“Sorry Harry” for Lynx by BBH London

Fellow ginger and all-round hero of the British public, Prince Harry of Wales, was pictured last week reportedly playing strip billiards in a hotel room whilst relaxing with friends in Las Vegas. The photos were shamelessly sold to celebrity website, TMZ (journalism so dire that reading an article is like staring into an open wound), on 21st August 2012 and spread worldwide the following day.

The photos showed the Prince naked with a number of scantily dressed (and undressed) woman. Lucky boy. Out of the awfulness of a trusted someone sabotaging his privacy during a personal holiday, the Great British public were quick to jump to the defence of the young Prince.

When the Murdoch owned redtop paper, The Sun (who have already been in hot water earlier this year), published the photos despite a media blackout on the images in the UK, the British public did what they do best. Complain.

The press Complaints Commission received in excess of 3,600 complaints concerning The Sun’s unauthorised publication of Harry’s photos.

Brilliantly, St. James’s Palace hadn’t registered an official complaint – all 3,600+ were from members of the public. Ironic given The Sun’s latest campaign efforts to position itself as a sort of ‘people’s paper’.

Now, to the point of this post.

Yesterday, Lynx deodorant and their longstanding agency partners, BBH London, reactive advertising to the debacle with a lovely print ad running in all the major newspapers of that day:


Using the same recognisable typeface as the now over-parodied and over-used “Keep Calm and Carry On” WWII Government posters, the Unileaver-owned brand creatively builds on its age-old proposition that its product makes men irresistible towards women; a mainstay of their creative deployments and an ingrained fixture of the brand.

Lynx (also known as Axe elsewhere around the world) and BBH London have done this kind of reactionary advertising numerous times before, even addressing Prince Harry after his brother William became engaged:


A mediocre example, in my opinion, comes from the brand during the beginning part of January in 2004 and reunites us with our opening tale from Las Vegas. Britney Spears had her marriage annulled after 55 hours leading to Lynx putting out the following ad for their most recent fragrance at the time – the aptly named ‘Pulse’:


Personally, I think this ad puts a crucial piece of information in plain sight of the audience that has, throughout all other campaigns, remained deliberately unannounced: the ‘Lynx effect’ wearing off. The marketing gag suggests that the product gives owners the confidence and prowess to not only attract but stay confident with women due to their perspiration being under control. This particular ad expands upon the ironic fable by hinting that once its powers have worn off, the users’ will return to the sweating, skittish and, worst of all, ordinary men they were before.

Yes, in some ways that may intensify the proposition being made by the brand but I feel that it actually undermines it somewhat by casting an arrogance over Lynx not apparent before. Hitherto, campaigns always seemed to show a partnership between the user and the product, allowing it to be an assistant to brave and horny men everywhere. This concept propels the proposition into even further realms of ludicrousness and haughtily presides that it is the only reason average men will have a chance with women.

What do you think of these ads and what are your thoughts about Lynx’’s latest reactive concept concerning Prince Harry’s fiasco?

Credits (For ‘Sorry Harry’ Lynx Advert)
Brand: Lynx
Agency: BBH, London (England), United Kingdom
Creative Directors: Dominic Goldman & David Kolbusz
Design: Richard Kennedy
Producer: Marion Thibaudot
Creative: Dominic Goldman
Strategic Business Lead: Ngaio Pardon
Team Manager: Keral Patel


2 thoughts on ““Sorry Harry” for Lynx by BBH London

  1. One could argue if it’s really ethical, but it is effective 🙂 using publicity of certain event to attract attention to your brand. genius 🙂

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