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|Steve Frame||Oct 19 2007, 11:40 AM|
Note: The following article speaks very negative toward Guiding Light and lists it as starting in 1955 which should be 1952.|
Selling Soap on Web 3.0
Posted by Phil Butler on October 14th, 2007
Holy Cow! Just when you thought Internet marketers had you cornered on every website known to man, Procter and Gamble - the soap opera and soap moguls aim to wash Web 2.0 brains and clothes. The company now offers for your PC and cellphone enjoyment - "Crescent Heights"- an online cit-com/soap opera. This series aimed at young surfers and ring-tone freaks is about a recent college graduate (Ashley) who moves from Cheesehead country to LA. The 3 minute episodes are packed with drama with occasional and almost subliminal Tide appearances. I can just see a 4 car pileup in midtown with the drivers still catching these segments as the cop writes the ticket. Still, we have to admire innovation even if it does come from dinosaur mentalities and methods I guess.
Slippery When Wet
I tell you, these soap people are a slippery bunch (pun intended) when it comes to turning us into square box zombies. It was only a matter of time before they devised a way to pack the cell phone with even more brain numbing numbness. According to Kevin Crociata, Tide's associate marketing director: "We want to speak to people about more than just laundry." I stumbled across this news in a NYT's article by Bob Tedeschi, the story calls attention to the new wave of TV 1.0 metamorphosis into our Web mediums. According to Crociata the reaction so far has been great and as a test reveals its influence purchasing capabilities. Is that a slick way of saying: "You will buy soap?"
The Guiding Light
I had hoped I had escaped my Mom's seemingly endless regurgitation of dramatic character interactions back in the 60's - but evidently there is no end to the chain of drama. P&G started the soap opera disease back in 1955 (oddly the year I was born) with Guiding Light - TV's longest running soap. Even back then subliminal or subtle symbolism played a role as the "light" in the title refers to candles - which made P&G a household word since 1837. I guess the guiding light for many traditional companies is simply to apply technology to tried and true methods. Crescent Heights is being produced by GoTV Networks for the die hard soap fans amongst you.
I can't help but conjure images of online TV series ripe with shameless advertising gimmicks. Imagine Ashley looking down at her iPhone sees her boyfriend cheating on her via a friend's podcast. Then she spills Maxwell House on her blouse from The Gap's online store and quickly dashes some Shout on the stain and pours the Tide in the Kenmore washer. Meanwhile, the cell phone user has driven 3 miles at 60 MPH into the wrong neighborhood - where some real drama might take place. Technology has come a long way, but there is a ring of "old world" in the melody of the mechanics. I can almost see an army of solar powered door to door salesmen lined up outside my eco-home now. Cell phone soap operas! Cell phone soap operas, I think I am already hooked - I used to like The Young and The Restless.
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