Playboy tries to woo millennials with an Instagram-famous model taking a Snapchat selfie

Playboy hopes invoking Snapchat makes it a hit with millennials.

The legendary magazine showed off the cover of its March issue this morning — the first issue ever that doesn’t feature nudity in a bid for young readers — by imitating an app that is synonymous with sexting.

To combat the notion that “new” Playboy isn’t completely prudish, the cover shows scantily clad model Sarah McDaniel, a 20-year-old model made famous for her popular Instagram following, pretending to take a selfie. Under her is the same texting bar seen on Snapchat, with the millennial-speak “heyyy ;),” which, in case you don’t speak millennial, translates to a flirty hi.

Snapchat’s texting bar is also seen on a (safe-for-work) video with McDaniel that also includes emojis. “She easily proved that she’s a ‘Snapchat Master,’ and even allowed us to put her videos together into a very sexy compilation,” Playboy said.

Cory Jones, Playboy’s chief content officer, told Digiday that imitating Snapchat’s texting bar was an easy way to reintroduce its selves to the same generation of young people that use the app. “It’s a concept that’s fun, sexy and inviting and I’ve never seen a magazine look like this before.”

Last October, Playboy made the counterintuitive decision to drop full-frontal nudity from the magazine in an attempt to lure in a “new generation of readers” to the franchise. But the March copy isn’t devoid of other key staples, like an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and an essay from Norwegian memoirist Karl Ove Knausgaard. And there will be racy photography — just less flesh.

As for Snapchat, the app didn’t respond to Digiday’s request for comment about the brand’s likeness being used. But we can’t imagine that the app, which is trying to shift way from sexting to make it more appealing to older people and brands, isn’t too thrilled about it.

“We haven’t heard from Snapchat, but I have my phone handy if they want to call and congratulate us on an amazing cover,” Jones said.

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