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Longevity of Soaps

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Soap milestones and the power of soaps

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Dear Suds Buds,
Longevity of Soaps

Over the past few months, several soaps and soap stars have reached amazing milestones.  To name a few, Days of our Lives celebrates it’s 10,000th episode this Monday, February 21, 2005.  Passions, the youngest of all nine airing U.S. soaps, was given a seventh season pick up. All My Children and Susan Lucci celebrated 35 years on the air.  Y&R’s Eric Braeden, the indubitable Victor, celebrated 25 years in Genoa City.

What makes soaps and their top actors have such staying power?  Is it because they come into our homes five days a week and share their loves and lives with us as if we were family?  Is it because the stories that are told are somehow touch us as no other type of programming can?  Are they just filler for commercials?  That is, after all, how they begun, but for me they have come a long way from simply selling Tide.

Did you know that in some developing countries, soap operas are used to drive home social issues, such as aids awareness, planned parenthood, childhood disease vaccinations, alcoholism, drug abuse, the list goes on.  Soaps are used in this way because it’s been proven that they are the most effective way to get these messages out to the masses and for the masses to heed them.

In our country, soaps have been used to entertain, entice, baby-sit, and also to impart important information regarding socially-oriented issues. But more than that, soaps are a mainstay of our culture.  Everyone I speak to about soaps, has a soap opera story to share.  Whether they are fans of the genre or not, they remember when they grew up and their mom watched Y&R, or they remember Luke & Laura’s wedding, or they know someone who worked on a soap.  Some of my favorite stories include naming babies after soap characters, or planning college classes around a network’s daytime lineup.  Everyone can tell a story about their past that includes soaps. 

Do me a favor. This week, let’s try an experiment.  Ask as many people as you can – whether you know them to watch soaps now or not – what part soaps played in their developmental years.  Ask everyone you meet!  Men and women, grandmas and grandpas, and high school kids. I’d be interested in their response.   I bet everyone has a fond memory of growing up watching a soap.

And to all the soaps and soap stars who are or will be celebrating milestones this year, congratulations.  Keep it up!

Share Your Thoughts:

How have soaps impacted your life?  Do you have a fond memory to share about growing up with soaps?  Tell me on the Criticize the Critic Message Board.

Til the top of next week,

Linda Marshall-Smith
CEO, Soapdom, Inc.

What do YOU think?  Share your thoughts in the "Criticize the Critic" forum  on the Soapdom.com Message Boards

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Linda Marshall-Smith (QueenRuler, Soapdom.com)
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