Could disgruntled soap opera fans become Hoover Vacuum's most loyal customers?

Soap operas are a dying genre, but many viewers are fiercely devoted. With the cancellation of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children", many people are mourning the loss of two staples of daytime television. In a rather unique PR move, however, Hoover Vacuums is giving soap fans a voice and yanking its ad money from the network.

In an open letter on its Facebook page, Hoover's Vice President of Marketing told fans of the show that the company would be pulling its advertising from ABC as of Friday (sooner, if possible). The letter went on to say that Hoover has created a special email account,, where everyone is invited to send their notes of support for the shows. Hoover will act as middleman, and then send all the emails to its contacts at ABC.

Is Hoover hoping the fiercely loyal fans of daytime TV will remember the company's support next time one of them needs to buy a vacuum? Does the VP just really love Susan Lucci's Erica Kane? Or, is this part of a greater effort to create a connection with new customers? Whatever it is, I think it's an intriguing move.

The wall of Hoover's Facebook page is covered with posts from people thanking the company for its stance. Will the company's following on Facebook grow because it's now broadened the conversation to a new audience? Yep! Will current Hoover owners who are outraged over the cancellation of their shows be more loyal to the company? I think so! Is Hoover onto to something here? I believe it is!

One of the things that makes companies successful when it comes to social media is finding out what its customers are concerned about. Do Hoover's customers want to know the best vacuum to get pet dander out of the carpet? For sure. But, just talking about vacuums all the time doesn't make for great social media. What does, however, is remembering that customers have other interests, too. And soaps, well, those are a big part of everyday life for many stay-at-home moms, seniors, college students, and other people who have dirty carpets!

Want to know how to do B2C social media right? This is a stellar example of a company that's creating loyalty, engaging with current and future customers, and redefining the conversation. You don't have to watch soaps to appreciate the effort here. Kudos to Hoover for not just broadcasting out its message about vacuums, but for also paying attention to what's on the minds of its customers.

* Hat tip to @PawPurrry and @CatsPolitics for tweeting out the letter about Hoover.


  1. WOW! I saw talk of this in a search. Thanks for pointing it out as a Social Media Move.

  2. This created a whole lot of free advertising for Hoover. I'm not sure about the altruistic intentions as I don't think that Hoover cares all that much about saving the soaps. I really don't think they can as there are a lot more companies out there who are willing to buy the ad space that Hoover would be vacating, and ABC knows that. But for a major company like Hoover to take such a stand creates an image of a possible savior, and provides them a lot of press which is all free for Hoover. It is a very wise business move on their part.

  3. I disagree with Tim Shehan. I think Hoover does care about saving the soaps. Most of their ads run during these daytime show slots. But two soaps on ABC getting axed has not ended the daytime soap trade. I don't think CBS will be following suit. Hoover has plenty of places to take their ad money. And Amber, you are correct, this is a perfect example of a brand using social media to it's advantage and to stay in touch with it's audience.

  4. Amber, I find Hoover's use of social media on the demise of soaps intriguing also. And, vacuum cleaners (as well as many other products) aren't too interesting a subject to write about or market without using creativity and issues that engage consumers. Although I haven't watched soaps in years, I am sad to see All My Children go as I used to watch it and many others that are long gone. Great post, Amber.

  5. I just thought it was a really interesting move that Hoover has made. Should be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

    Thanks for stopping by, Jeanie!

  6. Oh, of course. No business makes a decision for completely altruistic reasons. But, as you say, it does make Hoover look like a savior and that's really all you can hope for sometimes is a hero in the story.

  7. Soaps have been undergoing a lot of changes over the last few years to get costs in check. CBS had moved one of the soaps to LA, from NYC, in an effort to save money. Should be interesting to see how the new shows do with the ratings. I imagine that will provide a lot of information to the other networks as to whether CBS's move was a wise one or not.

    Thanks for chiming in, Cheri!

  8. Hi Karen! Thanks for adding to the discussion.

    Yeah, I think most of us gals have watched a soap opera at one point in our lives. Nothing like evil twins and people coming back from the dead to make our lives seem boring in comparison, huh? ;-)

    And, I've noticed Hoover's fans on Facebook have grown by 4,000 since I wrote this. And the wall posts of support continue to grown. That says a lot in my book!

  9. It's so funny...I have not even thought about soaps in a really long time. I was a hardcore Days & Another World fan but can't remember the last time I watched either of them.

    Regardless of their reasons, I thought that Hoover's "step up" was admirable because I could just imagine how I would feel if I still watched Days & AW and suddenly found that they were being cancelled...viewers have invested so much time in the awful that would be.

    With far as my vacuum cleaners first one was & still is a Hoover Steam Vac ( to clean up after the dog's accidents on the carpet) and the regular everyday vac is the Dyson....the purple one that they marketed specifically to "Dog People" animals rule my world..holy smokes...but I love them both....the vacuums & the

    I agree with the other comments that this is also a brilliant business development move...who knows? I am sure they will sell a bunch of vacuums as a result. Here is where I hope that Hoover will be "altruistic". I hope that they will approach any of their customer service initiatives with the same passion as they have demonstrated in this campaign to ensure that the soaps stay on the hair. They are "listening" now that everyone wants to keep their soaps on the air...but will they still be listening once the hub bub about the soaps wears off?

  10. Well, missy, I hate to be the one to tell you, but Another World was cancelled years ago. I grew up on Days and AW, too! No more Felicia Gallant and Cass Winthrop on the air these days ;-(

    And, yes, you bring up a great point Rachel. Having one great moment for any company is super. However, continuing that momentum and dedication is another. Hopefully, the folks at Hoover will realize that and continue in its journey of truly connecting with its customers in meaningful ways.

    Hope you saw the "hat tip" at the end of the post. I wouldn't have written this had you not tweeted about the letter ;-)

    ** Have I told you today how much I LOVE the new header you made for my blog?

  11. Hi Cheri. Don't you think that Hoover wouldn't be willing to advertise during those talk shows which are going to replace the soaps? I don't watch the talk shows so I don't know whether or not Hoover advertises during them. But from what little I have heard about the one replacing AMC, the Chew with Mario Batali, a lot of the current fans will probably watch it. So I really don't think that Hoover does really care as much as they want to make it look like they care. It provides them a lot of good free publicity, and why pay for something you can get for free?

    I do appreciate that you do disagree as long as we agree that it's OK to disagree. Have a nice day.

  12. LOL Cass him! Although I started watching AW because of RACHEL : )

    I did see the "hat tip" but got so involved on my soap opera box...that I forgot to acknowledge..thanks so much..I put a lot of thought into that RT...LOL

  13. No need to acknowledge. Just wanted to be sure you didn't think I stole anything from you. :-)

    Oh, remember Calliope? She was a fun character.

  14. Ok, I'll sounds like a good strategy for Hoover. I'm guessing they had captured a target audience in that time slot. I'm also guessing the ploy created a lot of buzz for them.

    All I know is I have been told not to hoover my food at times; do you think that had anything to do with soaps?

    Good to see ya!

  15. oh YEAH...throughout the entire stole from me...LOL...You are a riot.

    OMG I loved adorable...and not that I can remember the name of her initial love interest but...I do remember that he eventually ended up on Star Trek Next

    Actually "Calliope" appeared in one of my favorite movies before AW...but I didn't know until way later....

    Trading Places...she had a brief moment with like one

  16. Hmmmm. I don't think the overzealous eating had to do with soaps. Although, I'm not a dietician, so I could be wrong...

  17. Actually, I do remember. His name was Eugene. She called him Eug.

    How's THAT for long term memory? :-)

  18. Wow, brilliant move! However you hash it, it works!

    First, whether their ad pulling threat works or not, they will save the $ for the days they did not advertise.

    Second, they have endeared themselves to a big percentage of their primary customers, the very housewives that buy/use the vacuums and are the main soap viewers.

    Third, by making themselves the grievance headquarter, they will be bringing droves of eyes, and clicks to their social sites that would have probably not been possible unless for some give away & prize giving campaign.

    Fourth, They will end up with a good collection of emails and people that are exactly their target market.

    And probably some more benefits I haven't thought of.

    However if this works, I'm not sure if I like the outcome of a company being able to force a TV or radio program play time, based on whether they like it or not. Not so much for the creation of programs, but for shutting them down. I think you can see how this can be a slippery road.

    This is shrewd marketing, but nonetheless simply brilliant

    Hoda (@hoda007)

  19. Hoda! Yay! Your very first comment on my blog! ;-)

    I don't think anyone could reverse the cancellation at this point. It's really all about money. However, Hoover is certainly smart to put itself out there as the face of the #saveoursoaps cause.

    As for companies having the power to "shut down" shows, that does already happen to some degree. On several occasions, network affiliates have boycotted certain episodes of TV shows and they did not air locally. It was always a controversial episode (or at least considered as such) and either objectionable by the local affiliate or by the ADVERTISERS who support that network locally. If it weren't for advertisers, there would be no shows so I think they have more power than we realize.

    I do agree with you, though. It IS shrewd marketing. Hoover's Facebook fan count has grown by 6,000 since I posted this 24 hours ago. It's Twitter following has grown by about 2,000. This campaign has really been good for them, indeed!

    Thanks for stopping by, Hoda! And thanks for leaving a comment. You're a Words Done Write comment virgin no more! ;-)

  20. Hey, I saw that...............I didn't get that kind of excitement my first time......wassup widat...........

  21. Well, I've known Hoda for a year and a half and see him in person frequently. I know he reads my blog, but has never left a comment. Hence, the anticipation was building ;-)

    Nothing against you or any of the other commenters, Bill. I love you all and am filled with glee every time each of you visits. :-)

  22. Fascinating I didn't know about this until I stopped by! Thanks for sharing, it gives me tons to think about.

  23. Yay! Glad to hear it! Thanks for stopping by, Katie ;-)

  24. wait? what???? I know I mostly watch Prime Time but how can ABC kill off OLTL and AMC???? *facepalm*

  25. You're saying what all the fans are saying. It's the end of an era, for sure.

  26. I watch AMC for years after a while the writing got bad and I stopped. I hope they have a new team now because at one time it was on top of their game.
    Thanks for looking*


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