Proctor and Gamble To Put Millennial Acronyms on Detergents

Containers of Tide detergent on grocery store shelves in New York on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.
Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Millennials are apparently still not doing their own laundry,* and Procter & Gamble wants to change that.

The world’s largest consumer products company is attempting to trademark millennial acronyms like “LOL” and “WTF” to use with their dishwashing and laundry detergents and soaps. The company, which owns Febreze, Mr. Clean, Tide, and others, filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to use these acronyms, along with “NBD” and “FML."

If you don’t know what those acronyms stand for at this point, LMGTFY.

CNBC reports that “Millennials are an important potential customer for consumer packaged goods companies,” and previously spoke to “activist investor” Nelson Peltz, now a member of P&G’s board. Peltz told them last September that millennials don’t want “one-size fits all” brands.

"Millennials want these little brands, these local brands that they have an emotional attachment to," he told CNBC.

So, basically, they want brands that appear to be personally designed for them. Talk about a “me, me” generation.

Informing consumers that a product smells good or cleans well (though those labels are subject to obvious hype) apparently doesn’t matter to millennials. No, they need memes and 10-year-old acronyms in order to be persuaded to buy a product.

Even I think millennials (the millennials that give this millennial a bad name) might be better than that. But if P&G succeeds in these trademarks, I wouldn’t put it past millennials to purchase brands that seem niche but are actually owned by a huge conglomerate. They need those “niche” brands to wash their Che Guevara T-shirts.

*For the record, this millennial reporter does her own laundry.

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