Instagram, Royalty, 'Empire' Influence Year’s Top Baby Name Trends

"Yes, the choices Instagram offers to manipulate your photos have become a trending source of baby names," Deb Belt wrote on Patch​.com. Top among them are Lux, Juno, Reyes, Ludwig, Amaro, Valencia, and Willow, says BabyCenter. "At least Lo-​Fi, Inkwell, and X‑Pro II aren’t on the list. Yet." Jackson and Sophia hold tight to top spots; Madison rejoins the Top 10, as BabyCenter Reveals Top Baby Names of 2015. BabyCenter released the results of its highly anticipated annual Baby Names Survey and the Top 100 Baby Names of 2015. Jackson held on as the top boys’ name for the third year, and Sophia leads the girls for the sixth year in a row. Sophia, Emma, and Olivia have now been the three most popular girl names for four years running. Despite the staying power of most names, there was some movement; Madison rose into the top 10 again and ended Madelyn’s one-​year stint as a top name. “Our data shows that the top 10 list stays relatively stable for three to five years. Sophia has been a powerhouse for six years, thanks to the variety of spelling options and the multi-​ethnic, multi-​language appeal of the name. I predict Jackson’s popularity will be more fleeting. We’ll likely have a new number-​one boys’ name next year,” said Linda Murray, BabyCenter Global Editor in Chief. And for the first time, technology and science are emerging as influences on parents’ naming decisions. TV continues as a dominant force, and there’s a cultural shift in our attitudes toward gender. (See below for more detail on top trends for 2015.) "These digital native moms and dads [millennials] are inspired by YouTube celebrities (perhaps your baby will be named Felix after Felix Kjellberg, who has 40 million followers); video game characters (think Lara Croft from Tomb Raider or Jill Valentine from Resident Evil); and drawn from young adult novels," Belt wrote in "Top Baby Names of 2015: Any Surprises?" Based on the names of more than 340,000 babies born in 2015 to moms registered on the BabyCenter website, BabyCenter’s Top 100 Baby Names list combines names that sound the same but have different spellings, making it a true measure of baby name popularity. The website also conducts its Baby Names Survey each year, talking directly to new and expecting parents about their baby name decisions and diving deep into the psychology and trends surrounding baby naming. Top 10 Baby Names of 2015 

Girls Boys
1. Sophia Jackson
2. Emma Aiden
3. Olivia Liam
4. Ava Lucas
5. Mia Noah
6. Isabella Mason
7. Zoe Ethan
8. Lily Caden
9. Emily Logan
10. Madison Jacob

The hottest baby name trends of 2015 Instagram The wildly popular photo-​sharing app Instagram has become a new source of name inspiration for today’s expectant parents. Many of Instagram’s filter names are gaining in popularity as baby names including Lux (up 75 percent since 2014), Ludwig (up 42 percent), Amaro (up 26 percent), Reyes (up 10 percent), Hudson (up 4 percent), and Kelvin (up 3 percent) for boys. Additionally, Valencia (up 26 percent), Juno (up 30 percent), and Willow (up 13 percent) are on the rise for girls. “This is the first time we’ve seen technology break through as a source of name inspiration,” said Murray. “Photo-​sharing is a daily and emotional part of Millennials’ lives, and those two ingredients can trigger love for a name.” According to BabyCenter’s U.S. Mobile Mom 2015 Report, nearly 75 percent of moms use their mobile phone to share photos or videos of their children and nearly 30 percent are sharing photos daily. Royalty Parents have always had a taste for royal baby names, but George and Charlotte are a bit too subtle for today’s parents. If you want a baby name fit for your little queen or king, why not use Queen or King? In fact, the name King increased nearly 10 percent in popularity. But the biggest gains were seen for Royalty (up nearly 90 percent), Duchess (up 75 percent), Reign (up 54 percent), Sultan (up 26 percent), Princess (up 22 percent), and Tiara (up 20 percent). This increase in royal names is likely fueled by celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian, whose son is named Reign, and Chris Brown, whose daughter is named Royalty. New television shows such as The Royals and Reign may also be an influence. The "Empire" Effect The TV favorite, "Empire," skyrocketed in popularity, and parents took note of more than the plot twists and hit songs. Names from the show’s family soared up the baby names chart including Dre (up 77 percent), Lyon (up 61 percent), and Hakeem (up 55 percent). And the name Lucious entered BabyCenter’s baby names database for the first time in three years. Planets and Stars There is a clear celestial theme to parents’ baby name choices this year. The names Venus (up 68 percent), Jupiter (up 50 percent), Sunny (up 43 percent for boys and 18 percent for girls), Gaia (meaning earth; up 32 percent), and Soleil (up 28 percent) are all on the rise. Additionally, Stella, meaning star, is among the Top 100 names of the year and jumped 11 spots (up 14 percent). There aren’t any babies named Mars … yet. “In the sixties, celestial baby names had a hippy vibe, but today’s parents are more inspired by planetary science and space travel,” said Murray. The Gender-​Neutral Baby Name Earlier this year, BabyCenter noticed that neutral names were on the rise and, with 2015 coming to end, we can firmly state that gender-​neutral names (those that work well for boys and girls) are one of the biggest trends of the year. The biggest movers and shakers are Wyatt (up 84 percent for girls and 11 percent for boys), Piper (up 61 percent for boys), Riley (up 48 percent for girls), Lincoln (up 47 percent for girls and up 18 percent for boys), Karter (up 45 percent for girls and up 9 percent for boys), Maxwell (up 39 percent for girls), and Carson (up 39 percent for girls and 14 percent for boys). Or, you could just pick up the latest Pottery Barn Kids catalog to see what names are being embroidered all over nursery items and backpacks! Either way, popular names could be a conversation starter for you when approaching advertisers about targeting customers who are planning to start families in the next 12 months. AudienceSCAN found 4.4% of adults are planning to get pregnant or start families, and a lot of money is spent throughout that exciting time. In fact, this audience is 46% more likely than average to bring home $75,000-$99,999 annually. Consider that Family Starters could be saving up for a down payment on a house, given that 45% currently rent. However, 22% set goals to move into a (new) apartment in the coming year, so they might continue to save but require more space. And keep in mind that 9% of Family Starters are planning to adopt in the next year. And yes, with Instagram inspiring names, you should be targeting them there. Family Starters are 108% more likely than average consumers to have used it in the past month! AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.