Axe me this Lynx

Spread the fragrance, and the word.

Lynx in English-speaking countries, in the rest of the world, the male bodycare brand has been setting a new standards in brand management in the recent years. They have managed to turn a pretty dull to an iconic brand. I still remember the TV commercial for this brand when I was younger: a men coming out of a plane being welcome by a clumsy female bomb on the tarmac. She will drop her notes and when realising the tantalising fragrance coming from the man torso will drop them again to repeat the pleasure...

Nothing to compare with the current campaigns, except that the brand promise remains the same: the seduction power. To achieve this shift, Unilever has been working with some of the greatest ad agencies in the world, including BBH and Lowe Hunt. And these brilliant partners have brought the brand to other spheres beyond traditional advertising.

From the bathroom to the Internet

Axe was indeed one of the first brands to enter the digital era by creating MySpace page, having some blog-friendly activities to seed branded content in the blogosphere, fantastic online activities such as feather or blow to engage their customers in fun branded experience... Their latest campaign "bom chicka wah wah" has even allowed the brand to own a verbal gimmick that echoes in the schoolyards. After all, which brand would not dream to have future endorsers enrolled that young?

And what can contribute to seduce these young, not yet customers? Attitude definitely, but also uniting codes. Vocabulary and slogans are definitely part of them, but music has always been a strong unifier too, especially for the MTV Generation. This is probably the reason why the music has been at the core of the recent campaigns:

A first intrusion in the music territory

But with the new campaign, they have gone one step further: they have created Pussy Cat Doll like girl band that will simply deliver their brand proposition during 2'56"... That's is a nice way to get around the constraints of traditional advertising, and to break another mould.

A 2'56" TVC

And since I am talking about the Axe advertising saga, I cannot resist sharing with you this brilliant Australian integrated campaign developed by Lowe: Lynx Jet. No need to explain or comment, this little video is quite self-explanatory...

By doing all this, Axe has become a modern and empathetic brand in synch with its fun-loving consumers. However I am slightly concerned. As a marketer. The brand promise is indeed being diluted. It is less and less a matter of seduction power, but a slow drift towards blond semi-naked models... So please dear advertisers, keep on entertaining us with your creativity but do not fall into easy-winning but less relevant communication pieces.


PC attack...

It was about time that someone informs the public of the risks that we computer heavy users are facing...
A well-polished site is displaying videos and photos of laptop attacks. Videos, photos, advice to escape the threat... Apparently following the launch of the new Nokia smartphone, computers around the world have decided to unite and to strike back. They would be jealous that we would pay less attention to them now that the new Nokia toy is out.

That's probably I keep on petting my laptop, cuddling its keypad, feeding it with new digital pictures and MP3, etc. Nice PC, nice...


This is not a method!

Chichi in Jerusalem Shaking Chirac

There are some moments of history that simply impact you forever. One of those was a Jacques Chirac's visit in the Gaza Band while touring Middle East. Protected by the Israeli secret services, he was enjoying one of his favourite hobbies: human bathing and hand shaking.

On the one hand, understandingly enough, the Israeli bodyguards were very nervous about protecting a foreign president in a critical area. They were consequently pushing away the crowd, sometimes a little bit too vehemently. On the other hand, Jacques was stretching his long arms to reach Palestinians' hands and shake them fraternally...

And suddenly our former president could not take it anymore. He turned to the bodyguards and shout at them in English: "Stop this! This is not a method, this is provocation... What do you want? Me... Me to go back to my country?" (EDIT: see here)

Agent Provocateur cola

Well, funny enough, this quote came to my mind immediately when going to the tube, I saw this scene:Pepsi challenge Coke

On the left, Coca-Cola British headquarters in Hammersmith. Opposite the street, on your right, a Megabanner for their rival, Pepsi asking to put some to the taste! Now if this is not provocation... And Pepsi does not stop at cola brands, they also get rocking with other industries like fragrance as you can read here.

Pepsi Light vs. Fragrance


American dream...

Who said that the US were hating France? Well, some of the American overtly enjoy my home country. Sometimes even more than myself. Enjoy the fun...


A brief story of time

Every morning litany.

The London Tube is class of its own. You have to live the experience to really appreciate its sweet melody that tries to make your commuting seem shorter than it actually is. Because it is usually quite a long journey that you have to endure when traveling from home to your office, and vice-versa.

Thankfully, Transport for London (TfL) has come up with a solution: they try to hypnotise their travellers with a recurring lullaby whose lyrics sound a bit like: "Mind the gap", "Let the passenger off the train first", "minor delays", "report any unattended items", "mind the closing doors", "part closure", "touch in and touch out", "no service between...", "move right inside the carriage", "use any available space", "CCTV is in operation in the station", etc.

You got it, the tube is a nightmare. And if you add to the high temperatures, the noise and the smell (no
reference to our former president J. Chirac here), then the nightmare can rapidly become hell on earth. Well, you can argue that calling the underground hell is to a certain extend rational. But still...

Killing time.

So everyone tries to turn this pain into a positive experience. Some digest junk information from cheap newspapers, they gulp gossips and football transfers as they sip their latte ; some look at the public transportation as a photo studio and multiply the snapshots about the tube ; some write emails on their blackberry and some write songs. And sometimes some IT guys develop programs to materialise how much time they waste in public transportation.

The real London Tube in motion
Found on
Tom Carden's blog this Flash application is quite interesting: click on the desired station, and you will instantly see how far it is from the other station of the network. Interesting, clever, smooth, nice but theoretical and consequently useless since this application does not take into consideration "signal failures" or "customer incidents".

Sorry, but even if you use a keyboard to compose such a program, the cacophony from the TfL orchestra will cover you efforts. Nice attempt though...


Street advice

Erection specialists - Trust men
When I came across this billboard, I could not avoid smirking... As a matter of fact, I was not aware that builders could also be great sexologist! But, after reading their motto, you must acknowledge that it could indeed save you "hundreds" on expensive consultations with conjugal advisers. Thanks Arriba Scaffolding!