By UTalkMarketing Senior Reporter, Claire Weekes.
If you're male and aged on the preferable side of 50, the chances are you will have relied on the Lynx effect to increase your pulling power at some point.
For Lynx’s brand manager Selina Sykes it's a busy time – not only has the brand just turned 25, but the Christmas period marks a key time of year. After all, what young man doesn't expect to find a Lynx box set in his Christmas stocking?
“Turning 25 is a real milestone for us. We're always changing our approach and coming up with fresh ideas, so it doesn't feel like we've been around for 25 years,” says Sykes . “We're really proud of the fact that we've achieved such cult status. There aren't many guys who haven’t used Lynx at some point in their lives. It’s almost like a rite of passage.”
To celebrate its big birthday Lynx has dug deep into its archives to revive its most popular ad to date, the memorable 'Getting Dressed'. (In case you do need your memory jogged the ad, released in 2004, followed an impossibly good looking young couple as they retraced their night of passion from bedroom to supermarket aisle, picking up a trail of trail of abandoned clothing along the way).
To launch the anniversary campaign Lynx took over You Tube’s homepage for a day and is continuing to do plenty of online, TV and cinema activity to promote the big birthday. Online is at the heart of the brand’s marketing strategy – evident by the devotion it pours into its Facebook page.
“Facebook is really the hub of what we do. We have up to 800 fans join us every day, and that growth is purely organic via the quality of the conversations we have with the people who visit the page,” explains Sykes.
Some of those conversations might be about (according to the page’s blurb) beautiful girls, chat-up lines, where to pull, secret parties, great videos, free stuff, mobile apps and “epic fail stories” (it’s amazing, says Sykes, how many of the older generation pop up to recount dating disasters of old).
Employing a social voice
Keeping up with all of these conversations is no easy task – the official Lynx page has more than 150,000 fans and is growing strong. So it employs a person to be the brand’s social voice.
“We’ve hired someone who just knows how to talk to people. He has a background as a journalist and he has banter with our Facebook audience. We have meetings every month about culturally relevant things that he will be talking to them about, but it’s really all quite natural – it’s about knowing your consumer," she adds.
Sykes herself has had to do a bit of getting to know her target audience. Previous to becoming brand manager for Lynx a year ago she worked on Persil – another of parent company Unilever’s brands. “It’s a bit of a change going from a brand that targets housewives doing their laundry to one about teenage boys,” she admits. “But change like that keeps you motivated and excited about what you're doing.”
Technology with a twist
In the year since Sykes has been on-board Lynx has been particularly busy in the digital space. It kicked off 2010 with an interactive movie to promote its Twist fragrance. Entitled Keeping Keeley, viewers were invited to ‘twist’ the skills, talents and looks of Keeley’s boyfriend (played by actor Blake Harrison of Inbetweeners fame) to keep her interested in him.
Promoted on Lynx’s website, “relevant websites men go to like Holy Moly” and via Xbox Live, the movie was a hit – according to Skyes “hundreds of thousands” of consumers watched the video and in total it received more than nine million page impressions. It also achieved the highest number of clicks of any piece of ad content that Xbox had displayed on its dashboard to date, with a 9.8% click through rate.
Lynx followed this digital success up with an online campaign to promote its shower gel range, making a series of short videos that “brought to life in a funny way the act of guys trying, but failing, to impress girls,” says Sykes. Lynx ended up turning the ten second videos into a montage of best bits which went on to take a ratings top spot on YouTube in the UK and a number three spot on its global network.
Then there was the publicity generated by the Specsavers spoof of Lynx’s iconic Billions ad. In the original, an adonis who douses himself in Lynx body spray is besieged by a mob of scantily clad women. In the Specsavers spoof, launched on TV in March, the guy still has his body spray in hand but repels the women with his choice of glasses.
Of course Specsavers had to gain permission from Unilever to use the idea, but it was an offer they were more than willing to accept. “It was an honour that they chose us as a cultural icon. They also approached Mister Men and Postman Pat which are both massive cultural icons in this country - we were absolutely over the moon to be considered a part of that crowd,” says Sykes. “That ad got people talking, it resonated with our brand – it was great additional exposure for us”.
Keeping it cutting edge
So how does Lynx plan to top such a successful 2010?
“We just plan to be on the cutting edge of what technology can offer us and continue to invest in knowing our consumers and what they engage with,” says Sykes. You have to credit the brand’s ability to resonate with teenage boys – often perceived as an inert and stroppy age group.
“We know that teenagers want to have fun, and although they probably won’t admit it, they want to learn stuff too. The way we aim to capture their attention is to be in the places they are and to make sure we are giving them something engaging that they can share with their friends, whilst keeping everything we do new and fresh.”
An apt final word from the manager of a deodorant brand.
Check out 12ahead, our brand new platform
covering the latest in cutting-edge digital marketing and creative technology from around the globe.
12ahead identifies emerging trends and helps
you to understand how they can apply to modern-day companies.
We believe 12ahead can put you and your
business 12 months ahead of the competition. Sign up for a free trial today.