Progresso Takes to Web for ‘Soup Operas’

NEW YORK General Mills has launched a short-film Web site for its Progresso line of soups, targeted to young women at work.

Publicis Dialog New York created the site, It features nine short films, or “soup operas,” which detail the vicissitudes of six characters’ office lives. The films, which run about two minutes each, add a dose of interactivity by allowing viewers to choose to continue with a story line or jump to a new one.

Progresso hopes the Web films are a hit with the at-work women audience. It is aiming for tune-ins during lunch hours that would make them the modern day equivalent of the soap opera, created on radio in the 1920s to hawk laundry and cleaning products to stay-at-home mothers.

The short films take an indirect approach to selling soup, particularly Progresso’s microwavable bowls introduced in late 2005 and popular with women lunchers. The soup is featured in the introduction to episodes, but it does not figure in the video content.

Progresso is running a sweepstakes for users to submit photos of their cubicles, with that deemed “the homiest” by Progresso netting a $750 prize.