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Sam Ford This piece originally appeared on Dec. 9, 2005, on the Convergence Culture Consortium from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Sam Ford blogs weekly there about soap operas in relation to fan cultures and innovative storytelling and marketing campaigns, in addition to blogging about many other new media issues updated multiple times daily.  You can visit his blog here.


Procter & Gamble soap As the World Turns has taken a novel approach to promoting--surprising, of course, since soaps usually do very little to promote themselves other than on daytime television and through soap opera magazines, preaching to the converted, so to speak.

However, the soap is hoping to show its artistry and complexity in a way that breaks out of the conventions of soap opera; several of the actors filmed a dance video that is currently airing on 1,400 movie screens before films, promoting the CBS show.

The dance video will be set to Evan Olson's "Take the World."

Several of the ATWT fan boards have members asking where these videos are airing, as most of them have not seen them.

Is this a good idea? Will it really lead to increased viewership? How can a traditional soap opera like ATWT break through the stereotypes that soaps have against them?

Actor Michael Park, who plays Jack Snyder, says, "Any time we can transcend different mediums, that's the name of the game. We're trying to reach as many people as we possibly can."

The show has featured many actors over the years who have gone on to do well in Hollywood--Meg Ryan, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, James Earl Jones, , Jason Biggs, John Wesley Shipp, and myriad other actors began on the show. The current cast includes Michael Landon's daughter Jennifer and a lot of young actors who have great possibilities for the future, as well as very accomplished television and film actor Tamara Tunie, accomplished stage actors like Scott Holmes, and veterans who have been on the show up to...well...50 years.

Nevertheless, is there anything that soaps can do to draw in viewers who already have such preconceived notions about them?

And what are the benefits to the crossover with Evan Olson?

Any thoughts?


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