Internet slang has a place, but is that place in advertising? Text lingo and abbreviations are serious things for a brand to throw around because audiences are so polarized on the subject. There’s no doubt that brands use “slanguage” to target the YAYA demographic, but what do 18- to 24-year-olds really think of text talk?
Although keeping the vocabulary “hip and with it” can be helpful in some situations, it’s important not to force or fake it. YAYA consumers value authenticity, so it’s vital that a brand stays aligned with its voice and personality. Nobody likes a try-hard, especially young people. Sincerity is a brand’s best bet at peaking and keeping the interest of YAYA consumers.
Using text lingo and internet slang should come naturally, or odds are this demographic will tune out your message entirely. But don’t be discouraged from stepping into the YAYA world and trying to better understand phrases this age group uses on the reg. Just double check that this tactic makes sense in the context. According to our annual State of the YAYA report, 77 percent of YAYA consumers say that it’s more important to be unique than to be popular, showing just how much they value authenticity both for themselves and from brands.
The bottom line is that text lingo and internet slang have a defined place in advertising. We’re fans because it keeps the conversation fun. Unless you overuse the word “bae.” We’re looking at you, Chili’s.*
Macyn, Rosie, and Brianna
*Disclaimer: We actually love Chili’s. We’re big fans of Chili’s.
Written by: Macyn Gillespie, Rosie Hutchison and Brianna Olson