Toddlers – The Pop Music Barometer?

With my little one, we don’t tend to expose her to a lot of the sacchrine enriched kid friendly music such as Barney and the like, instead we’ve always taken the approach to let her listen to what we listen to (within reason of course – she’s not down with the Wu quite yet) as it allows us to maintain as much sanity as possible. An interesting observation is that she has been latching onto the bigger pop-music tracks from the likes of LMFAO (by way of Elmo and I Know It), Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and even Swedish House Mafia. Which leads me to believe that she may be something of an anomaly (thanks in part to a Music Geek Dad), or quite possibly a Barometer for pop-music hits.

While teenagers are viewed by marketers as something of a demographic that can set trends, they’ve had a number of

years where they’ve been exposed to a myriad of advertisements and have been conditioned to an extent to their habits. Toddlers are something of an untapped market, they don’t have the depth of experience and may provide a far purer response to something they see or hear. The phrase “Out of the Mouths of Babes” would apply here, expect it may be a response you’re looking for. There are certain ads that come on and stop my daughter dead in her tracks, but the First Choice Hair Cutters ad has been holding her attention since she was little, but lately we’ve been subjected to the likes of “The Monkey Song” (“The Lazy Song”) by Bruno Mars and “We’re Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift. Those songs will get stuck on repeat.

It never really dawned on me that there might be something to this until last week I was flipping past MuchMoreMusic (they still actually play music) and “Don’t Worry Child” by the Swedish House Mafia came on and she started bopping along, as it’s not something we normally listen to on a regular basis around the house. I could see a case where marketers start rounding up a handful of toddlers, put them in a room and start playing some of the new material that is about to hit the airwaves and see what sort of response they get. Sure not all of the kids will respond at all, but I guarantee you that a few of them will have some sort of reaction. And in using those reactions as the barometer, you may see an interesting correlation between top 40 pop songs and those that are quickly relegated to one hit wonder status, or worse yet, the bargain bins. Toddlers may in fact be an accurate pop music barometer.

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.