Just when I thought I’d seen it all comes news that a new, 24-hour network for infantsis launching next Thursday. Called "BabyfirstTV," the channel will initially be available via satellite TV and, later, mainstream cable. Despite vehement protestations from such august groups as the American Academy of Pediatrics that babies should absolutely not be exposed to the boob tube, BabyfirstTV executives say the content will be "safe, commercial free and appropriate."
Well, gag me with a pacifier. This is so perverse, so bogus and so obviously driven by marketers who want to exploit yet another market segment that it absolutely boggles the mind. What’s next? An all Alzheimer’s channel? A 24-hour network for quadraplegics?
I can just imagine the programming on BabyfirstTV. There’s probably the "Tot Today Show" with Baby Katie and Baby Matt, "All My Infants," a searing soap opera that explores the increasingly complicated interpersonal relationships of today’s babies and "ESPNatal," which covers baby races, baby boxing and , of course, baby poker matches.
Can you imagine the dialogue on the "Tot Today Show?"
Baby Katie: "Well our guest today is Baby Louise, who has started a cosmetic line for infants. Baby Louise, welcome. So tell us, why are cosmetics so important for baby girls?
Baby Louise: "I don’t know about you Baby Katie, but I was mortified to see the videos of my birth. No eyeliner, rouge or anything. I mean, I was hideous. Absolutely hideous. And, I’m still dealing with the emotional scars of that so-called special moment. Baby Katie, looking good for baby girls is no longer an option, it’s an essential."
And so on and so forth. FirstbabyTV has to win awards for being the most insidious marketing idea of the year. Here’s hoping babies vote their displeasure by simply channel surfing to something more appropriate, say, Sesame Street, for example.