Adwatch (April 18 ) Top 20 recall: Lynx

Haircare product ad maintains the brand's personality, but needs a stronger creative idea

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Lynx does two things consistently well: pitch its ads at its core market of teenagers and young men and stick to a formula that includes scantily clad women flocking around the geeky, or not-especially-good-looking, man.

The target market gets its buzz from the supposed accessibility of these girls. They buy into the concept that even if you're a nerd, 'the Lynx effect' will make all your dreams come true. It is like an ad version of Nuts.

This is, in part, achieved by Lynx's use of a self-mocking, but still schoolboy, sense of humour. It includes its audience in the joke and deliberately overplays the 'use this and you will attract girls' schtick that other, more upmarket brands, do so coyly. Brands very often talk down to younger people, but Lynx's overt messaging is inclusive and usually funny.

Set on a beach, this spot follows the familiar Lynx story pattern. A man whose spiky hairdo leaves a woman unimpressed has his fortunes transformed once he uses the new Lynx haircare range.

This ad is not up to the brand's usual storytelling standard, though. In creative terms, it is neither as artistically good nor as beautiful as other Lynx ads; the 'Angels will fall' work being an exceptional example of the brand getting it right from TV to augmented-reality digital outdoor.

The simple-to-explain visual concept does use a catchy end-line, 'Get the look that gets the girls', which will strike a chord with viewers; but, if you look at the comments and blogs dedicated to the brands, it is the girls who feature in the ads that receive the most comments - not the soundtrack or story concept, and, hardly ever, the products themselves.

This ad confirms to me that Lynx doesn't take itself too seriously as a brand and, honestly, I find this makes me like it more than I expected too. My only reservation is that, if it is to repeat the same 'joke' in every ad, then, each time, the creative and the humour has to be better and funnier than what has gone before.

Watching this ad makes me conscious that this isn't for a traditional Lynx deodorant spray as the brand expands into hair products. I'm sure this range will be successful, as this is a natural extension for a target market that places grooming high on its list of priorities.

As this range becomes more popular, I hope the creativity in its advertising will grow to the level that the deodorant has reached, which, on the whole is very entertaining.

Brand strategy verdict: 6 out of 10

Does the ad have the 'Lynx Effect'? It has the same fun and underlying sexual references as past ads, but not the memorable creative concept to support it. Time will tell whether young men are willing to try the new range or it gets the brush-off.

Adwatch: Top 20 recall
Latest Apr-04 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (–) Birds Eye –
Rice Fusions
The Assembly/Carat 53
2 (–) Dulux  Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
3 (–) Aldi  McCann Erickson Manchester/
Universal McCann Manchester
4= (–) Premier Inn  RKCR Y&R/ZenithOptimedia 37
4= (19=) Lynx  Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York/
6 (–) McDonald's  Leo Burnett/OMD UK 35
7= (–) Colgate Total  Y&R Paris/MEC 34
7= (–) Visit England  M&C Saatchi/M4C 34
9= (–) Harvester  JWT London/MediaCom North 33
9= (–) Lloyds TSB  RKCR Y&R/M&C 33
11= (19=) Cancer
Research UK
The Good Agency/MediaCom 31
11= (13=) Sky  Brothers & Sisters/MediaCom 31
13= (–) Pizza Hut  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/
13= (–) Morrisons  DLKW Lowe/MEC 30
13= (15=) Homebase  Leo Burnett/Mindshare 30
16 (–) O2  VCCP/ZenithOptimedia 29
17 -9 Currys/
PC World
M&C Saatchi/Walker Media 28
18 (–) Chicago Town
Life Agency/MEC 27
19 (–) Dreams  RKCR Y&R/Starcom 25
20 (–) Dettol  Euro RSCG Worldwide/