Will.I.Am: Laying the foundation for future fans

My favorite one-year-old came by with her parents the other day, and apparently one of her favorite songs right now is from “Sesame Street.” But not like “Teeny Little Super Guy” or some of the pinball songs that I loved from the ‘Street back in the 80s. Nope, her favorite song right now features Will.I.Am, someone whose videos are just as popular with her parents.

I was amazed by this. And there are plenty of other examples of contemporary artists appearing on “Sesame Street,” including Jason Mraz and Feist.

And it’s not just limited to “Sesame Street” – “Yo Gabba Gabba!,” another popular kids’ television show, routinely features Biz Markie doing a “beat of the day,” and groups like Chromeo have performed songs.

I really can’t decide what is going on here, because obviously the target audience for these shows has *no* idea who these artists are.

Since I work with lots of companies about their brand and reaching new audiences, I have to wonder if these artists are cleverly laying the groundwork for future fans. If your kid likes the song on “Sesame Street,” after all, wouldn’t it make you more likely to buy more songs like that for them? Or are these shows just finding ways to keep the adults entertained while watching with their offspring? I feel like kids are going to be really confused when they get older and hear the *actual* songs that these performances are riffing on. Even for me, every time Feist comes on the radio now, I can’t help but hear “1, 2, 3, 4, monsters walking ‘cross the floor” in my head, instead of the actual lyrics.