Classic Advertising from the Adbrands Archive

 

Lynx "Billions" by Bartle Bogle Hegarty (2006)

Times have changed since Bartle Bogle Hegarty first unleashed its "Spray More, Get More" concept for Unilever's men's body spray Lynx, or Axe as it's known in most of the rest of the world. The idea, of course, was that a burst of Lynx/Axe body spray could transform even the nerdiest of guys into a sex god, and this concept gave birth to a succession of often very funny ads over the course of a little over a decade. Gradually, though, the tide turned against that concept, not least because Unilever was at the very same time running a separate campaign for Dove which set out to eradicate the stereotypes of bikini-clad female beauty that the Lynx/Axe campaign had so enthusiastically adopted. Eventually, Unilever vowed in 2016 to stop producing "sexist" advertising for its now massively successful male grooming range. Yet, even with the benefit of politically adjusted hindsight, you have to acknowledge the tongue-in-cheek parody implicit throughout BBH's many splendid ads for the brand in the 2000s. Indeed, most Lynx ads - including this one and also the "Ideal Woman" spot we've featured here before - were overseen by one of the UK's industry's most celebrated female creative directors Rosie Arnold. Clearly, they're not meant to be taken seriously. Though, there are always a few idiots: one 26-year-old gentleman in India sued Unilever in 2009 for "cheating" and causing "mental suffering" because of his inability to attract any girls at all even after using Axe products for seven years. The "Billions" ad was created by Alex Grieve and Adrian Rossi and directed by Fredrik Bond. Oddly enough, though it became a viral sensation on YouTube, the ad was screened only once on British television, just before the FIFA World Cup England vs Sweden football match.

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