In today’s hardscrabble music industry, there’s very little shame in selling out. With compact-disc sales falling off a cliff, licensing is one of the few ways that artists and labels actually make money these days. Take the case of the nouveau tweeny-bopper trio known as the Clique Girlz. Their record label is actually pushing aside efforts to get their music heard in favor of first establishing the group as a commercial powerhouse. To wit, the girls have been commissioned by Topps, Michael Eisner’s post-Disney baseball-card and candy empire, to reimagine the theme song for some newfangled sugary confection known as Baby Bottle Pops. So what exactly is a Baby Bottle Pop, and why does Clique Girlz’s record company and management team think that this path will pave their way into the mainstream? Three words: the Jonas Brothers.
That’s right, in a little-known (and little-publicized) twist of their lore, the Jo Bros caught their big break when they signed on to do a series of commercials publicizing this very same product. They were between record deals at the time, and the exposure they got from these commercials helped convince Disney to give them a big push back in the summer of 2007. Still, if you’re anything like us, you’re shaking your head out of curiosity because you’ve never even heard of Baby Bottle Pops.
Well, for those of you who aren’t already in the know (and we’re sure some of you commenters are), Baby Bottle Pops are the Millennials’ version of Lik-M-Aid. Both share similar characteristics in that they’re basically piles of sugar made to look more appealing by the addition of colored dye and artificial flavor, but the two brands are separated by one crucial difference. Whereas Lik-M-Aid relies on the user to lick an edible sugar stick in order to retrieve the flavored sugar goodness, the makers of Baby Bottle Pops decided to replace the traditional stick with something that appeals to its enthusiasts on a more primal level: a baby bottle–shaped nipple (hence, the name!). Lest you accuse us here at Vulture of being prudes for inferring that there might be something insidious about rugrats all hopped up on a fructose buzz after sucking on some candy-coated nipples, we have to admit that the Evil Genius Quotient of the people who made and market this candy is off the charts.
So while you may never see the Clique Girlz on the VMAs, those of you with Nickelodeon-age children back at the ranch might want to start bracing yourselves in anticipation of hearing a new ear-splitting spin on a familiar jingle on your television sets for the next couple of months.