Lynx Apollo: Turning lads into Astronauts #inspace

You’ll probably have seen this new idea from Lynx in one form or another by now. Lynx are offering 22 people the chance of a lifetime – Space camp followed by a Space flight courtesy of final frontier tourism company SpaceEXC

You might have seen the TVC (below), the website, something on Twitter, the Facebook mast-head, the address from Buzz Aldrin – that Space guy. Whatever incarnation of the campaign you may or may not have seen you will hopefully have registered it as suitably left-field enough to dedicate a quick burst of synapses to some basic association.

Lynx – A male grooming brand? Correct.

Lynx – The brand that suggests their sprays transform ‘regular’ members of the male gender into specimens so physically attractive that angels fall from the sky, cars crash safely and leopard print underwear suddenly becomes a symbol of virility, regardless of the haircut? Yeah that’s the one.

Lynx – They’re sending people into Space? Why?

It’s a good question.


The Market

Because I mean, who actually buys Lynx? Boys buy Lynx and get bought it. So that’s maybe 10 years olds up to 16/17/18. Then come the years of ‘Nah mate, that stuff’s for kids, I use Sure/Rightguard/Adidas’ – You’d imagine that the average 18-25 year old is far less likely to buy Lynx than say, their younger brother. I’m not saying it isn’t bought by University students or young professionals, I’m just saying it isn’t bought nearly as much.

This means that Lynx need to attract new customers year on year to compensate for the top end of their age demographic moving on to more ‘mature’ brands. These customers either need to be young and going in at the base (12 year olds say) or those that have moved on (20+)

The Sector

Lynx launches a new ‘scent’ on a pretty much annual basis in order to seem fresh and exciting (neither of those adjectives are intentional puns I promise).

It stands to reason then that the year of launch is crucial to the longevity of the ‘flavour’. A successful year one means more sales and a reduced rate of decline. I’d have said that the ‘Excite’ (the pun becomes clear) ‘Even Angels will fall’ was strong, 2012’s ‘Attract’ maybe less so.


So where does that leave Lynx Apollo. I think it’s important to bare in mind 3 things when looking into this particular campaign…

1) The value that can still be gleaned from a ‘stunt’ – the principle still stands even if the scale has multiplied. The Space link seems a little basic but over 8 million people watched Redbull float a man to Space and drop him down again in real time. If the sector is all about launch (another terrible coincidence) value then it makes sense to go big – so big in fact that you wave the atmosphere goodbye.

You can already see the content that will almost be created by proxy – Footage of the next stages, the competitors meeting each other and testing their physical and mental strength. Vlogs of Space camp – how contestants are feeling, what they’re up to. Social feeds for the finalists, messages of encouragement blah blah blah. The idea’s longevity is also supplemented by the protracted process of actually getting someone up there – not expected until late 2014 at the absolute earliest.

2) Space, Astronauts and Lads. The TVC above should give a sense of the kind of angle that this allows Lynx to approach young men from. What’s f*ckin’ cooler than going into Space? You’re a fireman? You work for a children’s charity? You volunteer at a nursing home?

I’ve been to actual space.

Lynx know these 5 words have a value in social currency that is closer to “I’m the baby on the front of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind'”. Namely, to use a popular Americanism, it’s badass.

Lynx have already started to make the most of these comparisons to every day life.

I saw a recent twitter update from @Lynxeffect that read something along the lines of “An Astronaut walks into a bar. He leaves with all the girls. The end” Boom.

There are also some online vids popping up like this one under the ‘An Astronaut never has to…’

3) What number 2 means in real terms (and the actual terms…). Here’s something that won’t surprise you at all in any kind of way – participants have to be over 18 years of age. Probably exactly what you expected and yet in one stroke they zero in immediately on their target audience – guys who aren’t buying Lynx either in sufficient quantities or at all. Guys who grew up.

Being an Astronaut a clichéd child fantasy. 18-25 year olds understand it now in terms of the story you roll out straight from the top drawer to the 8.5/10. And that works for them just fine. Imagine the implications on TrueLad or the LadBible for example.

People will apply because they want to go to Space and the majority of them will want to go to Space so they can say they have been to Space. It’s a story you can dine-out on for years and that’s valuable. Both to consumers and Lynx as a brand.


Sure there are some problems. Like the guy who was, at least when I checked last night, some 9,000 votes in front of the next highest contestant. The fact the the beautiful scrolling website is so data heavy that my browser runs like a grand national winner on ketamine or the fact that even the most air-headed of optimists appreciate the logistical difficulties of going clubbing in a Space-suit AND convincing any girl to take you seriously.

But all things considered I reckon this one looks a good’un.

Check this report out if you want to learn a bit more about the Lynx brand over the last few yeas: Cannes Report 

That’s just my opinion, what do you guys think? You can get in touch any way you like. Although repeated phone calls are not ideal, just weird.







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