Procter & Gamble moves from soap operas to tweets

Procter & Gamble, whose sponsorship and production of daytime TV dramas helped coin the term "soap operas," has pulled the plug after 77 years. Instead, the maker of Tide detergent, Ivory soap and Olay skincare is following its customers online with a big push on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

"The digital media has pretty much exploded," marketing chief Marc Pritchard said. "It's become very integrated with how we operate, it's become part of the way we do marketing." The last P&G-produced soap opera, "As The World Turns," went off the air in September. The show was the leading daytime soap for decades, but had lost some two-thirds of its audience at the end. Over the years, P&G produced 20 soap operas for radio and TV. But ratings for daytime dramas have been sinking for years, as women, their target audience, increasingly moved into the workplace, switched to talk and reality shows, and spent more time using online media and social networking sites.

P&G, the world's biggest advertiser, still buys individual commercials on daytime dramas. But the dollar amount has shrunk. P&G won't say by how much.


Procter & Gamble moves from soap operas to tweets