A neologism is a term, word, or phrase in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language.
A protologism is a word coined by an individual or small group that has not yet been published somewhere independent from the coiners.
A homophone is a word that has the same sound as another word but is spelled differently and has a different meaning.
Chili’s is deploying one or more of the above linguistic hacks in the following commercial.
Chili’s doesn’t want its guests to “go out to eat,” Chili’s wants them to go “Out to ‘ITA!”.
Note, that technically, ‘Ita is an abbreviation, a shortened form of margarita. But Chili’s has made the abbreviated form into something more. ‘Ita is now its own word and a call to action.
The question for the restaurant brand is will this word and the attendant phrase catch on? Will people repeat these words: “Let’s go out to ‘Ita!”? And will these words, once spoken, lead people to the neighborhood Chili’s?
Wendy’s managed to enter pop culture with, “Where’s the beef?” Little Caesar’s did it with “Pizza Pizza.” I like the new line from Chili’s, but “Out to ‘Ita” doesn’t ring the same dinner bell.
Agency: O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul