As a longtime viewer of Days of our Lives, I thought that I had seen it all. People dying and then resurfacing, evil “twins” replacing a character, devil possessions were all scripts that have been presented over the years. It was just recently that I viewed something that did shock me, commercials written into the script. Most recently, it was Caroline doing a 30-second advertisement for a frozen stir-fry meal. While chatting with Sami and Rafe about E.J.’s shooting status, she pauses and while proudly holding this frozen meal, begins to explain happily how great the food is, and how she is making a second bag for her grand kids.
It has been public knowledge for some time that Days has been having financial difficulties. The cutting of two longtime, high-paid stars was a must to save money. These budget cuts affected many of the newer characters as well. Many of the cast were let go in order to cut corners.
Marketing has always been a huge money maker, and I am quite curious to see how many dough Days executives bring in for their character approvals of various products. I am also curious to know how many folks are going to run out and buy the product advertised by their favorite soap characters. The in-show “commercial” I continue to refer to is the frozen stir-fry meal. In the show, Caroline announces that her four-year-old great-grand kids just absolutely loved the food, and she was going to have to fix a second bag. If the writers are going to add these “commercials” to the show, shouldn’t they at least make sense? Of course, I realize that nothing on soap operas really seem to be true to life, but seriously, would people try a new brand of food, based on the paid actor’s recommendation?
While some folks might feel that in-show, written-in commercials are no different than any other actor promoting a product, I think it is just a desperate attempt to stay above water. I see nothing wrong to advertising products in a show, but I do think it could be a bit less direct. Show a character walking with a can of Pepsi, or make reference to a certain make of car. But, to stop the show and give a 30-second recap seems a bit odd.
This is just one more sign of the difficult times, for everyone. It serves as a reminder that even Hollywood is being hit hard by the current economic state. While I applaud the fact that executives are fighting to keep Days alive, I do hope in the future, they will change the presentation of these product recommendations.