soap operettes

This is a fantastic Nescafé campaign from the late 1980s.

It’s an interesting variation on the leitmotiv approach: evolve a creative concept over time to deliver increased depth and duration of audience engagement:

The same technique was harnessed in the equally wonderful Nicole, Papa work for Renault Clio a few years later.

Such storytelling is a powerful communications proposition that brands can deliver through conventional media like TV.

However, the proliferation of storytelling media like the Web means we now have many more opportunities to engage people than we did in the 1980s; which brand will be the first to refresh this approach and deliver the first epic  transmedia story?

I’d love to see more examples of these brand ‘soap operettes’ – please share any links via the comments section below.

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4 Responses to “soap operettes”


  1. 1 Alejandro Walker November 22, 2009 at 05:07

    Thanks for this little treasure Simon!

  2. 3 john v willshire November 29, 2009 at 16:23

    I kinda fear that given the short term, sales focused approach of a lot of today’s marketers (whose average tenure is supposedly 18 months nowadays), there aren’t a lot of companies who will give the time/space/money to develop stories like these, even with the transmedia opportunities available.

    • 4 eskimon December 2, 2009 at 09:53

      Absolutely – that’s a big problem that extends well beyond this specific case. I was discussing it with someone yesterday: it feels like too many marketing managers are being pushed too hard to deliver quarterly sales figures, and as a result, they have to forgo brand-building strategies for sales tactics. It’s amazing how few of marketing’s challenges actually relate to how well we understand people and their behaviour!


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