When Bartle Bogle Hegarty hired the American special effects
expert, Tom Rainone, to work on its latest commercial for Lynx body
spray, it probably got more than it bargained for. ’I can’t stand these
Jurassic Park movies. Your target market won’t understand the One
Million Years BC idea, they’ll just end up comparing it to Spielberg and
we’ll lose the satire,’ Rainone said in his first meeting with BBH
Rainone, who was approached and employed by the agency while on holiday
in London, pointed out that the monster design would have to lend itself
to stop-motion animation if a 60s B-movie style was to be achieved.
The ad tells the story of a backpacker who is captured by a tribe of
stone-age beauties. His Lynx spray has the desired taming effect on the
women, until a two-headed monster appears and ruins the fun.
Unsuccessful attempts by the women to slay the beast with spears prompt
the hero to use one of the beauties’ bras as a catapult. The monster is
defeated - the women have discovered a new monster-slaying technique and
they remove their bras to practise. (The spear-throwing scenes were
written into the script to make the women appear more proactive.)
Rainone worked with the director, Andy Morahan - then represented by
Great Guns, Morahan now works through Paul Weiland - and the animator,
Dave Allen, of Honey I Shrunk the Kids fame, to design and animate the
two-headed monster. The commercial aimed to imitate the styling of a 60s
B-movie while retaining a 90s feel to give the spot the tongue-in-cheek
image associated with the ’Lynx effect’ that was introduced in BBH’s
previous two commercials for the brand, ’house party’ and ’dream
Six weeks were spent designing the monster, which is operated by a
system of flexible ball and socket joints inside a clay mould.
A specialist bone artist was employed to ensure authenticity.
Animation took a further six weeks. In reality, the monster stands at
about one foot high and 16 inches long.
Scouts spent two months trawling the US to find a suitable location and
finally decided on the San Diego desert.
The tribal village took a day and a half to build. Filming took place on
a dry river bed which meant that the weather was a crucial factor - any
heavy rain would have washed the set away. Five days of shooting were
followed by three months in post-production at the White House.