A view from Unruly

Can Lynx go viral after ditching the 'Lynx Effect'?

Social video expert Unruly reviews the latest viral by Lynx.

With over 23,000 shares since its release last week, ‘Find Your Magic’ shows a brand that’s changed its identity with the times - 7/10

With its longstanding ‘The Lynx Effect’ campaign, the deodorant brand hit upon a thesis which would define years of television, print and online campaigns. Simply put, ‘The Lynx Effect’ proposed that the distinctive attributes of their product would make you irresistible to the opposite sex.

While incredibly tongue-in-cheek, the brand explored every possible permutation of this concept, including beachgoers  ,anonymous hordes , and actual angels  all seduced by the spray-on. Typically populated by crowds of women in bikinis, of course, ‘The Lynx Effect’ attracted its fair share of criticism. In one ad, they even rewrote the Old Testament.

A different approach

As gender equality and feminism have become a bigger and bigger focus across many ad campaigns, ‘The Lynx Effect’ now seems a little retrograde. This was why Lynx’s 2014 Super Bowl campaign ditched the ‘babe magnet’ ethos in favour of something we could all agree on: namely, that war is bad and love is good.

Kiss For Peace’ showed that the brand was looking for a new identity. It seems appropriate then that Lynx’s latest campaign is all about how you define yourself. Produced by 72andSunny, ‘Find Your Magic’ turns back on the people doing the spraying by asking men to embrace their idiosyncrasies.

Whether that’s outrageous dance moves, being a bookworm or having a big schnoz, the ad tells viewers to walk their own path, and also maybe purchase some deodorant while they’re at it. Directed with colour and verve, the spot presents a series of vignettes all focused on a different kind of individuality.

In one, drag queens face off in a high-stilettoed showdown. In the next, protestors wrapped in banners run for their lives from police with riot shields. Meanwhile, burly men make pizzas and would-be professors chuck chalk directly at the camera.

In review

What are we to take away from this? While it may seem a little odd for a line of cosmetics and hygiene products to tell you to ‘be yourself’, the end of ‘Find Your Magic’ clarifies that Lynx simply wants you to do that special thing more. This firmly aligns Lynx’s latest spot with a sub-genre of ads which support the product while simultaneously celebrating the uniqueness of the users’ needs and interests. Apple has been doing this for years, particularly with its iPhone campaigns.

Spots like ‘The Only Thing That’s Changed ’ and ‘Strength’ both show off the product’s capabilities, and present the viewer with a hundred different lifestyles to fit that product. Reebok similarly pursued this angle with the appropriately-titled campaign, ‘ Be More Human ’. It’s certainly a reliable path for Lynx to investigate.

With over 23,000 shares since its release last week, ‘Find Your Magic’ shows a brand that’s changed its identity with the times, and now needs to settle on a new public persona. We’ll have to wait and see whether Lynx has found its own magic, or whether the search continues.