OMG! Degree Wants to be Your BFF!
Ten years after it would have been, perhaps, at least a tiny bit OK, there seems to be a sudden onslaught of marketers becoming BFFs with txt and chat-speak. From McDonald's with its coy use of "R U Ready" copy to AT&T's subtitled conversation between mom and daughter to Frito-Lay's failed gt2kno jack, everyone wants in on teen chat slang.
If that weren't enough, Unilever has launched a campiagn called Degree Girl OMG! featuring Disney Channel's High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale complete with the solicitation of shadenfruede-like OMG moments...which, if the moment is OMG enough, could get you a visit with Tisdale herself.
It's great to connect people with the stars they love and this campaign aims to do that. No problem there. But when you have statements from Mindshare Entertainment President David lang like, "We wanted to show teens that we understand them and know how they communicate with their friends," things get a bit sketchy. Do teens rally want "grownups" to be crashing their party? Eew. No they don't. Some respectful distance between grown up and kid
This whole notion of parents and grown ups trying to be friends (BFFs if you will) with their kids and other kids is just whacked. Parents need to be parents. There needs to be some distance. I'm not advocating a complete return to the days when kids were considered better seen than heard but, please, does a kid really want to hear their parent or favorite brand speaking the OMG jive?
Publicis Chief Creative Officer Bill Rosen understands and brings it back to earth, saying, "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."