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|Author:||tuanhuylink [ Tue May 23, 2017 3:37 pm ]|
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Do marketers looking to sell to teens this Christmas really have to know what a 180 Ollie to Pivot is? Or how to style? Or what it means to get busy?
If you happen to be selling best skateboards or the hot-selling BMX freestyle bikes, you already know that an Ollie to Pivot is a fancy maneuver on a skateboard or bike held in high esteem by enthusiasts of those after-school pastimes. The word "stylin" refers to skateboarders and bikers who have mastered the trickiest maneuvers on wheels and carry that finesse into their lifestyle. "Get busy," a bit of street slang out of New York, can be roughly translated as "get moving."
These latest candidates for linguistic immortality tell us a lot about the trendsetting teens whose styles are helping to form the values of the younger generation. Many of the new words are popularized by clean-living kids whose motto is "skateboarding is not a crime." They are the spiritual heirs of the linguistic trendsetters who made hot-rodding a national preoccupation in the 1950s, surfing lingo popular in the 1960s and urban basketball a hot fad in the mid-1980s.
Stylin' is currently the hottest word on the West Coast among many teens. You're stylin' when you show up at the checkout of a supermarket with a six-pack of strawberry Yoo-Hoo and two bean-and-cheese burritos. You're stylin' when you do anything radical, anything with flair, anything that says you're you. Kids know the word. But do marketers?
"I've never heard of stylin'," says Fred Reicker, director of corporate communications at the Clorox Co., which makes the hotselling and totally stylin' Clorox Laundry Detergent. "But I'd guess it would mean exhibitionism, or doing something in fashion."
Right on both counts, Clorox. According to marketing consultant John Parikhal, of Toronto's Joint Communications, stylin' is the creation of a group of kids "who are uncertain of who they were. So they look for externals to lock into." Many contemporary trends - from skateboards to flat-top haircuts - come from that group.
Most fad words begin in California and work their way East. Some never get there.
"Stylin'? I'm still trying to get used to groaty," says Tod Seisser, vice chairman and creative director of keye donna pearlstein, New York. "I've never heard of stylin'."
But across the country at kdp's West Coast office, it's a different story. "Sure, I've heard of stylin'," says creative coordinator Susie Stark. "Though I haven't seen it in any campaigns." how to turn on a skateboard
At least one new product, a freestyle bike from California's Dyno, uses the name. Its Pro Styler could become one of the biggest sellers next season - if the word fad lasts.
Stylin's longevity, however, is by no means assured. According to Parikhal, most fad words stand about a 1 in 10,000 chance of entering the pop culture lexicon.
"Fad words and slang enter the language very fast," Parikhal says. "Most of them have halflives of about three months. Cool and hip made it, for example. But even groovy faded out."
Nevertheless, stylin's tryin'. During the World Series in October, ABC Sports announcer Tim McCaver uttered the word as the Oakland leftfielder Rickey Henderson homered. "That dude's stylin'," McCarver shouted.
But even as the word stylin' becomes popular with teens, it is already changing. Its original meaning - smooth and carefree - has already given way to a new term, "street stylin'," which has come to mean creative, with a slightly rougher edge.
If marketers are looking for some argot that could net them some gold, the true contender, says Parikhal, has got to be "awesome." The word has been popular among the 8-to-12-year-old set for years, and is finally emerging in the upper age groups.
The phrase-oid most likely to replace stylin' will probably be "get busy." This term, unlike much of today's dominant slang, migrated from East to West via rap music. How to ride a skateboard for beginners
"Almost all the skateboarders and bikers are heavily influenced by rap music," says WSI Inc.'s Harry Leary, a youth product manager for the company's Diamond Back bicycles. "Get busy" actually began either as a Brooklyn description for a shootout or for a tyrst, depending on whom you ask. It later came to signify the part of the rap song that really starts to rock.
Marketers planning their Christmas campaigns might be tempted to use kid slang to boost sales. That's risky business, according to Parikhal. "People who surf the fads," he says, "usually end up on the rocks."
And that's not stylin'.
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