Product placement in programming is a delicate dance. Either you bring it out in full force and surround it with humor or you keep it less obvious than the folks at NBC and the struggling soap “Days of Our Lives.” That’s the general consensus from news coverage surrounding this and comments attached to viral YouTube video clips of the soap hawking Cheerios, Chex Mix and Chinese food.
Days of our Lives is the second longest-running soap currently on television in the United States after General Hospital. But times are tough for soaps. CBS shuttered “As the World Turns” in September. So you can’t blame Days for trying something new to bring in higher revenues.
In this clip, characters are extolling the virtues of Chex Mix while on a romantic picnic. Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) goes on a picnic and raves about the snack food, but her foreign friend has never heard of it. “Are you serious? Have you been living under a rock?” she asks. “It’s so good. You have to try it. It’s like a million flavors exploding in your mouth!”
Said one YouTube commenter: This is a one minute long Chex Mix commercial. Two people from Days of? your lives just happen to be in it.”
In this clip, a Cheerios box gets major placement while the characters are also talking about the product’s low-fat benefits and that’s it’s “not just for breakfast.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The reality is, the folks that like soaps are either getting older than the consumer goods manufacturers want to target or they’re at work when these are running. The new soap opera viewer usually only has time to watch an episode in the evenings, or watch via DVR. And if you’ve noticed, these evening serials (no pun intended) are skewing pretty young with the characters. For the soaps that are still on daytime, the characters are also younger on average, to help capture the younger demos for advertisers.