We Love Soaps posted an article this morning from Cincinnatitoday.com, which interviews P&G global marketing officer Mark Pritchard. Mr. Pritchard offers his opinion on why “daytime dramas have run their course.” I find it funny that in the same article, it discusses how instrumental P&G is working to help bring back the dynamics of watching television together as a family. Mr. Pritchard states that “People tell us that they want more shows to watch together as a family, or appealing to all family members." Well, Mr. Pritchard, let me tell you a little bit about my family. My grandmother started out as an avid soap opera watcher, she would listen to Guiding Light on the radio, and later, when it made the transition to television, she followed. When she had her children, they became avid soap watchers. I would be told countless stories on how they would all would sit around the small black and white television, and watch the soaps right along with my grandmother. My uncles included. My mother went onto to college, and when she would come home, she would sit around, and discuss soaps with my grandmother. Flash-forward to when I was born, I followed in my family’s tradition, and became addicted to soaps (that and the reason I was told to either shutup or take a nap when my grandmother’s stories were on). Once a week, my grandmother, my mother, and I, would all get on a three way telephone call and discuss the latest on soaps.
So you see Mr. Pritchard, I disagree, daytime dramas haven’t run their course, it’s all about adapting, and reinventing yourself(this means those who are in charge of these dying soaps) to the audiences. I’m sure my grandmother was hesitant in making the change to watch Guiding Light on television, but she did it. Why? Because she believed, and loved her soaps. She would follow the Bauers, and the Hughes anywhere. When my mother went into the workforce, she was hesitant that a VCR would not record her soaps, but she taped them anyway? Why? Because she remembered the good times she had watching the soaps with my grandmother. Today, I DVR, watch soaps online, and try to watch the soaps at their scheduled broadcast time, Why? Because I remember how we would all come together as a family, and discuss our soaps.
Mr. Pritchard, you are wrong. Daytime dramas haven’t run its course. Tell that to Martha Byrne, Michael O’Leary, and Crystal Chappell, beloved soap opera veterans who love, and support this genre so much, that they are reinventing the wheel so to speak, by taking the successful formula of old school soap story telling to the web. Coincidentally, they were all former employees of Proctor and Gamble, the company in which Mr. Pritchard works for.
I hate when these once a year articles come out, where we get these quotes by the people in charge, who offer their “wisdom”, in one sentence that always speak doom and gloom to the soap genre. When we interviewed Martha Byrne, I learned more about how to market, creative ways to reach your audience, and what executives think in terms of marketing to the audiences, in that one hour, than I have learned from the powers that be in my twenty plus years of watching soaps. You say Daytime dramas have run their course? Show me, don’t tell me. Show me on Twitter, where there are millions of fans tweeting in 140 characters or less, about their soaps day in and day out! Show me at a So Long Springfield event, where thousands of fans show up, and support the cast of Guiding Light. Tell me where you are losing viewers, when myself, and millions of others DVR, or tape their soaps,yet the Nielsen ratings is what you look at, and conclude that daytime is dying. I leave you with the wise words of my grandmother “ if you want it dead, than you will have to kill it yourself!” Of course she was talking about a spider at the time, but it’s so fitting for the daytime genre! :) ~Lauren