NEW YORK: FMCG giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) has applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark certain social media slang in an effort to target millennials, according to news reports.

The expressions it is laying claim to include “WTF” (What the f***), “NBD” (No big deal), “FML” (F*** my life) and “LOL” (Laugh out loud) to use in the marketing of its liquid soap, dishwashing detergent, hard surface cleaners and air freshener products, Ad Age reported.

Millennials are a lucrative demographic for the world’s largest consumer goods company, but with smaller brands tapping into trends such as sustainability or subscriptions service or diversity, giants like P&G must adapt their marketing to reflect the changing expectations of consumers.

In comments to CNBC late last year, activist investor Nelson Peltz – who later joined P&G’s board – said that younger consumers do not want ‘one-size fits all’ brands.

“Millennials want these little brands, these local brands that they have an emotional attachment to,” he said at the time.

The company has been vocal about the need to make its marketing more diverse to reflect the changing consumer landscape. “Brands and companies have an important opportunity and a responsibility to make a difference. Doing so can be good for society, and good for business,” said Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of P&G at the ANA Multi-Cultural Marketing and Diversity Conference in late 2017.

“The time is right, because people expect to know more about what brands believe in, the people and companies behind them, and their values and actions on diversity.”

Currently, P&G’s application has not been approved – the US Patent and Trademark Office has sought further clarifications from P&G, which has until January to respond. P&G has not publicly commented on the alleged moves to trademark the phrases.

Sourced from Ad Age, CNBC; additional content by WARC staff