Monday, October 15, 2007

Crescent Heights -- the future of television?

Proctor and Gamble, which makes Tide laundry soap and pioneered radio and television soap operas, has an Internet soap opera called Crescent Heights. The three minute episodes are designed to be seen on a mobile device or a computer, and there are no commercials. The Tide logo appears at the end of an episode and, as you see in this screen shot, the characters use it for their wash. The key advertising value is in a set of forums where members can discuss the characters, the story, and household topics like stain removal and washing. The discussion site mentions Tide products and has a Tide logo.

You can read more on Crescent Heights and the business proposition here.

In this case, the Internet lets the advertiser produce and distribute their own content rather than sponsoring a show produced by someone else and distributed by a cable or broadcast network. Would this cut cost? Is this a rough, early glimpse at the future of television?

As mobile and home connectivity improve, how will a program like Crescent Heights improve? Would you be willing to watch a football game sponsored by Budweiser on the Internet? Do you think people would be more likely to purchase Tide soap after watching Crescent Heights and looking at the online forums?