Unilever‘s Bom Chicka Wah Wah advertising campaign for Lynx (Europe) and Axe (North America), launched in March 2007, has women emitting the lustful phrase ‘Bom Chicka Wah Wah’ in response to the fragrant male anti-perspirant.
In “Dinner Party” a young couple have invited the boyfriend’s parents, from another country, for dinner to meet the girlfriend for the first time. When the boyfriend’s father visits the bathroom he picks up a cannister of Lynx and tests the spray. When he returns to the apartment lounge his son’s girlfriend launches into a display of ‘Bom Chicka Wah Wah’. Click on the image below to play the Dinner Party video in YouTube
In “Dentist” a young woman is sitting in the dentist’s chair, mouth stuffed with cotton wool. When she smells her dentist’s Lynx fragrance, she launches into ‘Bom Chicka Wah Wah’. Click on the image below to play the Dentist video in YouTube
In “School” a woman is teaching English to students when a Lynx-wearing male arrives. “Bom Chicka Wah Wah” is thus introduced to the students’ vocabulary. Click on the image below to play the School video in YouTube
In “Supermarket” a produce assistant is bemused by the antics of a shopper who is drawn to his Lynx scent. Click on the image below to play the Supermarket video in YouTube
In “Restaurant” a woman carefully prepares for a romantic meal at a restaurant, carefully preparing her lingerie and dress. As she arrives at the restaurant her boyfriends is puzzled to see her totally distracted by the Lynx-wearing waiter. Click on the image below to play the Restaurant video in YouTube
The Bom Chicka Wah Wah campaign was developed at Bartle Bogle Hegarty London and New York as a way for Unilever’s Lynx to talk about the improvement in fragrance and can design. The teams were headed up by William Gelner (NY) and Rosy Arnold (London).
A spokesman from BBH said: “To talk about the change functionally would betray the brand’s heritage. At the same time, showing a better Lynx effect physically is difficult as Lynx already deals in hyperbole. A third approach was required. The answer we found was to subvert the language of lust by creating a phrase that would become synonymous, not only with improved fragrances, but also irresistible physical attraction.”
William Gelner, group creative director at BBH New York, explained in USA Today that the campaign contained an element of 1970s nostalgia. “Bom Chicka Wah Wah” is a pop culture phrase that supposedly mimics a guitar sound from 1970s adult movies. While the target age group wasn’t even born then, they get the reference. There’s something about that type of Starsky & Hutch, retro ’70s thing that is very much a part of (today’s) pop culture.”
The Bom Chicka Wah Wah campaign is online at www.axebcww.com, featuring the Bom Chicka Wah Wah music video (directed by Bryan Buckley) and ringtones, and has found its way into the Urban Dictionary site.
See more on the campaign at Axeads.blogspot.com.