboy has been dedicated to reviewing and implementing beta feedback from both its influencers and users to roll out updates. “We want to provide our creators with the assets they need to monetize their presence on the platform,” Piretra says.
Playboy’s ambition for Centerfold is to build a space where influencers can “leverage the iconic Playboy brand” to use in their own exclusive content. Piretra’s plan is to “provide creators with a suite of marketing assets and revenue opportunities that are exclusive to Playboy.”
In terms of established talent, Playboy has so far signed model and socialite Jordyn Woods, American actress Kaili Thorne and popstar Cardi B, who also serves as Centerfold’s creative director.
FRIDAY ! pic.twitter.com/GNaBumRhAv— Cardi B (@iamcardib) June 29, 2022
Keen not to “lose sight of the rising stars,” Piretra will be on the lookout for emerging creators. There is “so much value in believing in someone first,” she says. “Playboy’s history of introducing talent and passing the mic to underrepresented people gives us a unique position to attract emerging creators into our ecosystem,” she adds.
A core part of Playboy’s future-proof plans is to boost its DTC revenues through e-commerce brands such as Honey Birdette and Yandy and Lovers. Its influencers will attend marketing events, be asked to promote Playboy apparel and engage with the publisher on social media.
Piretra will also be tasked with growing Playboy’s gen Z and young millennial audience as the business undergoes a “dramatic” audience shift. When its print publication wrapped in 2020 Playboy’s demo fell as readers adapted to online and social – its primary customer base for its DTC products is under the age of 34.
According to Piretra, gen Z has been “gravitating” to Playboy’s reimagined brand because of its promotion of “social issues relating to personal freedoms and inclusion.” She added that the brand’s “inclusion for all regardless of age, race, size, gender identity and sexual orientation” has also resonated with younger audiences.