It’s well documented by many academics (L’etang, Grunig, Smith and co) that the art of PR is all about selling an idea or image of a product to a public. So in this age of interactive communications we can safely presume that the digital world is another (large) playground in which PR practitioners can play. But does the image created in this playground actually affect the product itself?

Lynx deodorant is a wonderful example of brand image. The suggestion of the Lynx brand is that by using their product, one may instantly attain the lustful desire of attractive women. I can tell you this: I have used a pre-teen male level of Lynx this morning. I can inform you now, after a trip to the golf club where I occasionally work, a brief visit to Guildford town center and a walk to the post office I am no more sexually active than I was pre-application of Lynx. Am I missing something?

But did I really expect the product to bring we scantily clad women? Hell no. But I still bought the product. Why? I’m pretty sure no one can answer that question without a substantial amount of educated guess work. We buy products because for whatever reason in our minds we like them. So you could presume therefore that an online PR campaign could be pretty integral to the success of a product. Let us look one of Lynx’s competitors. Old Spice recently ran an incredibly successful campaign integrating social media into its televised adverts. The campaign strategy is almost a parody of the Lynx message, “you can’t be me but you can smell like me”. This campaign does sell a more down to earth image of the product, but ultimately is still abstract.