While China, with its regular crackdowns on cleavage, might seem like an odd target market for Playboy, the pioneering pornography provider intends to massively expand its brand in the mainland, not through selling sex, but by focusing instead on the company’s other asset — its logo.
Earlier this month, Playboy Enterprises announced it had signed a 10-year licensing deal with Chinese manufacturing and distribution company Handong United that Playboy hopes will enable it to provide better oversight while also broadening its distribution network in mainland China.
Of course, Handong United won’t be distributing glossy magazines filled with socially harmful breasts and such, but instead wholesome merchandise — like luggage, apparel and wallets — emblazoned with the iconic white rabbit’s head image that is lusted over by Chinese consumers. Playboy’s bunny logo is the company’s biggest (only) advantage in China’s booming apparel market, where it has already played a role for more than 20 years and enjoys sky high brand recognition, especially among a certain crowd. Because, bunnies!!!
According to CNBC, in 2014 Playboy generated $1.5 billion worldwide in retail sales — a third of that came from China. Matt Norby, Playboy’s global licensing head, says his company wants to double retail revenue in China over the next decade. So, basically, prepare to see bunny heads on everything.
Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play.
by Alex Linder