SOAPIE peps up its appeal


LAST year viewers of the country's leading soapie, Generations, might have been excused for thinking that their favourite programme had become a fully-fledged advertising agency for leading brands in the country.

This followed a trade exchange with leading brands making an appearance on the show - either as product placements, or, as in the case of Pep Stores, being written into the script - setting a precedent in the history of soapies.

Generations producer Mfundi Vundla yesterday told Sowetan that this trend of either product placement or making brands part of the storyline will happen again on the soapie as it has proven to be both a creative and a commercial success.

As a result of the innovation one of the advertising agencies in Generations won a contract from Pep Stores to create an advert for the company, which was flighted on the soapie, featuring Queen (Sophie Ndaba).

It was convincing to the viewer as a legitimate advert just as it was a money spinner for the SABC, Vundla says.

Is Generations planning to do more of this?

"Yes," Vundla says. "Last year we had Pep Stores, Capitec Bank and Smart Gym."

Generations was the country's first soapie that was set in a cosmopolitan city and reflected black people's lifestyles in a democratic South Africa.

But bringing brands into a soapie as part of the story had not been done before.

"It has been beneficial for both parties," says Vundla. "It's a revenue stream for the SABC, and through product placement and storylines, Pep Stores has reached its target market."