Lynx Australia has jumped on the Rugby World Cup bandwagon with ambush ad that is positioned as a utility but is actually little more than titillation.
Purporting to be a device that demonstrates the rules of rugby union, this ‘Rules Of Rugby’ viral uses scantily clad models to act out some off the key laws and facets of the game accompanied by a distinctly straight-laced voiceover explanation.
Oiled-up young women move from clinch-to-clinch as they demonstrate how to ruck and maul, as Lynx use sex appeal to drive viral spread – perhaps the oldest tactic of all.
“Our research showed that young men lack knowledge about the rules of rugby union so this video was designed to remind our target audience about the rules in Lynx’s typical tongue-in-cheek and playful way,” says a Unilever spokesperson. “The intention was not to cause offense and we took care to request age verification to restrict viewing.”
It may have racked up 1.5 million YouTube views in its first week, but this seems a fairly predictable way to engage with young men. Without the ironic ‘geek-turns-stud’ device that forms the basis of so much other Lynx advertising, this oiled-up models approach seems a touch tired and dated.
Not an official sponsor of the competition, this ad certainly wont please the organisers. After all, Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset’s own objective for the tournament was partly “to position Rugby in new markets around the world, reaching out to new communities and audiences.” it seems unlikely that this kind of approach will connect beyond the existing young adult male market.
It seems likely to attract the attention of both teenage boys and Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).