X Æ A-12: Decoding Memes

Who is He?

On 4th May, Elon Musk and his partner, Claire “Grimes” Boucher announced the birth of their first child together. 

Elon Musk, the CEO of ventures such as Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company is known for his somewhat eccentric behavior. Besides having launched a car into space, a number of his tweets seem to have no comprehensible explanation — not something one would expect from the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world.

Naturally, when he informed his 33.8 million Twitter followers of his baby boy’s name — X Æ A-12 — it did not come as too much of a surprise to most people.

Wondering how the name is pronounced? Continue reading to find out!

The explanation and the pronunciation…

Of course, it didn’t take much longer for the news to blow up and take over the internet — especially because this was Musk’s first child since his triplets in 2006. As more and more people on the internet started speculating and came up with theories about how the name is pronounced, the internet was flooded with memes:

Grimes broke down the components of the name on her Twitter but that only went on to confuse people more because it still didn’t clarify the correct pronunciation for the name.

In a podcast with comedian Joe Rogan, Musk revealed that the name was mostly decided by his partner. His only addition to it was the “A-12”. This, unsurprisingly, was a tribute to pioneering aerospace tech — the Archangel 12 which he pointed out to be “the coolest plane ever”.

In the podcast, Musk said that the right pronunciation of the name was “X Ash Archangel”. Consequently, the internet came up with memes about the problems the child would face in his daily life as he grew up and would probably change it as soon as he attained the legal age to do so.

…and other problems with the name.

Since X Æ A-12 seems more like a word that meets Facebook’s criteria for being a strong password or a name for a robot with artificial intelligence than a baby’s name, the internet had a field day.

The newborn had more memes trending about his name than any of the Kardashian-Jenner babies did! This consequently also sparked memes about how the family would react to the fact that he could be a threat to their popularity when it came to strange names.

 

The baby was born in California. So while Musk announced the name on Twitter, memes were made about how they would face difficulties to get the baby’s name registered since including numbers or symbols in a name is against Californian laws.

Where there is a trend, there is a brand following it!

A number of brands such as Durex, Pampers, Paytm, GoDaddy, and Cofsils among others also jumped in on the trend and took a dig at the baby’s name. 

Here are some of the best memes that brands came up with:

Incorporating meme trends like these into campaigns works greatly in favor of brands because of their topical nature. Such campaigns appeal directly to millennials, thanks to their updated knowledge of meme trends. 

The Indian Meme Community has pages that have follower counts of up to almost 5k and with the number of pages that exist, reaching out to millennials and Gen Z is much easier through memes than it is with ads that are most likely to be skipped.

On a different note, we are just sad that Elon Musk missed out on an opportunity to name his baby Melon Musk!

Just a name took the internet for a spin! Still wondering how memes function in the favor of brands?

Youngun India is here to assist you with all things “meme”!

Article written by Yusra Ahmed

Team Youngun India

A team of millennials bringing Brands closer to the Indian Meme Culture.

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