Axe (Lynx)

Axe, or Lynx (see below), is a brand of male grooming products, owned by Anglo-Dutch company Unilever who manufacture a range of products in the health & beauty, household cleaning, food and ice cream categories.

Axe's lead product is a deodorant body spray. The brand also includes deodorant sticks, roll-ons, anti-perspirants, aftershaves and shower gels. In most of the world the brand is named Axe; in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom it is named Lynx.

History

Axe was launched in France in 1983 by Fabergé which became part of the Unilever group of companies in 1989. It was created as a version of one of Unilever's other brands, Impulse, but targeted at males. Impulse was a fragranced deodorant body spray for women that promised wearers male attention [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_27/b4041401.htm Children Of The Web ] ] . Unilever were keen to capitalize on Axe's French success and rolled it out in the rest of Europe from 1985 onwards, later introducing the other products in the range. It could not use the Axe brand name in UK & Ireland as this had already been trademarked by another company who tried to sell the rights back to Unilever for a vast sum, so it was launched as Lynx.

The European launch of the deodorant was followed by success in Latin America and moderate impact in Asia and Africa. In the new millennium the brand has launched with great success in the USA and Canada. [ * [http://www.iaaglobal.org/file.ashx?fid=08eff0a5-b79e-4e09-9824-4b3948190f63 Internal Unilever Document revealing success and market share of Axe/Lynx brand in all markets where launched] ] The company has also consolidated its deodorant portfolio by migrating other over-lapping male deodorants into the Axe brand such as South Africa's Ego brand.

Variants

From its launch, the yearly fragrance variant of Axe has played a key part in the success of the brand, by offering something new each year. The type of fragrance variants have evolved over time. From 1983 until about 1989, the variant names were descriptions of the odor of the fragrance inside and included Musk, Spice, Amber, Marine and Oriental.

From 1990 until 1996 geographic names were used such as Africa, Alaska, Java, Nevada and Inca. From 1996 to 2002 Axe took inspiration from Calvin Klein fragrances (also owned by Unilever at that time), using the same perfumer, Anne Gottlieb [ [http://www.basenotes.net/cgi-bin/basenotes.cgi?Perfumer=Ann+Gottlieb Fragrance Directory - Basenotes ] ] , to develop the fragrances to launch variants such as Dimension, Apollo, Voodoo, Gravity and Phoenix.

From 2003 Axe variants showed clever ways they helped men get women. In 2003 the Pulse fragrance showed how it gave geeky men the confidence to dance to get women [http://www.cmdglobal.com/trendwatch/current/trendsetter?1=1&blockid=828242&blocktemplateid=827895 Creative Media Database TV as TRENDSETTER ] ] . This was followed by Touch [http://www.haveyougotthetouch.com/ Axe Touch ] ] , Unlimited [http://www.unilever.co.uk/ourcompany/newsandmedia/pressreleases/2004/lynxunlimited.asp New Lynx fragrance set to deliver 'Unlimited' sales ] ] , Clix [http://www.unilever.co.uk/ourbrands/advertising/lynx/lynxclick.asp Lynx- Click ] ] and in 2007 Vice was marketed on a theme of making "nice" women become "naughty".

In 2008 a different direction was taken when a chocolate scented body spray, Dark Temptation, was released. [http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/sunday/2007/09/30/chocolate-deodorant-to-lure-girls-98487-19870706/ Chocolate deodorant to lure girls] ]

Axe Yearly Variant Chronology

Axe's list of yearly body-spray variants is as follows. Please note this list does not include limited edition or short lived variants, as these are listed in a following table.

Axe Limited Edition Chronology

Axe also launches limited edition variants from time to time that may be on sale for a few months or over a year.

Controversy

Adverse publicity has been generated by accusations of:

* Sexist and degrading advertising http://www.adweek.com/aw/creative/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003657582]
* Contradictory messages versus Dove which is also owned by Unilever
* Being seen to encourage sexual promiscuity [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jul/09/paulharris.theobserver The Menaissance | World news | The Observer ] ]
* Harmful effect of Volatile Organic Compounds in aerosol deodorant on mothers and babies [ [http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/news/ng.asp?id=55515-personal-care-aerosols Personal care aerosols court controversy ] ]
* Link between ingredients found in aerosols and damage to the environment [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3752188.stm BBC NEWS | Health | Aerosols 'harm mother and baby' ] ]
* Potential for solvent abuse and subsequent death amongst young males [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/448876.stm BBC News | UK | Star pupil's spray can death ] ]
* Being banned in schools because of the health risks [ [http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,1739144,00.html Teachers bemoan curse of the 'Lynx effect' | News crumb | EducationGuardian.co.uk ] ]
* Includes ingredients tested on animals [ [http://www.natural-skincare-authority.com/lynx-deodorant.html Review: Lynx Deodorant by Natural Skincare Authority ] ]
* Targeting adverts at underage children [ [http://www.commercialexploitation.org/pressreleases/axtheaxe.htm Ax the Axe Campaign ] ]

References

External links

* [http://www.thelynxeffect.com/ Official Lynx site]
* [http://www.theaxeeffect.com/ Official Axe site]


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