Monday, February 13, 2006

This just in - Sex sells!

*image taken from Sydney Morning Herald

You may have heard of a fantasy airline called Lynx Jet. Hugely popular in Australia, the highly-charged airline has proven the old adage that quite simply, sex sells.

Lynx Jet is not a real airline, but ever since the titillating television ad debuted in late November (see video here), more than one million Lynx deoderant (intended for male teenagers and pre-adoloscents) have been sold and by all indications, (male) enthusiasm has remained strong.

The Lynx Jet website has received more than half a million hits, and interestingly enough, a lot of visitors BOOK TICKETS to go on an airplane that is not real. To encourage the current wave of popularity, Unilever (maker of Lynx) has also offered a mobile massage parlor, called the Lynx Mile High Club, where around 30,000 people have come up for a, erm, massage.

Lowe Hunt was the agency tasked by Unilever to set up an ad using a real airplane provided by Jetstar. It took them just eight weeks to put up everything and present it to the public.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Interestingly, the campaign as we see it now was never meant to happen. The wide-ranging Lynx Jet program only transpired because one of Unilever's rostered ad agencies didn't do what it was asked...Rather than scurry off and do what the client asked - and you can see here how disconnected it can get when media agencies are buying media space independently of creative shops and vice versa - Lowe Hunt instead came up with a completely new communications plan under a process it calls "brand explosion".

Most marketing services companies have fancy proprietary processes which apparently facilitate all this brainstorming and idea creation stuff but Lowe Hunt's seems to actually work.

So, rather than tart up a plane for Lynx in two months, Lowe Hunt pulled in all of its specialist divisions to create a "fantasy airline" concept 10 times as big but delivered in the same time frame. Lynx Jet was the idea and it meant remaining deliberately ambiguous about whether Lynx Jet was a real airline or not.

The ad was successfully ambiguous alright, judging from the reactions of the audience. Here's the kicker - Lynx Jet was supposed to have become a reality. According to Duncan's TV Ad Land,
Unilever arranged to have one of Jetstar's planes painted in the yellow colours of the Lynx campaign. Hostesses on the designated flights between Victoria and Queensland were not expected to dress or behave like the 'mostesses' in the Lynx TV ads. All the same, Jetstar has thought again and withdrawn from the deal. The plane has gone back to normal colours in the light of complaints from airline stewards, Jetstar marketing consultants and the general public.
Real, fantasy, the message is clear - when it comes to sex, everything becomes discombobulated. Says an anonymous commenter from Duncan's blog:
amazing how gullible men become when hot chicks are involved... and in the states men only fly Hooter's Air for the chicken wings too!



Blogger Duncan said...

Hi Sarah. Thanks for the comment. When I posted on this at Duncan's TV Adland I received a lot of interest - much of it from young men who seemed to take the campaign seriously. By the way, I've since moved Duncan's TV Adland to a new domain name, and the new URL for the Lynx Jet post is

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