Aylo: Another Branding Moment?

August 24, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid. Also, I have inserted an asterisk (*) instead of a vowel to sidestep some of the smart software which is making certain types of essays almost impossible to find. Isn’t the modern “mother knows best” approach to information just great?

I wish I had gone to MBA school. My mind struggles with what pod-famous people describe as one of the most significant marketing decisions. Okay? I guess. I worked for a short time at a company called “Bell+Howell” which had acquired a company called “University Microfilms” from Xerox. How’s that for a genetic analysis. I recall one of the incredibly dull drill bits boring me with tales of the “first” devices for a “personal office system.” Obviously this former  Xerox manager now with his machine oil slick hands on the controls of a high-technology company was proud of what I considered a case study in pounding nails with one’s head repeated over and over: “Mr. Arnold, we do not say to our assistants, ‘Xerox this for me, please.’ We say, “Photocopy it, please.” Yeah, I still go to the instant print store and say, “I need 10 Xeroxes of this document, please.” The teen behind the counter, grunts, and asks, “One side or two?” I think the person understood my use of the word “Xerox.”

8 20 apple

This is not an apple. An apple is the proprietary, trademarked, registered, and fiercely protected name of a company that makes a mobile phone. If you thought this was a fruit, you are not paying attention. MidJourney delivered this perspiring apple on the first try. Do not use a word on the stop word list in your prompt. Also, do not order a “coke” when you mean cola drink. Do not say “Xerox” when you want a photocopy. Do not say “p*rn” when you want Aylo (not the musician, thank you).

You get my angle of recollection: Xerox machine in the college library becomes Xerox a verb to make a copy. Hand me a Kleenex. The same. Also, I will have a coke. When I say this at the GenX restaurant near my office, I get this: “We have Pepsi products?” My response is, “Sure, whatever. Thank you.”

What happens in my lectures for law enforcement and intelligence professionals if I show edited images from P*rnhub service? My hunch is that the word P*rnhub does not mean Aylo. For some cyber crime investigators, one brand sticks. The name “Aylo” is going to be something one has to learn. Remember. I am 78 and I still say, “Xerox copy.”

P*rnhub Parent MindGeek Changing Its Name As New Owners Seek Fresh Start” reports a story which adds to this year’s case studies about product and service branding. The article reports as allegedly actual factual:

MindGeek — which has faced scrutiny in recent years for allegedly hosting content involving revenge p*rn, child sex abuse, and victims of sex-trafficking — is rebranding to the name “Aylo” effectively immediately, the company said. The “Aylo” name is likely to lead to some head-scratching — but a company spokesperson said the word was chosen specifically because it doesn’t have a meaning and can’t be found in the dictionary.

I think that the female singer Aylo may find that running a query for her music may produce some unusual results for her teenaged fans. Obviously MindGeek / P*rnhub does not agree. I think I should say, “The new owners of P*rnhub do not agree.” I would wager a copy of my October 2, 2023, keynote for the Massachusetts/New York Association of Crime Analysts’ speech that the marketing wizards who “created” or possibly “borrowed” the word are uninterested in this performer:

Aylo ist next. Niemand sonst derzeit verbindet so authentisch ein Gefühl für die Straße mit einem Gespür für großen Pop. So hat es die Berlinerin mit nur einer Handvoll Songs zur heißesten Newcomerin im Deutschrap gebracht. Hunderttausende Fans auf TikTok können sich nicht irren: Aylo ist echt – und sie ist ein echter Star. Aylo ist jeden Tag am grinden. Mit Tracks wie Kein Limit, Wach, Feuer und Blender deckt sie das komplette Spektrum ab, das sie so besonders macht: von Liebesliedern bis Ansage, von Drip bis Depri, von Super-Pop bis Straße. Und manchmal auch alles gleichzeitig.

The new owners of this well-known vendor of adult content is Ethical Capital Partners. I love the branding of the buy out firm. It pairs the ethos of modern business and the life blood of an MBA: Ethical and Capital. Perfect for adult content and what the cited news story positions as “hosting content involving revenge p*rn, child sex abuse, and victims of sex-trafficking.” I wonder if Socrates when writing or more accurately compiling Nicomachean Ethics thought of positioning his argument in terms of revenge p*rn, child sex abuse, and victims of sex-trafficking. Who knows? Greece had a different moral view in 350 BCE from an MBA working at a financial services firm I would hazard.

I looked up the Canadian company and learned: 

Ethical Capital Partners (ECP) is a private equity firm managed by a multi-disciplinary advisory team with legal, regulatory, law enforcement, public engagement, capital markets and investment banking experience. We seek out investment and advisory opportunities in industries that require principled ethical leadership. ECP invests in opportunities that focus on technology, have legal and regulatory complexity and that put a value on transparency and accountability. ECP’s philosophy is rooted in identifying properties amenable to our responsible investment approach and that have the potential to create attractive returns over a compelling time horizon.

Socrates would have understood. What do you think?

This branding effort is likely to be as confusing at Twitter’s becoming the letter X. I want to point out that searching for certain letters and words can be a challenge. Smart search engines have smart word lists. If you are not familiar with this silent helpers, navigate to this list and get a sense of what may impair findability.

Those MBAs have a knack for making interesting decisions. I love that word pair “ethical capital.” Will it become a bound phrase like “White House” or “Wall Street”?

Stephen E Arnold, August 24, 2023


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