And essentially, Playboy is looking back in order to look forward; seeking to re-brand themselves as the quintessential cultural magazine that it once was. The illuminated bunny head serves as a kind of north star in the West Texas desert. "That Playboy emblem is a beacon, a touchstone where all these different aspects of our lives — art, politics, sex — come together without contradiction,” Richard Phillips said to
The New York Times
. It's a bold brand push, but a move in the right direction. They could have easily created an oversized neon playmate, which would have been taking the easy way out. Sure, the nude centerfold is recognizable, but it's a mere facet of their brand that's become its synecdoche. Consequently, Playboy's influence in the literary and political worlds has been glanced over, at best.
Photo: Courtesy of Playboy.