AT&T's Harnesses Internet Slang to Prevent Teen Texting and Driving

With LOL and OMG weaving their way into everyday conversation – and even into the Oxford English Dictionary – it's not hard to see just how much our language has changed in the face of technology. AT&T has embraced this new lexicon as they jump into teens' mobile conversations in effort to stop texting while driving with its new campaign, #X.  

In a continuation of its successful "It Can Wait" campaign, AT&T is asking drivers to join the 5 million participants who have already taken the pledge to stop texting while driving and now also text #X to pause a conversation before getting behind the wheel. The phone carrier has enlisted the help of celebrities like Demi Lovato and Tim McGraw to spread the #X message – helping to explain how no text is worth the risk while driving. The "It Can Wait" website features videos, a Twitter and Instagram feed and even a "create your own meme" page so participants can make fun, customized animated GIFs to share their commitment with friends. AT&T has also created the DriveMode App, which helps prevent drivers from being distracted by silencing incoming calls and texts and sending back automated replies while driving.

#X takes AT&T's powerful "It Can Wait" campaign to the next level, seamlessly integrating its message into teen culture through harnessing the popularity of shorthand or internet slang, while zeroing in on the very channel the company hopes to impact: mobile. Other companies seeking to reach teens with a social impact message should take note of AT&T's efforts to engage them where they are and in ways in which they can relate.

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