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SMS lingo in ads

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday April 4, 2008 )

Oh wow, one of my worst nightmares and one I’m sure the English teachers from my school days share – textspeak, the lingo of SMS, is increasingly appearing in ads.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in an ad campaign for a new line of Degree deodorant for teen girls, Unilever is highlighting “OMG! Moments.”

We old farts are going to need to carry translators soon :). When I was heavily into the ringtones industry a few years back, some of the emails I’d receive from subscribers I could barely understand given the levels of textspeak used. I guess it’s just a generation gap thing, but what concerns me is when a lot of this darned SMS lingo is used in formal communications. I read of teachers reporting seeing SMS lingo in school assignments for example.

If you’re targeting teens and 20-somethings it’s a marketing strategy worth considering I guess; but as the WSJ article points out in a comment from Bill Rosen of Arc: “You never want to come off as the Dad that is making Nelly references to his 12-year-old as a way to look cool”

NEhow, 2 cre8 QL msgs, uz dis transl8R by typin yr msg n d bx. You can also use it to translate textspeak back into..English. Finally, whilst on the topic of SMS lingo; smilies are often used in communications – here’s a guide to smilies I put together a few years back.


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