Lynx Intros Mobile ‘Weapons of Mass Seduction’

NEW YORK When it comes to getting U.K. males away from their computers and out into the world to meet women, Unilever’s Lynx brand has a secret weapon: the mobile phone.

Lynx, known as Axe in the U.S., has launched a “Get in there” digital campaign in the U.K. that uses branded mobile applications as a bridge from social networking and online dating to the real world of actually talking to females in person.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Unilever roster shop that handles Lynx, has created a half-dozen mobile applications intended to aid the Lynx 18- to 24-year-old target market in a singular pursuit: breaking the ice with girls. The “weapons of mass seduction” include a “Fit Girl Finder” soundboard that can be used, for example, to play the sound of a car being unlocked while standing next to an expensive vehicle. Another converts a phone into an on-the-go Spin the Bottle device. A third is a soundboard that guys can transform into a harmonica or “body-piercing scanner.”

At a time when more online dating sites are starting up, BBH wants men to go out and interact with the real world. “If you’re online dating or on your social network, you’re not out meeting girls directly, you’re hiding behind a digital screen,” said Mark Boyd, cd and head of content for BBH. “We wanted to empower guys to get out there.”

Peter Sells, head of mobile development at BBH, said the campaign was born out of a need to translate Lynx, which promises to attract girls with its scent, into a digital world where scent doesn’t exist.

“We’re encouraging them to go out to meet girls,” he said. “What do they have on them all the time, 24/7? They have a phone.”

BBH worked with mobile application developer Golden Gekko on the development of the utilities. They can be downloaded at or by texting a short code. Lynx hopes for viral distribution by enabling users to send links to the application from phone to phone. In order to ensure at least 85 percent of the market could download the application, Lynx created up to five versions of each app to be compatible with handsets.

At the Web site, users can watch four YouTube videos of the “Lynx Guys” with their seduction tips and submit their own footage showing them using the mobile applications. It also includes pick-up items like a business card generator and magic tricks primer.

The campaign launched initially in the U.K., and will spread through Europe. Lynx has plans to extend into other markets, including possibly the U.S.

Other advertisers have tried to provide brand utilities on mobile phones. In the U.S., Philips offered visitors to the Mall of America in Minneapolis an application that helped them find their cars. Despite its lowbrow appeal, the Lynx applications are useful tools, Sells said.

“These applications are actually compelling because they really do work,” he said. “They do raise a laugh and they do allow boys to chat up girls.”