Lynx's lead product is a deodorant body spray. The brand also includes deodorant sticks, anti-perspirants, aftershaves and shower gels. In Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom it is named Lynx; In the rest of the world the brand is named Axe.
Lynx was launched in France in 1983 by Fabergé, but it was called Axe. 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 . Unilever were keen to capitalise 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. When introduced to the UK and Ireland in 1985 by Elida Gibbs Ltd it was renamed Lynx as another company had taken the "Axe" trademark.
The European launch of the deodorant was followed by success in Latin America and moderate impact in Asia and Africa, all under the name of Axe. In the new millennium the Axe brand has launched with great success in the USA and Canada.
The company has also consolidated its deodorant portfolio by migrating other over-lapping male deodorants into the Lynx brand such as South Africa's Ego which is now called Axe.
From its launch, the yearly fragrance variant of Lynx 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. The three original variants were Musk, Spice, and Amber, with Marine and Oriental added later in the decade.
From 1990 until 1996 geographic names were used such as Africa, Alaska, Java and Inca. From 1996 to 2002 Lynx took inspiration from Calvin Klein fragrances (also owned by Unilever at that time), using the same perfumer, Anne Gottlieb, to develop the fragrances to launch variants such as Dimension, Apollo, Voodoo, Gravity and Phoenix.
In 2003 Lynx Europe launched a yearly fragrance variant called Pulse using dancing as a theme in its advertisements. This was followed in 2006 by Clix (or Click overseas) which used advertisements showing men competing in the number of women they could attract. In 2007 the variant Vice was marketed on a theme of making "nice" women become "naughty". Late in 2007 a chocolate scented body spray, Dark Temptation, was released.
The Lynx "Billions" advert portrays a large number of bikini clad women running through forests and swimming through oceans to reach a man.
The Lynx/Axe brand has also used a number of sexually explicit advertisements:
Lynx released Gamekillers the game to promote their TV show, The Gamekillers. Similar to a retro sci-fi shooter, players fly around the screen blowing up Gamekillers. Users can select which Lynx product they use to defeat the Gamekillers.
Lynx released an online game for PC called Mojo Master to promote their products. The game has the player trying to seduce digital women using Axe products to help them out. An online component was also added to the game to enable further features to be unlocked and allow players to compete against each other.
Lynx has advertised itself in several other video games, including:
Cooperating with MTV, an hour-long program called The Gamekillers was produced in 2006, profiling various stereotypical characters with annoying habits that tend to break up dates. Several advertisements featuring the same actors were run simultaneously. A further season of the show was produced for 2007. Lynx also created an online video game called The Gamekillers Game.
A global branded entertainment show, City Hunters, co-produced by Unilever for the Lynx brand, premiered throughout Latin America in 2006 on the Fox network. The series consists of ten eleven-minute episodes blending traditional animation techniques with the latest generation of computer-generated imagery. It is a male-targeted series that integrates the Lynx brand into the storyline, following the antics of an aging Casanova and a young man he is training in the art of seducing women.
In 2007, Lynx began sponsoring an all-female group called the Bom Chicka Wah Wahs and released a music video of their song Bom Chicka Wah Wah: It's the Libido's Mantra. Lynx is sponsoring a world tour of the group which is heavily modeled after the Pussycat Dolls. Packaging and graphics for the both the Lynx and Axe brands were completely redesigned in the early part of 2007.