The Lynx Christmas gift set has reached a similar status to petrol station flowers in recent years – an often thoughtless, last-minute gift given to men all over the UK, despite very few of them asking for it.

Memes about the Lynx shower gel and body spray combo usually start weeks in advance, signalling the countdown to its arrival on the big day.

While some celebrate the bundle as a modern Christmas tradition, others are far less thrilled about receiving this particular treat.

Each December 25, plenty of men around the UK will unwrap that familiar rectangle under the tree and give a strained thanks, before taking to Twitter to share their real feelings.

In previous years this attention has helped Lynx trend above the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day, with familiar faces like Eamonn Holmes getting involved, uploading a selfie with the latest batch of adolescent shower gel.

However, Dr. Denitsa Dineva, a lecturer in Marketing and Strategy at Cardiff Business School says brands have to be careful when navigating meme culture.

Dr Dineva tells us: ‘In order to determine the most effective way of dealing with consumers mocking a brand by creating humorous content e.g., memes, brands must first determine the motivations behind the creation of that content as well as the target of that content.’

According to Dr. Dineva, discovering whether the memes are meant as a joke between consumers or an attack on the product can make all the difference.

‘The Lynx memes do not address the brand directly in a negative manner, for example, in the form of dissatisfaction with the brand or its products,’ she notes. ‘They merely express some form of disappointment when receiving Lynx products as a Christmas present from family or friends.’

Dr. Dineva, who specialises in social media and conflict management, explains why a lot of this negative attention has seemingly worked so well for Lynx.

‘The Lynx Christmas gift memes example illustrates well intentioned humorous content, but memes about McDonald’s broken ice-cream machines, for instance, exemplify a service problem that leads to customer frustration and dissatisfaction and requires fixing by the brand,’ she explains.

‘In the particular instance of Lynx, the attention the brand receives from consumer-generated memes is likely a positive thing, because the brand is able to embrace a cultural trend and use it to their advantage.’

If used correctly, consumer-created memes can help launch a successful viral marketing campaign for a brand.

But not all memes should be embraced, Dr. Dineva warns: ‘When memes represent the outcome of unethical or inappropriate brand content and/or practices, then it would be wiser for brands to immediately publicly communicate a sincere apology before the meme becomes viral.’

The ability to piggyback on this attention has worked out for Lynx, who have seen a huge boost across their social media over previous Christmas periods.

Jamie says: ‘In 2019 the brand saw 1.3 million audience impressions on Christmas Day with over 10k mentions for Lynx Africa. Based on this year’s statistics to date, we would expect to see this grow for 2020.

‘There were 810k impressions for Lynx in October 2020, this compared to just 130k in 2019, an increase of 523%!’

The memes are already underway and the selfies and negative comments are inevitable, but as far as Lynx are concerned, they’re not entirely unwelcome.

Jamie adds: ‘As we go into the Christmas season 2020 we’re excited to see what’s cooking with our Twitter army and having some fun with the Christmas trends through a Lynx lens and reminiscing on the last 25 years of Lynxmas.’

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