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Playboy launches work-safe Web site for office use
Question of the Day
CHICAGO | Finally, something for those guys who say they read Playboy for the articles: A chance to prove it.
Playboy Enterprises Inc. launched a website Tuesday that it swears will be safe to browse while at work, eliminating the need for men to throw themselves over their computer screens when the boss walks by.
TheSmokingJacket.com will contain none of the nudity that makes Playboy.com NSFW — not suitable for work. Instead, it’ll rely on humor to reach Playboy’s target audience, men 25 to 34 years old, when they are most likely to be in front of a computer screen.
“A lot of our audience logs on [to Playboy.com] after work, and we saw that we were missing a golden opportunity to reach guys when they’re online the most: when they’re sitting at their desk, not working, sending e-mails to their friends,” said Jimmy Jellinek, Playboy’s editorial director.
Instead, it’s meant to be decidedly un-serious. Or, in the parlance of its audience, ROFL — rolling on the floor, laughing. And cool, “basically a jukebox of cool,” Mr. Jellinek said.
Among the original content visitors to the site will see is a list of signs that show a man has given up trying to attract women. They include wearing Velcro sneakers and pants with elastic waistbands — clothing Hef wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, if he thought of wearing anything but his trademark jammies.
The site will dip into the Playboy archives with photographs like those from the 1983 Playmate Playoffs, in which bathing-suit-clad women competed in games such as a tug of war. There will be links to the kinds of things people already are e-mailing their friends, from funny moments on television shows such as “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” to a Korean Parliament brawl that’s been a big Web hit recently.
“It’s all about social currency,” Mr. Jellinek said. “You want to be the first guy of your friends to send the funny joke, the crazy video … You can be the coolest guy among your friends if you’re the first person to circulate this information among them.”
“The ideal is to be … the go-to site for those who are bored at work,” said Matt Gibbs, lead producer of the site.
Because “Playboy” is just the kind of word that has companies putting up firewalls to keep their workers’ minds on their jobs, the only thing in the name that suggests Playboy is behind the site are the bunny ears inside the ‘o’ in “TheSmokingJacket.”
The site will be updated continually in the hopes that men will return to it throughout the workday.
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