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Lynx Builds Weapons of Mass Seduction

lynx_screen.gifFor many years, Lynx grooming products have targeted young male consumers, and have held out the brand promise “helps you succeed in the mating game.”

For this article, we spoke with Peter Sells of agency BBH about how this Unilever brand managed to maintain relevance and engage their audience through an award winning campaign.

Lynx Get In There Mobile Tools is one of the most innovative downloadable mobile applications we’ve seen, and has won a series of awards including Cannes Lions Silver, D&AD Pencil, UK MobileMarketing, and most recently the MMA global award for Best Use of Mobile Marketing-Branding.

For many years young men in the UK have been using the “Lynx Effect” to help them in the dating and mating game (Lynx is known under the brand “Axe” outside the UK). Then a new generation came along that prefers to spend their time flirting on social networking sites. Studies show that something like 50% of people online in Europe have asked someone on a date using email, and 20% of guys between 16-24 met their girlfriend online.

This posed a serious threat to the brand promise, as even the Lynx Effect can’t work in Cyberspace.

The Challenge

The BBH agency was given the task getting these young men to re-engage with the idea of meeting and talking to real girls in the real world. A place where Lynx can play a real role. The purpose of the campaign would be to remind the target audience that while they may live much of their lives online – shopping, consuming media, managing friendships – nothing beats the visceral thrill of meeting girls for real.

According to BBH, “We wanted to inspire guys to get out and get involved by demonstrating that being confident and original is all it takes to win over the ladies. We needed to encourage active participation by equipping them with the right knowledge and tools. Objective: make Lynx a Participation brand.”

The Solution

The Lynx “Get In There” campaign was not so much a traditional campaign but more of an ongoing brand presence to support the brand year round. It consists of a web site plus downloadable mobile applications.


According to Peter Sells, Head of Mobile Development at BBH, the website is intended to do three things for the target group of young men:
• First, to Inspire them by showing examples.
• Second, to provide Tools to help them “in the field”, and
• Third, to build a Community by allowing them to share their stories.

And since the tools would only be really useful if people could have them with them when they went out, BBH built the Lynx Get In There Mobile Tools.

lynx_peter_sells.gif“We realized that to give a really rich brand experience, the best way would be a mobile application rather than a mobile web site”, says Peter. And, mobile tools seemed to fit naturally with the habits of the target group. Peter continued, “This group of consumers is very comfortable with mobile content, and in fact uses it twice as much as the average consumer. We said to ourselves – if we can’t do it with this audience, we’ll never be able to do it.”

Lynx Get In There Mobile Tools

The first two Mobile Tools that Lynx released were sound tools aimed at getting a girl to laugh. The objective of these tools was quite simple Peter explained. “What they are intended to do is simply to break the ice, make the girl laugh, give the guy a reason to say something, and start an interaction.”

lynx_fx.gifThe first tool is called “Lynx FX” and is described as “the soundtrack to your night out, an application that can help you break the ice without having to utter a cheesy one-liner. It offers a smorgasbord of witty and impromptu sound effects.”

These sound effects are very varied, and include a harmonica sound so you can appear to be a musician; a “piercing” finder (eg pierced ears, etc.); making the sound of a table-tennis match so that you can appear to play the game with your phone; the wedding march in case you feel like proposing; and several more.

You can see these in action in the Lynx Get In There Mobile Tools video below.

The second application that Lynx released is called “Fit Girl Finder”, and is described as “a sat-nav for your love life”. This is an application that turns the phone into a locating device for “fit girls”. It uses a sound that is very much like a metal detector which can be controlled to find the girl you are trying to meet.

In a second part of this application, a boy can ask a girl to hold his hand and put the phone near her heart. The phone starts making ever louder and faster heartbeat sounds, showing that there must be some romantic connection between them.

Here is a video that explains the overall campaign and also has a brief demonstration of these mobile tools.

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As a fun way to show people how to use the Fit Girl Finder, Lynx also put some short demo videos on their web site. You can see a couple of them at the bottom of this article.

Distribution is key

Achieving effective distribution for a mobile application like this is also something that is quite new. Peter said that it was in fact one of the key learnings from the project. “It’s all well having good ideas, but we learned that distribution is as important as the creative.”

With no above the line activity to drive the download of the application, BBH relied on a two part strategy. First was to leverage the Lynx web presence with a clear call to action, as well as good information and examples of what the mobile tools could do.


The second approach was to utilize existing content download sites such as Mosh from Nokia or Mobango. The target group for this application is very mobile savvy, so having them download the application and then sideload to their phone was not unreasonable.


Although no figures are available for the number of downloads or usage, Lynx has been happy with the results and is continuing the project. Several additional mobile tools scheduled to be released in the coming months. Lynx are very committed to mobile, and view this as the first part of a long term strategic commitment.

This makes perfect sense, as mobile has such a major place in their audience’s life. As Peter summed it up: “If a brand ignores a primary channel of communications for their customers, they do so at their own peril.”

Downloadable Marketing Applications

This is a great example of how a downloadable application can be used for creating consumer engagement. This trend is picking up speed, brought on by better handsets, networks, and “Apps Stores”. We’ll have a special feature on this in the next few weeks, look for it.

Demo video: Using the “Fit Girl Finder”

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Demo video: Using the “Metal Piercing Detector”

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