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New Blood Entry — YouthLingo

Award: Yellow Pencil

Duolingo / 2021

Learning a new language can be a dull process. And often you’ll learn all kinds of swear words and slang first. Not exactly the words in your textbook. Or Duolingo.

So to help young people learn a new language we created YouthLingo.

A new series of courses that teaches you what you really want to learn – swear words, real slang and expressions used by real people.

To help us we called in some substitute teachers, who are experts in language – musicians. We’ll use their voice for audio exercises and lyrics for translation. One artist for every language.

What did the judges have to say?

"A killer insight about what young people really want to learn and a brilliant, achievable strategy for giving it to them."

Ben Hughes, VP, Creative, Squarespace, Inc

"Exceptionally cool."

Christopher McKee, Creative Director, Wunderman Thomspon

"Bold and presented in a way that was memorable. The insight was tight. It had edge. It was simple and felt focused. The 'substitute teacher' angle was very on-brief. The 'teachers' were well-chosen and we felt it would genuinely inspire the target market to sign up."

James Sellick, Creative, Mother London

"Smart insight. This stuck with me because of its use of substitute teachers. What a memorable way to get people interested in learning a language. Plus, they were smart about the choice of channels. Instead of just writing and mocking up a series of ads, each tactic made sense for the idea and the audience."

Allen Kwong, Creative Director, Taxi Toronto

"A good way to hook in young adults, executed beautifully."

Ruxandra Drilea, Senior Creative, Publicis Italia

"YouthLingo was unique because of how it created its own cooler cousin ‘sub-brand’ to engage a new audience. It's a smart integrated idea that incorporates all the right pieces and people in all the right places."

James Kuczynski, Creative Director Brand & Marketing, Duolingo

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