Last year 72AndSunny Amsterdam did the unthinkable. They took a brand that once reveled in perpetuating every single seedy male stereotype and dragged it kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Killing off the Lynx lad and defiantly dancing on his grave, this new Axe preached a message of diversity and inclusivity. Now 72AndSunny are back, continuing the “Find Your Magic” campaign with a film that, once again is making waves and boldly goes where no Lynx ad has gone before.Looking at what they’re calling “toxic masculinity,” “Is It Ok for Guys?” examines how men privately struggle with the roles society, (and ironically enough the brand’s former values), enforces on them.

Based on research that says 57% of men have been told how a ‘real man’ should behave, the film taps into societal rhetoric with a series of unanswered questions. These range from the lighthearted “Is it okay to be the little spoon” to “Is it okay to experiment with other guys?” and the serious “Is it okay to be depressed?” In leaving these questions hanging, Lynx highlights the quiet internal struggles and debilitating solitude that can contribute to bullying, violence, and even suicide. Following in the footsteps of memorable campaigns from UN Women to McDonald’s, the campaign is informed by real google searches showing the extent of the problem.

In the same way that last year’s campaign championed individuality and celebrated a diverse take on manhood, the new ad continues this message, stressing that there is more than one way to be a man.

As well as the ad campaign, Lynx wants to provide guys with resources to live more freely. Those resources include new partnerships with three nonprofits—Promundo, The Representation Project and Ditch the Label. Working together with these organizations, Lynx will support research that better understands the challenges men face as the result of masculine stereotypes and with Ditch the Label, create a “new digital network” that supports guys struggling with toxic masculinity.

‘Is It Ok for Guys?’ is a brilliant example of using creativity as a tool to make a difference. The film effortlessly articulates what, for many, are issues that are too sensitive and embarrassing to be voiced out loud. By putting stereotypes under the microscope, we can see the debilitating effects they have on young men and make an effort to break the cycle of toxic masculinity.


Campaign: ‘Is It Ok for Guys?’

Agency: 72AndSunny Amsterdam

Brand: Lynx