They sing it at daycare: baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo. They sing it in their rear-facing car seats: mama shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
They sing it at bath time and dinnertime and way past bedtime: daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Parents of children under four know exactly what this is about.
For everyone else, welcome to the inescapable cultural phenomenon that is Baby Shark.
The catchy children’s song has gone explosively viral, saturating the internet and the neural circuitry of toddlers the world over. It’s the latest pop culture trend to captivate a young audience, perhaps the youngest ever, fuelled by animated, K-pop-style YouTube music videos that have racked up more than 3billion views.
The tune itself isn’t exactly new: it started as a simple nursery rhyme more than 20 years ago, a go-to sing-along on school playgrounds and summer camp grounds. In 2015, it was reinvented as a series of whimsical music videos by Korean children’s entertainment brand Pinkfong. The most popular version features a line-up of cartoon sea creatures alongside singing and dancing Korean children.
For the song’s littlest fans, it is an irresistible, fantastical delight.
For children’s entertainment marketers, it’s one more leap toward the globalisation of childhood consumerism.
For parents, it’s a maddeningly infectious ear-worm that haunts at all hours.
The song has been a massive success for Pinkfong and its parent company, SmartStudy, which has created more than 100 videos based on Baby Shark. The most popular version alone has been viewed more than 1.6billion times on Pinkfong’s YouTube channel, according to Jamie Oh, director of global marketing and partnerships at SmartStudy.
The tune, translated into 11 languages, has climbed to first place in children’s music on iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon, Oh says. It has also inspired an onslaught of spin-off home videos shared under the hashtag #BabySharkChallenge, where people record themselves performing the song and dance. – Washington Post