Earlier today, news broke that Verizon is merging venerable tech and media brands Yahoo and AOL into a company called Oath. Since then, many people have been asking a simple question: “Why Oath?” Now, I can’t answer this question, any more than I could explain why Tribune Publishing became Tronc. But I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities: Verizon is either launching a subtle viral ad campaign for the 2017 film adaptation of Dave Eggers’ The Circle, or it’s starting a heavy metal band. I’ll briefly lay out my case for both; believe what you will.
The case for a Circle marketing campaign
- Monosyllabic, technically-not-ominous name is perfect for a The Circle subsidiary
- Timely, as The Circle premieres in a mere three weeks
- #TakeTheOath isn’t quite as scary as The Circle’s slogans — like “SECRETS ARE LIES, SHARING IS CARING, PRIVACY IS THEFT” or “ALL THAT HAPPENS MUST BE KNOWN” — but pledging allegiance to a tech company is still pretty dystopian
- Avoids massive restructuring effort required for a rock band
The case for a band
- “Oath” sounds way too metal for a reboot of two aging tech companies
- German band The Oath broke up in 2014, leaving the moniker free
- AOL head Tim Armstrong easily replaceable by musician Tim Armstrong
- Have I mentioned that “Oath” is just an absurdly sinister company name?
What is Oath, really?
This poll is closed
A viral marketing campaign
A heavy metal band