• Transform magazine
  • April 16, 2024

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Back to black

Lynx range.jpg

Smell is said to be the strongest of the five senses, evoking memories of faraway places and events long forgotten.

Specialised sensory cells work along with the taste buds to enjoy or reject smells, and sense of smell – or olfaction – is considered a key way humans reconnect with emotions.

For many males, the target audience of the Lynx toiletry brand (or Axe, outside the UK), the places or events associated with the Lynx scent might once have included post-sports day school changing rooms, or sweaty gig nights spent watching a local indie band.

Lynx packs, including deodorant and shower gel, were once a staple Christmas present; its Lynx Chocolate advert, featuring an edible chocolate man, was also a favourite of many television viewers.

Changing these perceptions, however, is the basis of Lynx’s brand redesign and new campaign launch, carried out by London-based creative brand consultancy PB Creative.

Aiming to reposition Lynx as the male grooming brand of choice for men of any age, Unilever claims that now, over 8 million men in the UK and Ireland use Lynx each day.

A recent Independent article cites the male grooming market as being worth in excess of $14.8bn. Inspired by the campaigns of celebrity figures such as David Beckham and Kit Harington, males are increasingly investing in beauty and grooming products. Men-only salons are also gaining in popularity.

This recent success in the male beauty market, in part, explains the mentality behind Lynx’s redesign, which aims to be more relevant to its increasingly more image-conscious audience. 2013 was the first year male grooming products outsold male shaving products, a trend which has continued to 2016 without showing any signs of slowing.

Yet, this would not have been possible without a certain amount of product repositioning, most of which is based on the Lynx brand image and packaging.

Lynx has eschewed its previously elaborately-decorated packaging in favour of a subtler, more monotone look – which, the company says, signifies its move to once again ‘own black’. Notions of sophistication, built into the brand redesign, are also intended to diversify an audience traditionally associated with a younger demographic.

A more progressive view of masculinity is also being portrayed through new Lynx advertising campaigns, in contrast to the brand’s previous touchpoints of attraction and desire - for example, its edible man. The brand’s previous, arguably slightly clichéd campaigns, now focus instead on uniqueness and male archetypes.

This premium, individualistic style is reflected in specific imagery attributed to the various Lynx scents, as well as through the Lynx brand name, product title and second colour being applied to the background in silver. Ben Lambert, co-founder and creative director at PB Creative, describes this as a “Single minded silver key-line”, effective in developing notions of quality and elegance.

With Lynx citing itself as the leading provider of male grooming products in Britain, it is hoped its redesign will be effective in shifting audience perception.