Titillating though a good-mouse-gone-bad may be, there is no Disney-Playboy cross-promotion at hand in the magazine’s Tron-inspired video.
“It’s an independent homage to Tron,” Playboy chief content officer Jimmy Jellinek told the Observer. “We’re tapping into a cultural phenomenon in our style.” He confirmed that they haven’t heard from Disney on the topic.
Phenomenon, indeed. Jellinek said it’s one of their highest traffic web features ever. It probably doesn’t hurt that the web-only pictorial (below) is outside their paywall. There is an interview with Tron Legacy star Olivia Wilde in the December issue as well, but she’s not involved in the photoshoot.
It’s not the first time in recent memory that Playboy has played into cultural touchstones from readers’ pre-Playboy-buying life stages. Marge Simpson graced the cover in October 2009, although in that case the magazine collaborated with The Simpsons creators to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. There was an episode pegged to the issue’s release.
Jellinek hasn’t even seen Disney’s update Tron Legacy yet.
“I’m old, I like the original,” he said.
kstoeffel [at] observer.com | @kstoeffel