Why Lynx's 180 is a big deal for all of us

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAeFAAAAJDRjYzBlNjMwLTQ5NDMtNDg5OS1hMjUxLWQ4MDBhMmU0MzhjOA.jpgBy Nick Braddy (left), group account director, Havas Sydney

In January 2016 Unilever's Axe/Lynx tapped into the connection between men's mental health issues and unhealthy definitions of masculinity (of which the brand admitted they were partly responsible for) to forge the brave new direction 'Find Your Magic'.

The platform aimed to shed itself of its "spray more, get more" sexual conquering brand image and tackle definitions of modern male masculinity to encourage men to be true to themselves, whoever they may be. And it's worked. Purchase intent is up, the global growth rate has tripled and other metrics have gone through the roof. Check out the full UK case study here and the shift in advertising below.
I remember this launching and thinking it was a very big deal, especially given some of the statistics I was reading around the health of boys and men in Australian and around the world. But the lack of conversation or hype here in Australian seemed to counter to my initial excitement. Maybe because it hadn't activated in Australia yet, maybe something else was going on, or maybe Australian wasn't quite ready for the Aussie male stereotype to be challenged. But the fact that one of the biggest marketers to young men made the strategic and creative decision to do a near 180 from the past means it's worthy of a conversation, especially when you understand the parallels between the US, UK and Australian markets. Click here to continue reading...


Teen Spirit said:

I liked the 'find your magic' angle. Was a very likeable way to move the brand forward - and it had to move forwards quickly in this, let's face it, massively oversensitive world.

But right now it feels like it's on the verge of becoming Dove for blokes.

Humour is part of Lynx's DNA. Lose that and you're starting from scratch, innit?

Adam ferrier. said:

Well done Nick. I've never seen a brand do a perfect 180 like this ever. Great thing to write about, get inspired by, and learn from.

Steve Dodds said:

I'm not seeing how this is such a massive 180'.

I've always seen Lynx ads as a piss-take not meant to be taken seriously. Like the famous Lynx airlines done here. They were so over the top that even the most cloth-brained youth would recognise the irony.

To me, the new campaign (represented by the TVC) doesn't say anything different. It is still saying that if you choose Lynx/Axe you will get the girl. The execution is less overt, but the promise is the same.

The tagline is explicit about this: Axe is magic.

You could put the old Lynx Effect tag on the spot without changing the out-take at all.

Whether or not the consumer sees the same irony in the old stuff is moot, but 72&Sunny have not fundamentally changed the Axe promise.

They''ve simply reclad it.

As for the ancillary work, like Teen Spirit above, to me it just seems like another Dove, but for men. Much like Dove for Men.

The real 180 would be to reconcile the mantra they preach that looks/scent/artificiality don't matter with the reality that if you follow that train of thought to its logical conclusion their products don't matter either.

How do you make something that doesn't matter, matter?

Beer and clothing do it, but brands like Dove and Axe are still too wedded to the old P&G USP to completely let go.

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