Reaching the Male Consumer by Way of Daytime TV Soap Operas

Cynthia M Frisby
Missouri School of Journalism

I'm not going to beat around the bush. I'm a man in my 20s and I'm hooked on soaps. Rarely do we macho men admit it, but I know I am not alone. Some of my male buddies-a chef, a senior in college, and a data processor-watch soaps. The retired father of three and grandfather of four who lives next door to my parents are dedicated to the afternoon lineup. I even read soap magazines-digest, weekly, all of them for fun. Sometimes clerks will scan the magazine, look at me, narrow their eyes and ask, 'Is this for you?' Like many people, I used to think that soap viewers were like Michael Keaton's character in the film, Mr. Mom - crying everyday, staring at the TV screen while ironing, curled up on the couch, in a bathrobe stuffing their cheeks with ban bans, and clipping supermarket coupons. But as I [a male] became more immersed in daytime dramas, I found that [Mr. Mom] was just one of the stereotypes. They're my way of relaxing after work. Simply put, it's mind candy. What better way to forget about deadlines? 
(Brown, 1995)