News - Soap Buzz

20 April 29th, 2013 How Innovative Marketing Campaigns for AMC & OLTL Offer New Twists & Promotions For Soaps!

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler/TOLN

In a banner day in the history of soap opera, with the bonafide smash hits of the premiere episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live in their brand new online and digital homes, The Hollywood Reporter put out a spectacular piece today which takes a look at just how Prospect Park and The Online Network’s unique approach to the marketing of the two soap operas, who have now literally come back-from-the-dead, were promoted at every level to entice long time viewers, grab a new generation of viewers, and spice up the long-suffering and often struggling marketing/promotional landscape of the soap opera daytime format.

Prospect Park’s Jeff Kwatinetz enlightened THR on some of the key strategies to the return of AMC and OLTL with social media being a big part of the overall concept: “Our plan was to go viral. We’ve done that by constantly putting up good content, whether its stories about what’s going on or lots of pictures from the set. We have created a number of special pieces just for social media.”

Courtesy/TOLN

The All My Children Facebook page went up February 6 and now has almost 8 million users a week. All My Children and OLTL have about half a million “likes” each on Facebook.   The cast has also made numerous visits to Google Hangouts, answering questions from fans and sharing stories.  They have also created original videos meant to be comedic such as “Goats Screaming Like Humans For The Return of One Life To Live” and “Suzy F****n Homemaker: How To Use Hulu Tutorial.

“I believe we’re the first premium television launching online in an ad-supported way,” says Kwatinetz. “HBO, Showtime and Netflix have done it but we believe we’re the first mainstream content that is advertiser based and online to do this. “The shows are innovative conceptually and overall, and a lot of our advertising is innovative as well. Until now no one has really done what were doing.”

Prospect Park also took the traditional route hitting marketing at every angle from: “purchase of print ads in Parade, TV Guide, US Weekly, Soap Opera Digest and Soaps In Depth. There has also been a national campaign of radio advertising along with on-air promotions and contests on pop stations like Z100 in New York City with prizes including a walk-on role in one of the soap operas, set visits, and trips to New York for a screening of the soaps by I Heart Radio and a red carpet premiere on the NYU campus held earlier this week

Courtesy/DenyseTontz

They have also bought time on cable TV and digital channels. In addition, they have generated publicity by sending stars from the soaps (many of whom were on the ABC version) to appear on Entertainment Tonight, Wendy Williams, Access Hollywood and elsewhere. The marketing plan has also seen ad time bought on TV networks, although there was resistance from the major networks who air daytime soap operas!”

Stunt casting is also another angle The Online Network is taking where you will see JWOWW, Riff Raff, and other names familiar to the “reality” or music genre who will make appearances on the two soaps.

Kwatinetz related this message: “We are marketing to the television watching audience many of which already watch online as well.  Many don’t however. So we are doing TV and radio ads and billboards and not just relying on social media and online networks because we’re trying to reach the television viewer overall. I think that is innovative.”

So AMC, OLTL, and long time soap fans, would you agree that that Prospect Park and The Online Network’s marketing strategies have paid off?   Do you like the way they are attacking this key component of business for awareness and to drive viewership to Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes and eyeballs to Pine Valley and Llanview? Let us know your thoughts!

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  1. Avidreader72 says:

    It may be too early to tell how effective the strategy truly worked, but one thing is clear — they have had a visible presence online and pulled out many stops promoting both shows.

    I hope that the online push continues and that the OLTL and AMC stars continue to be very interactive with fans and websites, and continue to promote the shows. I think it is imperative that the actors and Propsect Park continue this for the shows to truly succeed.

    I know this is a bit off-topic, but I would be curious to know what Brian Frons has to say about these shows being resurrected.

    Reply

    David replied

    I don’t every care to hear anything Brian Frons says. I was disgusted when I discovered through Wikipedia that he was once a writer for OLTL. Most people would then invest in the success of a show rather than their downfall. Thank God for the power of the people. We fans refused to let these shows die!!

    Reply

  2. su0000 says:

    The soaps have arrived into the digital world of the 21st century, and they will never be the same… They will fly to heights never imagined for the soaps in 1970.
    It is like tasting a forbidden fruit :) and wanting more.

    I do wonder if RC and FV and all the others have tuned in ??
    If so- I’d bet they wished they were free to be able to creative with no restrictions..
    I can only imagine GH on the internet wow ..

    Reply

  3. su0000 says:

    WOW…
    All My children
    and
    One Life to Live

    are being show on comcast/xfinity via HuLu on xfinity on demand..

    go to; xfinitytv.comcast.net …………….. search for them, enjoy ..

    Reply

    Lin replied

    Isn’t that only if your provider is comcast?

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    Yes, I believe so but not sure..
    I have Comcast so it is available for me on-line ..
    Someone who doesn’t have Comcast would need to try and see if it works for them..

  4. Mark Smith says:

    Really angry that hulu blocked Kindle Fire users from watching the premiere episode of OLTL, with a “platform not supported” error. There is a “hulu+” app that you can pay for on Kindle Fire, which I was considering subscribing to, but they can forget that now, that they hung us all out to dry to watch an episode that everyone else got to preview for free! Waited 11/2 years for this day, my whole family is bitterly disappointed. There are a lot of us Kindle Fire users, but I guess they figure they can by without us!

    Reply

    Lin replied

    Mark Smith, to watch on anything other than a computer you have to use HULU PLUs. that was said over and over again on every media. Hulu is not blocking anything. HULU is only for computers. Period. You can watch on your ipad, iphone, etc. or whatever else (I don’t have any of those devices so I don’t know which ones) on HULU PLus. Don’t you have a computer? If not, HULU plus is $8 a month. That is not very much money. I have no idea about Kindles. But this was really well publicized what HULU was for and what HULU pLus was for,

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    HuLu did not block anything .. check amazon for that one :)
    Kindle is Amazon and they have their own type HuLu , Amazon Prime, and HuLu would be their competition in a way, perhaps..
    Don’t use an app just go internet to HuLu..
    does the kindle support ”flash?… if not you are outta luck ..

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    It is not HuLu;;

    Q-How do I watch videos if my kindle fire hd doesn’t support Adobe flash?

    A- unfortunately there is nothing that Amazon can do about having FLASH on their tablet computer, neither can Apple do anything to get FLASH onto their iPads either, as this is a problem from Adobe (the creater of FLASH).

    Adobe is NOT allowing any tablet computer with an operating system by Apple (iOS) or Google Android (like the Kindle Fire) to have access to use FLASH.

    upto about 6 months ago, Adobe was letting these machines run FLASH, but then they changed their minds; so if you want FLASH on a tablet computer, then you will have to get a Windows based tablet computer.

    Reply

    Christy replied

    from what I read, hulu plus is the only way for hand held devices of many kinds, can watch. The regular free hulu.com works on desktop computers with high speed internet connection.

    we have free wi-fi at work I could have used at lunch time to watch, but that would mean I’d have to pay $7.99 a month just to watch. I decided to go with the free/desktop version.

    Reply

    Vanessa replied

    Hulu can only be accessed on your computer. All tablets (not just the Kindle Fire) , mobile devices and devices hooked up to a Tv require Hulu Plus.

    Reply

  5. Jovin says:

    A year ago, many people (myself included) proclaimed soaps a dying genre. Now, they are all the rage, the talk, and the buzz. There was not this much mainstream coverage of soaps when there were 20 soaps on the air. Last year they were down to just four, and there has never been this much palpable energy behind promotions and fan involvement in these shows! It is awesome to see! Soaps are no longer the invisible step-child…it is cool to rally behind and support soaps now! It is awesome to see! Prime Time continuing dramas (AKA soaps) have popped up all over every channel, AMC and OLTL are back in new formats, and that is good news for the genre. Anything can happen … Prospect Park could do SO much! They could do limited runs of long-gone soaps like Another World, Santa Barbara, Guiding Light, As The World Turns, etc. They could do movie specials, or “event” programming like one-shot reunion programs. They could be what Soap Net never could…a channel featuring all soaps all the time. They have invested the money, built the production facility, and the sky is the limit. I for one, am thrilled and excited.

    Reply

  6. MikeT says:

    Please keep us posted on the ratings–would love to see ABC get egg on their face !!

    Reply

  7. Christy says:

    UMMM …. no, I’d say not. The marketers that did the job, was the fans! no goats, or swearing homemaker prompted me to watch. I don’t watch cable tv, the only tv online I’ve watched are the soaps, and usually they are years old, not new episodes, so no, none of their marketing schemes interest me. Actually their advertising choices thus far, remind me of the epic failure that JCP just replaced! ha!

    Reply

  8. Jules says:

    I’ve also seen promo adds on Perez Hilton just before his videos start.

    Love to hear just how much money and effort they’re putting into making these shows a success. While I’m not convinced their plans went “viral” (not in the way things go “viral” these days anyway), they certainly did keep interest alive with promotion in just about every print or media outlet and innovative in their approach. I’m so glad to hear day 1 was successful and can only wish them many, many more years of the same outcome. Just don’t give up on soaps or soap fans!

    Reply

  9. MarkInFLA says:

    The above billboard…wouldn’t it be great if it was across the steet from ABC studios!

    Reply

  10. kim says:

    Instead of concentrating on stunts and the use of curse words just so you can, the writers need to work more on storylines! Victor turns up alive and barely anyone acts suprised about it except Tea but her suprised reaction also wasnt well played! I needed more shock from everyone and someone fainting like Tea from disbelief! Whats with the overuse of sh…? I didnt see Tea using the fbomb like it had been previously mentioned and that scene turned out fine without it! So less concentration on how many foul words and better concentration on better storytelling! Victors return was such a letdown after waiting this long to see it!

    Reply

  11. Ricky Ortega says:

    I absolutely believe the marketing has paid off. I mean AMC went to #1 on the iTunes TV Show Chart and OLTL is not far behind. Just the fact that people are paying for the soaps shows more than enough, that it paid off.

    Reply

  12. Darlene Kinslow Anderson says:

    I didn’t know that the Kindle Fire problem existed. I am so sorry for them because this new venture is ROCKING to me! I think this is the future of television–to be online. Here we can see what we want to see, when we want to see it–no more being at the mercy of the dorks who schedule all the good shows at the same time on all the networks. I love how fast the time seems to fly–the action seems more condensed and there seems to be less of the extra fluff that made soaps move so slowly. I really like the shorter commercials, and I am going to write to all of them who are supporting the new venture. I can’t afford a new car, but I can thank them anyway. I will buy what I can and let them know it is because they are helping me see my show. I think OLTL outclassed AMC for the kick-off show. I have yet to see today’s episode. I am saving it for this afternoon. Such joy reigns in Mudville!!!! Thank you Prospect Park, Hulu, the brilliant writers and favorite actors, the companies whose commercials are paying for this and all of the workers at all the levels I don’t even see! I am ONE HAPPY CAMPER!

    Reply

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