Among the plethora of independent erotic titles all shimmying for our attention on the newsstands, Odiseo is one that shimmies a little more seductively. Not only has it adopted an altogether more sophisticated case-bound format, it’s constantly seeking to reevaluate what an erotic title should be. Like the golden age of Playboy each issue is packed with great imagery as well as inventive and engaging writing – something often left as an afterthought in new titles.
For the fifth issue they’ve adapted their format again, theming the issue around humour and adopting the cheeky hashtag #undressodiseo as a call to their fans on social media to promote the title and its all-new envelope. Intrigued as ever we caught up with Folch, the studio behind the title, to find out what they’ve got in store for the upcoming issue…
This is the fifth edition of Odiseo, what’s changed since you started out?
Having finished the fifth issue we feel like a band; relentlessly working to make a better LP each time. Over the course of our involvement in Odiseo, several new erotic magazines have appeared, which means we need to move a little bit faster than we originally planned in order to make our viewpoint on eroticism understood.
How do you see the title developing over the next couple of years?
We are considering the possibility of finishing the project after the release of the tenth volume – that is, making five more and calling it a day. We like the idea of limiting the number of iterations in a project like this, and allowing room for new ones! At the moment this is all speculation… but in a few months – maybe next year – we will make a decision.
Talk us through the new format and cover.
We are striving to keep Odiseo surprising on a regular basis. This time around, we decided to hide the cover and let the readership communicate it on their own, by using the hashtag #undressOdiseo.
The publication comes packed inside an envelope that conceals the cover image, which is always one of the most powerful selling tools for this kind of product… So we are taking a risk in order to test whether the readers could be part of the communication process by using social media channels. Given that Odiseo has no website, social media pages, etc. it’s interesting to try to bypass the widespread communication strategies. We call it a “parasite strategy.”
At the same time, we’re using the envelope to print an advert marking the launch of a new sunglasses brand, Alfred Kerbs, allowing us to stay true to our conviction of not mixing advertising with content. It’s also important to us that the product being promoted with this strategy is something we ourselves would recommend to friends, and not just any brand.
Odiseo often gets billed as just an erotic magazine, and in the early days it was specifically a men’s magazine, but how do you describe what you’re trying to do with it now?
After the release of the first volume, we realised what we had just published was nothing new. A magazine for men made by men. We reconceptualised the project from scratch, taking the chance to include the views of Carlota Santamaría and Oriol Mogas and defined a new editorial scenario where a different view of eroticism was our goal.
"After the release of the first volume, we realised what we had just published was nothing new. A magazine for men made by men."Folch Studio
Do you think there’s a need for this kind of publication right now? Why do you think the demand exists?
We are absolutely sure that people in our landscape – like ourselves, or like It’s Nice That – are keen to keep an eye out in search of new “formulas” of editorial products. Odiseo attempts to have a long-term relationship with the reader. That means our product is not one for fast consumption, but rather, one to be read without pressure. We believe this is something important nowadays. Another argument has to do with the contents. It is not a publication for light reading; we want people to make quality time to consume it.
For the fifth issue you’re launching in London, is that because it’s a place you’re looking to grow your audience?
We like to launch Odiseo in a different city every time, as an excuse to make the project known in other countries and to meet new people. London, being a creative hub for a large portion of Europe, will of course increase people’s awareness of the title.
What are the benefits of keeping the publication small and only printing a few thousand?
We believe that growing doesn’t necessarily mean popularity or quality. We like to keep it humble, for a small group of readers who understand and love what we do. We don’t want to lose our freedom and independence, and that’s only possible by virtue of staying small and powerful!