The Baby Shark fad
The Korean Invasion of the Philippines is now complete. Pinoy teen-aged kids are now religious admirers of K-Pop music. That includes worshiping the stars and the way they look, which is why they go to beauty salons owned by Koreans that seem to have cropped up like mushrooms everywhere. Mom and ate are Korean teleserye fanatics who watch on regular TV and on demand when the series is over but they still want to see how great-looking Goblin is once more.
Then this year, Korea took on the children, toddlers in particular via the phenomenal Baby Shark song and video. You know the one that goes Baby Shark doo doo doo, doo doo, doo… And because the Baby Shark song also invites Mummy Shark and Daddy Shark and Grandpa and Grandma Shark to join in song and dance, then you have the entire family going all Sharkey and Korean to please their shark-loving babies.
Baby Shark is more nonsensical than the I Have Two Hands and Jack and Jill we grew up with. It is certainly not in the same league as Sesame Street or Disney. But it is so infectious. You really have to hand it the Koreans as far as tapping on public tastes is concerned. Why, knowing what the people would like is almost instinctive for them.
Baby Shark is a creation of PinkFong, a South Korean media firm that is a subsidiary of Smart Study. It is a set of interactive apps and videos, plus books and toys that encourage kids to sing, play and learn. The PinkFong blurb says that these stimulate the five senses and encourage brain development through educational songs and stories that entertain the whole family.
The popularity of Baby Shark shot to the top when somebody came up with the Baby Shark challenge. This entails shooting videos while dancing to the Baby Shark tune and then uploading these on the web. K-Pop stars like the Girls’ Generation, Black Pink and Red Velvet got the ball rolling and soon everybody was doing it.
These videos are now all over the Internet featuring both celebrities like James Reid, Nadine Lustre, Marian Rivera, Drew Arellano and the Acapellago, and anybody, like some soldiers out in Marawi, who just wants to dance and be part of the Baby Shark craze. Why even Pokemon Picachu and Jollibee have joined the challenge with their own video.
As of this writing, the Baby Shark video has already been viewed 130 million times. And this number does not include all those other videos that are part of the Baby Shark Challenge. There are now 3.5 billion cumulative views. This means that Baby Shark is now running neck-to-neck with that other Korean phenomenon, Psy’s Gangnam Blues which is also in the 3.5 billion bracket and which has turned Gangnam Street in Seoul into a popular tourist attraction.
And mind you, the Baby Shark fad is not only at its peak in Asia but has also reached other countries in Europe and the Americas. PinkFong is on a roll. Not a bad thing really. The firm’s toy heroes are helping children to learn while at play and encouraging participation by other members of the family in educational activities. I think it is really great that there is something like Baby Shark, which is one excellent way to foster family togetherness.
It is not only the Baby Shark video that is doing great. The song itself is in iTunes’ latest Top 20 hit list for the Philippines.
Here is the chart: Call It What You Want by Taylor Swift; Havana by Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug; Perfect by Ed Sheeran; Strangers by Before You Exit; Young, Dumb and Broke by Khalid; TWICE by LIKEY; Wolves by Selena Gomez and Marshmello; Gorgeous also by Swift; Hellevator by the Stray Kids; Dive also by Sheeran.
Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay; Too Good At Goodbyes by Sam Smith; Ready For It, once more by Swift; New Rules by Dua Lipa; Burning, also by Smith; Baby Shark from PinkFong; It’s You by HENRY; Wait by Maroon 5; Versace On The Floor by Bruno Mars; and That’s What I Want also by Mars.