I was so delighted to see that “Baby Shark” (do dooo do do do do doo do) has now gone so viral that as of last week it’s a Billboard Top 40 Song. It’s number 32, above a song by Ariana Grande. It’s been watched more than two billion times on YouTube, and at least 500 million of those were my kids so I feel some real ownership in this.
In the wake of the news, the beb was full of parental moaning. From Jimmy Kimmel: “I don’t think I’m overreacting when I say whoever is responsible for it should be locked in prison for the rest of their lives, and then when they die, their bodies should be fed to the very sharks they sang about.”
I think I’m legitimately the only adult as entertained by the many variations of Baby Shark as my kids. Sure it gets stuck in your head for a fortnight. So does “Spoonful of Sugar” and every song from Moana. One of the reasons the new Mary Poppins movie was such a colossal disappointment was that no one walked out of there humming a single song because they were all so forgettable. Baby Shark can’t be both that much of an ear worm and also not genius.
There was also a lot of indie hipster pearl clutching at the news. There were all kinds of think pieces about how YouTube has changed the face of music. And how visuals are now an essential part of creating a hit song. Blah Blah Blah.
My takeaway was this: It’s a gigantic middle finger to VCs who always want to tell founders that motherhood isn’t a big market. For all the obsession over created things aimed at teens and young adults, look at the power children have as culture shapers because you get the double whammy that kids tend to watch things along with their parents, unlike teens. You have this weird barbell of a grip on popular culture with the very young and the middle-aged that skips the people everyone else obsesses over marketing to. I like our in-jokes. I like that I can hum Baby Shark and every parent and every child has a reaction and every teen/hipster/college kid is confused.