LynxAfrica 25

Clash of the titans. Some of the biggest names in advertising, Unilever, Lynx and MPC come together to celebrate 25 years of the mighty Lynx Africa.

Unilever’s Lynx advertising, (known as Axe outside of UK) has brought many awards and a smile to many a face over the years. Our London team was commissioned to deliver a campaign to celebrate 25 years of Lynx Africa but with progressive attitudes and sexual fluidity since the era of lad culture, the challenge was how does one celebrate the heritage of one of advertisings most impactful brands and be relevant today yet still evoke the era of the 1990’s. Our solution was to take a trip down pop culture’s memory lane, but not just any old lane, an intergalactic time tunnel of a lane, stacked with references from the last 25 years.

MPC directed, produced, shot, graded and post produced the spot in its entirety for Unilever’s internal agency, Oliver. Shot over two days in studio and location in South Africa, the spot was almost entirely post produced remotely from home over the last 4 weeks due to Covid-19 lockdown by a crack team of visual effects artists sat in their living rooms wearing their pyjamas. Our motion designers and 2D team created holograms, dance floors, floating dates and crafted the ‘Strunnel’ world; enhanced by VFX smoke and vortex’s with colour grade by MPC’s Duncan Russell.

MPC’s Head of Creative Development, Richard Skinner who Directed, the campaign commented: “Lynx, jeez. Come on. There aren’t many brands from the last twenty-five years with such a rich, memorable and impactful legacy in TV advertising. So, what an incredible opportunity to add to that legacy, especially on such a momentous milestone as this anniversary. Once over the initial excitement, the biggest challenge to unlock was how to make something that lived up to that legacy, but equally without using and falling back on the now infamous tongue in cheek approach. So, we thought, let’s try and make this the craziest, fun and surprising journey as possible and remind those who were there and some youngsters what it used to be like.”

The spot takes a journey from a typical UK school in 1995 and follows a fantastical game of cat and mouse as a lovesick teen chasing after the only thing that he believes will get him the girl of his dreams, his can of Lynx Africa. Unfortunately for him the can has other ideas, springing to life and magically opening a portal or ‘Strunnel’ into another realm which entices him into a journey through time where he sees the full power of the Lynx effect. Their epic journey sees Lynx Africa bringing people together from 90’s ravers to noughties gamers to emoji obsessed teens, finally popping out in 2020 where Lynx Africa has the final word.

Along the way there’s some surprising cameos that pop up in amusing settings including sporting legend and two-time unified Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, alongside chart topper AJ Tracey and YouTube sensation, Calfreezy.

On top of the hero 60 second film our London team also produced a number of amusing reprises from Anthony Joshua to accompany the campaign.

MPC’s Art Director, Donal O’Keeffe added: “We were tasked to create a completely new world that needed strong creative direction, premium VFX work, 2D work and stand out motion design. The ‘Strunnel’ is designed outside the realms of any normal logic and rational with the creative challenge of crafting a balancing surreal iconography alongside the narrative. We began this creative journey with a pre-vis film to establish how many shots, camera angles and how to prep for the shoot but then our main challenge was to deliver during Covid-19 pandemic working safely and securely from home.”

If having to watch 60 seconds of teenage vision from the 90’s wasn’t enough, our teams also worked on the campaign in the form of a 10 seconder for social featuring Olympian and legend, Anthony Joshua. You can thank us later.