Unilever has launched a new brand identity for its Lynx men’s grooming range (Axe as it is known globally).
The new look was developed by global brand design consultancy, Elmwood, which claims to have created a unique and sophisticated look and feel, that gives guys the edge in the mating game.
Launched in 1983, and with 8m customers in the UK alone, Lynx remains one of the few brands developed specifically for men, and claims to have a core and deep understanding of the market. With the brand very well known in Europe, but still growing in the US and Latin America, Elmwood said it needed to create a new aesthetic for Lynx that both built retention and helped introduce the brand to new audiences.
Three years in the making, and with an ambition to be the world’s top male grooming brand, the team at Elmwood were tasked with finding a way to express these credentials across the range of bodysprays, antiperspirants, shower gels and hair products, that would work globally and over 30 different fragrances. In a market crammed with ‘me-too’ products, the challenge was also to create something ownable that clearly communicated the unique attitude of the brand, the company said.
Working closely with the Axe team, Elmwood refreshed individual stories for each fragrance – from emerald green lightening bolts for space variant Apollo to dark swirling shapes for Dark Temptation. These were devised to work with totally new packaging hardware, a unique half square, half round ‘squound’ shape that gave a large blank canvass to work continuously over two sides.
On sprays, the patterns wrap around the side to create a purely graphic face, literally giving an edge to the design, while for the shower gel and hair products the shapes work as daring explosions of colour.
In a bold co-creative move, the team moved away from the common antiperspirant silver colour codes and changed the pack to a market challenging white, which is traditionally only seen in women’s ranges, creating a striking complement to the black of the body sprays. As a further nod to its masculine roots, Elmwood also re-worked the Lynx and Axe logotypes, using a break in the X to add a cheeky ‘XY’ chromosome.
Greg Taylor, global provocation director – brand at Elmwood, said: “Working closely with the Axe guys in creating a new identity for such a successful and powerful brand has been an incredible and exciting journey for Elmwood. We are thrilled with the outcome and the ground breaking design aesthetics that unifies the Lynx brand as edgy and masculine on its global stage.”
“We challenged Elmwood to give Axe a powerful new brand identity. A design aesthetic that would reach a new generation of design-savvy men,” said global vice president of Axe, Tomas Marcenaro.
“However, rather than just creating a new visual aesthetic, Elmwood cleverly integrated each of our iconic fragrance stories with the new pack structure. Using the ‘square round edge’ as the anchor to dramatise the illustrations across the front and side of the packs giving them a more contemporary feel. Elmwood demonstrated that they really got the Axe brand from the outset, and helped creatively push our thinking beyond the traditional structural-graphic relationship injecting a fresh sense of youthful sophistication into our body spray and deos range.”
Elmwood’s new visual concept appears across LYNX’s entire range including body sprays, deodorants, antiperspirants, shower gels and hair products, and rolls out nationwide in Boots and leading supermarkets from February 2014.