Unilever’s Lynx is continuing to break away from its “lad” labelling with a bold new ad campaign combating what it’s now calling “toxic masculinity” and its debilitating effects on young men.
The new work is themed “Is It Ok For Guys?” and is part of Axe’s “Find Your Magic” positioning, which memorably launched in early 2016 from agency 72andSunny Amsterdam.
A new film kicks things off by showing how guys privately struggle with masculinity—but highlighting actual Google searches that reveal just how anxious they feel about adhering to, and straying from, societal norms.
The search-driven campaign starring UK boxer and heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua highlights that young men are often hiding behind digital screens to ask the questions they can’t face asking out loud, such as ‘Is it OK to do yoga?’ or ‘Is it OK for guys to be friends with women?’
As part of the campaign, Lynx has bought up search ads on terms about male issues, displaying results with responses from Joshua and other male influencers telling them that it’s fine.
Rik Strubel, Lynx’s global vice president at Unilever, said: “We want guys to see there’s no holds barred on what men can or cannot be. We need to help more men by tackling toxic masculinity, head on. Our aim is to create an inclusive society where everyone – men and women – can be who they damn well want to be.”
The campaign will roll out across the brand’s social channels and will be supported by activity in the UK and US throughout 2017.