Death in Advertising: the case of lynx metamorphosis
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Titled ‘Lynx Metamorphosis’, a 2003 internationally produced and broadcast advertisement for the brand ‘Lynx deodorant’, explicitly, and rather daringly, links/lynx sex and death in its narrative construction. Everyone knows that sex sells but what makes this advertisement strategically interesting and worthy of analysis is that it stakes a claim that sex and death sell. The fact that this advertisement eroticises death is highly unusual in commercial advertising. This paper offers a close analysis of this advertisement, addressing, initially, its specific narrative scenes and representations. Conceptually, it considers this advertising leap into death, focusing, among other things, on the concepts of metaphor and metamorphosis, and questions of pornography and censorship. The advertisement, which intermingles life and death, animal and human, is further deployed in this paper as a vehicle (the very idea of metaphor as transportation) for thinking about the idea of contamination as it relates to censorship, and category blurring and intermingling. Like many Lynx advertisements this one was subject censorship in the UK and Australia. The paper considers this issue in relation to the status of death as ob -scene in modern Western societies.
The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference
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