There has been a lot of debate lately about urban slang and whether or not it is appropriate to use in marketing and advertising. Some people feel that it is a form of cultural appropriation, while others argue that it is simply a way to connect with young consumers.
Regardless of which side you fall on, the fact remains that urban slang is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. So, should we be using it in our marketing and advertising? Let’s take a closer look at both sides of the argument.
What Is Urban Slang, and Where Did It Come From?
Urban slang is a type of informal language that is used by people in urban areas. It can include words, phrases, and expressions that are not typically found in standard dictionaries. Urban slang often comes from different subcultures within urban communities, such as the hip hop or skateboarding culture. Many times, urban slang is used to show group solidarity or to make someone feel like they belong to a certain group.
The History of Urban Slang
Urban slang has been around for centuries. Shakespeare is known for popularizing many words and phrases that are still used today. However, urban slang began to take off in the early 20th century, when African American musicians started using it in their songs.
Jazz and blues artists would often use urban slang to communicate with each other on stage, as well as to add flavor to their lyrics. By the mid-20th century, urban slang had become a staple in popular music and has continued to be used by artists across all genres.
How Is Urban Slang Used Today?
Urban slang is used in many different ways today. It can be used to show group solidarity, as well as to make someone feel like they belong to a certain group. It can also be used simply for fun or amusement. In addition, urban slang is often used in marketing and advertising campaigns aimed at young consumers. This is because urban slang is seen as being hip, cool, and edgy.
On One Hand: It Can Be Seen as Culturally Appropriative
Some people argue that using urban slang is a form of cultural appropriation. They believe that by using urban slang, marketers and advertisers are taking something from an already marginalized group of people and using it for their gain.
This is especially true if the people using urban slang are not from an urban area or do not have personal experiences with the culture. Also, cultural appropriation can lead to the further marginalization of already marginalized groups of people.
On the Other Hand: It Can Be Seen as a Way to Connect With Younger Generations
Others argue that using urban slang is simply a way to connect with younger generations. They believe that by using urban slang, marketers and advertisers can reach out to a larger audience and connect with them on a more personal level. Another argument is the fact that urban slang is not exclusive to any one group of people and can be used by anyone.
Is There a Better Way to Connect With Young Consumers?
While urban slang can be seen as a way to connect with young consumers, there are some drawbacks to using it. Not everyone is familiar with urban slang, which can make your marketing and advertising campaigns less effective.
So, what is the best way to connect with young consumers? One option is to learn actual Spanish words and phrases. According to the US Census Bureau, more than 41 million people in the United States speak Spanish as their first language. This number is only expected to grow in the coming years. By learning Spanish, you will be able to reach out to a larger audience and connect with them on a more personal level. In addition, learning Spanish will help you better understand the culture and the people you are trying to reach.
Another option is to use urban slang sparingly. This way, you can still connect with young consumers without offending anyone. Use urban slang only when it is appropriate and necessary, and make sure to explain what it means so that everyone understands.
What’s the Bottom Line?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to using urban slang in marketing and advertising. It all depends on your personal opinion and what you feel comfortable with. If you do decide to use urban slang, make sure that you are doing so in a way that is respectful and not offensive.
For example, the Spanish term pendejo meaning “foolish” or “idiot” might be lost on some people, so it’s important to consider your audience before using it. Ultimately, urban slang is a tool that can be used in many different ways, in many different languages. It’s up to you to decide how you want to use it.