Florian Boitin, editor-in-chief of German Playboy, once interviewed Hugh Hefner. This is his very personal obituary.
Spending the night at a luxury hotel, driving a fancy sports car, savoring finest whiskey, going onto the open sea in a fishing boat and fishing – Playboy’s Gentlemen’s Weekend makes men’s dreams come true. Chief editor Florian Boitin invites interested readers to an exclusive trip with special moments several times per year. Since the start in 2016, they have traveled to Heiligendamm at the Baltic Sea, to the stunning scenery of Mallorca and to Lech am Arlberg, among other places. The latest Gentlemen’s Weekend took place at the end of July: This time, Playboy invited the participants to Brixen in the South Tyrolean mountains. The format not only creates desire for the Playboy brand, but it is also increasingly becoming a business model offering new opportunities.
The format generates new partners
“We’re creating a unique experience that includes everything that is characteristic for Playboy’s world: the fine art of living, enjoying the uniqueness of the moment and looking forward to unexpected encounters.“
Florian Boitin, chief editor of Playboy
More than 70 readers of Playboy have been guests at Playboy’s Men’s Weekend already – and this year, the format will be expanded to include five events. The Gentlemen’s Weekend allows readers to experience the Playboy brand and is an important tool to increase readers’ loyalty to the magazine.
What is more: “By now, the Gentlemen’s Weekend is an important element as a new revenue model in addition to sales and classical advertising sales. It allows us to get in touch with many new partners”, says Boitin, who developed and implements the format together with Burda Brand Licensing and an external agency (Essence of Life).
Partners are able to use the format to position their brand in a very attractive environment. Playboy provides high-profile coverage of the Gentlemen’s Weekend in the printed magazine, on Playboy.de, via social media and in its newsletter. Moreover, the readers belong to a well-to-do target audience. After all, the places limited to a maximum of 12 participants are not offered for free: The price amounts to a low four-digit sum. “We pay very close attention to choosing the right mix of participants. The Gentlemen’s Weekend is neither a stag night nor a trip to a party beach”, says Boitin, with a wink.
A few playmates welcoming the guests at their destination add a touch of eroticism to every event, however – an authentic Playboy event cannot go without them, of course. Another highlight of every weekend is a famous surprise guest. In a relaxed fireside chat atmosphere, Boitin has already introduced the men to bestselling author Heinz Strunk, fitness star Mareike Spaleck and the actresses Sonja Kirchberger and Tina Ruland. “As its name implies, the Gentlemen’s Weekend is addressed to refined men who appreciate pleasurable sophisticated experiences and are interested in comparing notes with like-minded people.”
New offshoots are planned
It often happened that half of the participants would like to sign up for the next event straight away, says Boitin. Could he not envision going on a pleasure trip every month in the future? He shakes his head, adding, with a chuckle, that he had a job as chief editor as well, after all. “Seriously: We mustn’t strip the thread. Desire is based on exclusiveness.” The Playboy team has already made some plans how to expand the Gentlemen’s Weekends, however, creating offshoots for specific themes.
Anyone who believes that the format only arouses the interest of men receives the following answer from chief editor Boitin: “Some of our participants were given the weekend by their wives as a present. It does happen that some partner reads Playboy before her husband. This seems to be indicative of the relaxed character of our female readers, who, in all conscience, simply want the Gentlemen’s Weekend to make their husbands happy.”
You can find more information on the Gentlemen’s Weekend here.