Saturday, September 28, 2013

the sexiest new men's magazine to never exist

I invite you to hop a ride in my way back machine so we can look at an awesome idea that almost happened, but then didn't. And probably won't ever. The month was October. The year: 2009...the same year the bottom fell out of the economy.

Ever hear the one about the butter face? the wha?You know, the woman with those long legs, that swanky walk, sumptuous thighs, an ass that just wouldn't quit, tits out to here, a tight little middle that you just wanted to bounce strawberries off of all day...yeah? yeah?

Butter Face Magazine
I was prepared with original artwork (see above left), article samples and feature topics - an entire editorial calendar actually - plus a business plan, budgeting and even first year revenue projections. Other than the model who I paraded out with a bag over her head (thank you to the LOVELY Christy Clark) the cover photo was the only thing they allowed me to present. I had even shot a man-on-the-street video segment in which total strangers confirmed that "yes, I'd buy a magazine featuring headless hot bodies and great articles." But that wasn't allowed either - in fact they cut me off without allowing me to finish my pitch.
Helllooo Nurse!
BFM 6-Month Start-Up Budget
Sure, in 2009 when we did our research, 279 Magazines shuttered in the first half of the year (according to Folio). Of the 279 that folded, main category culprits include regional interest magazines, which took a dive and saw 27 titles fold, like Denver Living and Florida InsideOut. Other categories on the decline include construction, lifestyle and business with 18, 14 and 10 folded titles, respectively.

So, with inspiration from a couple of friends, I invented BFM - Butter Face Magazine. Because you're not looking at her face anyway...It was a good enough idea to get on this totally lame game show called "The Bank of Hollywood" executively produced by Ryan Seacrest.

Of course I didn't get the start-up capital I was looking for (obviously, otherwise I'd be a billionaire right now instead of looking for a job). Nope, the shortsighted judges, made up from some jerk-off modeling agent, a former pussy cat doll, a former Spelling and some other D-lister, gave $50K to a generic African-American family who wanted to start a series of workout DVDs. Oh boy, now there's an original idea. Funny...I haven't seen them on any informercials. [read show synopsis here].

I was dismissed like some insensitive bitch who hated women. Sean Patterson of Willemina Models, who had just finished lambasting me for passing judgement on what is considered "beauty," even called me ugly [read the entire transcript of the show here]. Which I laughed at....since his chief job as a talent agent is to reject literally hundreds of beautiful women.

My magazine would gladly pick up his cast-outs. And this was where I was headed. Look at how much money magazines like Maxim, FHM, Sports Illustrated, Playboy and others probably spend on notable faces. And look at how much money they rake in from advertisers.

I say: there's hundreds of thousands of beautiful bodies out there, why spend money on their faces. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out. At the time, I could count on both hands and both feet how many of my girlfriends were trying to break into modeling and acting and were hard pressed to put together enough gigs to just pay rent.

If I look back at my budget sheet, we were going to pay $125 to each model for a half day. That's more than they'd make waitressing in an 8-hour shift at the Daily Grill, I assure you. And maybe the models were gorgeous in the face, and maybe they're weren't - it wouldn't matter because you wouldn't see their faces. It had nothing to do with beauty at all - it had to do with mystery.

We came up with a "in every issue" column idea called "Hellllooooo Nurse!" One of my friends, who helped inspire the magazine, was studying for her RN license at the time and always had great stories to share from the ER. In the sample column we had prepared for the show, "Nurse Emily", had chose to write about "Condoms: For the prevention of Baby-Mommas."

And, in keeping with the theme of practical anonymity, our feature material was going to focus on practically unknown millionaires - not NBA All-stars, or professional race car drivers, or stock market tycoons, or even the guy who invented sex toys - I'm talking real millionaires who have only slightly above average lives, but chose interesting career paths that made them rich. These are the kinds of guys we figured our readers could realistically aspire to be.

We did the research - from man-on-the-street surveys, to brand spying, to market trend analysis.

We had even picked out top potential advertisers to go after: Unilever, the parent company to AXE body spray and deodorant; Church & Dwight, the parent company of Trojan condoms, Arm & Hammer personal care products, and Nair for Men (who knew they had a men’s line); SSL International PLC, the parent company of Durex condoms and Dr. Scholl’s; Proctor & Gamble, parent company of Gillette razors, other men’s products and various pharmaceuticals; and SAB Miller & Molson Coors.

We let the following three logical assumptions guide us: 

Logical Assumption #1: A beautiful female body can sell any product to any male; a beautiful woman’s face may not.

Logical Assumption #2: If men were interested in women’s faces, what they thought, or how they felt, they’d read Cosmo, not flip the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, Hustler or Maxim.

A bright spot, if there is one, is that after the print editions folded, 43 titles continued to live on the Web.

Heck, at the time, we hadn't yet considered launching (although I did buy the domain...and then let it expire). Someone else has scooped it up since. Probably Sean Patterson of Willemina Models. 

That's okay Sean, you can have it. I filed a copyright on the concept after the show aired. After all, I had all the collateral, budgeting, and content already written; and the idea was officially publicized as mine the minute the show aired. The first person who launches BFM or anything like it will owe me some CA$H MONEY. So, if you're reading this, and you own, hire me now, and skip the legal drama. 


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