While pre-millennial generation people might still get flummoxed over acronyms used by youngsters — mostly while chatting on smartphones — some of those famous abbreviations like LOL, WTF, MFL, etc, could now well be a part of their everyday life.
American multi-national consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble, which owns brands like Tide, Ariel, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, etc, that are extensively used across India too, has applied at the US Patent and Trademark Office for trademark applications for LOL (meaning Laughing Out Loud), WTF (What The F—), NBD (No Big Deal) and FML (F— My Life).
WTF! Here’s why P&G products Tide, Ariel may soon have trademarks like LOL, FML, NBD
If approved, these millennial text acronyms could soon be seen on several products people use on daily basis. P&G has applied to use the four acronyms in liquid soap, dishwashing detergent, hard surface cleaners and air fresheners, reported CNBC. What prompted P&G to apply for these trademarks is still a mystery as the company is yet to respond on this, but industry pundits think it’s in line with the company’s evolving strategy of focussing on millennials, an important category for FMCG companies.
In September 2017, P&G board member and activist investor Nelson Peltz had indicated that the company would focus on products that are not meant for a specific customer segment. “Millennials want these little brands, these local brands that they have an emotional attachment to,” he told CNBC.
These acronyms are famous among social media users. Bringing in the same level of humour and emotional connectivity in consumer products could prove to be beneficial for P&G. The company already spends billions of dollars on ads each year; in FY 17 alone, the firm spent over $7 billion on advertising.
P&G’s senior counsel Megan Hymore had applied for the trademark in April, but the US patent office has sought some clarification on the matter, which seems to have delayed the process. Meanwhile, some wild guesses on the P&G’s trademark choice making rounds are — ‘Love Over Lint’ for LOL, Why That’s Febreze for WTF, Freshen My Laundry or Feel More Love for FML.