Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why are soap operas called ''Soap Opera''?

This question has been intriguing my soapy brains I did some investigations and found a great explanation for this question. So here goes...

Soap Opera - Goes back (1939) to the early days of radio suspense serials, which were mainly sponsored by soap-makers; the "opera" part is an echo of the earlier "horse opera"—a Western (1927).

You might be asking now, why would a soap company sponsor such a thing?...

In the 1920s, radio was booming, and broadcasters wanted to get advertisers in on the act to increase their station's profits. So radio stations convinced businesses that sold household goods to sponsor radio shows. 
Since they were on during the day when the viewing audience was predominately housewives the demographic was perfect for companies to promote household cleaning products.
Soon, all the networks had serial aimed at women, and companies selling cleaners and food products rushed to sponsor the shows. For example, Proctor & Gamble's Oxydol soap powder sponsored a popular serial drama in 1933.

Soaps moved from radio to TV along with most entertainment forms in the 1950s. Despite the intervention of evil twins, presumed-dead spouses, vengeful lovers, and the occasional vampire, soap operas have been going strong ever since.

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