Lynx Phoenix ad

Below in chronological order are the news items regarding the Lynx Phoenix deodorant ad which uses the Halo font.


Feb 16, 2000 (Wednesday)

Below are three photographs of an advertisement for Lynx Phoenix (a deodorant for men):

Lynx Phoenix ad
close up of the word Phoenix
close up of the 'o' in Phoenix

Lynx is marketed by Fabergé which inturn is owned by Unilever one of the largest consumer-goods companies in the world. Lynx is also marketed under the brand name Axe in some countries. The Lynx Phoenix ad can be seen in many public places in Dublin (Ireland) today. The above photographs were taken yesterday. I've also seen a full poster size version. Halo fans will no doubt instantly recognise the font used for the word Phoenix as being the same as the one used for Halo. No harm in that if the font is commercially available.

However in the Halo News interview with Nathan Bitner the subject of the Halo font came up. I quote directly from the interview:

Halo News:
And then a small question, about the "Halo" logo itself-- was that completely rendered from scratch, or was it based on an existing font? As you can imagine, a lot of sites will be interested in creating some derivative art-- as some already have-- and would be hungry for a bit of knowledge on how to stay consistent with Halo's "look&".

Nathan Bitner:
It's a unique design, not based on an existing font.


So how is a unique design now appearing in an advertisement for a men's deodorant?

I asked Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> font expert at FontShop to take a look at the font in the ad and posed the question "Is this a commercially available font?" He replied as follows:

We run what I like to consider to be the best free font research service in the US. I used to head the department, for what its worth.

I'm going to have to brainstorm and figure out where else I can go for information. Until then, here's my two cents: I have a great deal of experience with typography, and it seems likely to me that the Phoenix sample is a rip-off of the Halo logo. This is not blind loyalty to Bungie, but it's based on the nature of the "other" characters: P, E, N, I, X. Whoops, look what that spells.

Anyway, it may be hard for me to describe, but each of the letters in the Halo logo is created uniquely. Not so with the Phoenix logo: the other letters are very much derivatives of the base characters (H, L, O). Note the bullet in the P: its identical to that of the O, but too big for the counter in the P. Note the baseline serifs on I, N, P: they're all identical to the H. Note the variable stem width on the E: its the same as the left stem on the H.

The Halo logo has lots of subtle idiosyncracies that make it very esoteric. As someone who has spent a lot of time researching plagiarized fonts and such, these are things that I pick up on very easily. However, this is just my opinion at first glance, I will do what I can to identify the font.

It didn't end there Alan followed up with two further comments:

One other thing, the extruding effect is more or less irrelevant. This effect can be applied or removed at any time. It's the basic character shapes that matter most, since fonts can only be black and transparent.

and...

I don't mean to pound this into the ground, but look at how the bowl on the P has those little notches on top and bottom: they also match the O. Telltale signs of copy and paste.


So if the Halo logo is a unique Bungie design then somebody is taking a few liberties in the Lynx Phoenix ad.

But then again perhaps the rumors are true... and Unilever is indeed a subsidiary of Bungie's Corporate Empire. ;-)


Feb 20, 2000 (Sunday)

A few days ago I drew attention to an advertisement for Lynx Phoenix (a deodorant for men) which used the Halo font in its logo. Below you'll find some pics of the full poster ad for Lynx Phoenix which are springing up in Dublin city (Ireland).

Lynx Phoenix full poster ad
close up of Lynx Phoenix full poster ad
Lynx Phoenix full poster ad at bus shelter (night shot)
close up of the Lynx Phoenix full poster ad at bus shelter (night shot)

Interesting to note the use of an Angel (halo connotation) in the ad. According to Nathan Bitner (former Producer and Creative Developer of Halo) the Halo font was a unique Bungie design. If you happen to see a Lynx Phoenix ad in your area please let me know.


Feb 24, 2000 (Thursday)

Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes concerning the recent Lynx Phoenix deodorant ad which uses the Halo font:

You asked us all to let you know of any more "Phoenix" sightings - well, last night there was a prime-time commercial on British TV. I didn't see it myself but my daughter did, and to quote her "That is *such* a rip-off of Halo!".

Sorry I can't send you any scenes from the commercial, maybe someone else will have better luck.

Can anyone capture this? Thanks.


Mar 1, 2000 (Wednesday)

Max Dyckhoff <mcbd100@york.ac.uk> writes concerning the Lynx Phoenix deodorant ad that uses the Halo font:

I was watching something on Channel 4 (British TV) last night, and I caught the end of an advert for Phoenix from Lynx (the thing with the Halo-like text). Anyway, I kept watching, and at the next adbreeak I kept my fingers on command-S (the "start recording" buttons the ProTV card) and I managed to snatch all but the first second or so of the advert.

I cut down the size (I recorded it at full screen size) and cut the start of the next advert off the end, and it's now a meager 1.2 meg.

You can see Max's capture of the Lynx Phoenix TV ad at

marathon.bungie.org/story/_files/lynxphoenixad.mov (1214K)

or

www.marathon.org/story/_files/lynxphoenixad.mov (1214K)


Max continues:

I also took a screenshot of the text at the end, and did a little comparison with the Halo logo. I put an outline around the Halo "O" in red, rotated the "O" in the Phoenix word (literally, that's all I've done to it) and compared the two outlines. I think you'll agree that if you had some doubts before, this is conclusive evidence that it's the same font.

You can see Max's comparison pic here.


Mar 6, 2000 (Monday)

As reported on halo.bungie.org there now seems to be an official Lynx Phoenix website at http://www.mission-phoenix.com/. The site requires that you have Flash 4 to view the page. The Flash animation appears to be a cartoon version of the TV ad for Lynx Phoenix. It's pretty bad and there is no appearance of the Halo-like Lynx Phoenix logo. How odd! ;-)

The mission-phoenix domain is registered to Modem Media in London. This site takes you to Modem Media in the US where you'll find one of their clients is Unilever. Unilever happen to own Fabergé who are marketing Lynx Phoenix deodorant.

It will be interesting to see if future Lynx Phoenix ads continue to use the Halo font.


June 11, 2000 (Sunday)

Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> sends in a link to a German site for Axe Phoenix deodorant. Lynx is marketed under the brand name Axe in Germany. Anyway the site has Phoenix images, product shots and a flash movie all using Bungie's Halo font. Check out those poster images.


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