Have you ever wondered where the name “Soap Opera” comes from? It’s really an interesting story from an advertising point of view. They began all the way back in the 1930’s as weekday radio broadcasts designed to get the attention of housewives who were at home during the day. The “soap” part comes from the fact that these programs were sponsored by soap and detergent companies. The entire genre was really started and propelled through the idea that the stories were no more than emotional backdrops created around the purpose of advertising and selling soap.
Christopher DeBlasio began working as an actor on soap operas many years ago, and his discovery of this original purpose for the genre led him to where he is today. Chris is the founder and creator of Agency 850, and he’s brought he basic premise of the soap opera genre into the modern world of product placement advertising. In recent years Chris has become a leading figure in the world of Florida film production, and one of his primary claims to fame is the fact that he has allowed local Florida businesses to extend their advertising dollars and reach by using the highly effective method of product placement advertising in film and television.
Product placement is much less expensive than traditional television commercials but has a much greater impact, especially in today’s market when people are more likely to skip commercials or subscribe to commercial-free streaming services. This is where Chris saw a huge opportunity for offering local businesses the chance to promote their products and services through TV shows and movies, creating a win-win situation for smaller companies and the production companies of the films and shows. He’s positioned Agency 850 as the the go-to go-between for this productive partnership.
The newest addition to Chris’ growing company is an office in Atlanta, Ga, a location that has become a film and television mecca in recent years. Shows filmed in Atlanta include AMC’s The Walking Dead, The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, and the original Netflix show Stranger Things, among many others. Atlanta film production is also seeing a huge boom, with box office hits like The Blind Side, Captain America: Civil War, and three of the four Hunger Games movies being shot there. With the addition of Agency 850’s Atlanta location, the company had established itself as the de facto point of contact for local and regional businesses in the Southeast that want to get product placement slots in shows and films.
This is visionary thinking on DeBlasio’s part. The film and television industry is expanding massively at the same time that the traditional models of the industry are declining. Streaming services are producing new original shows and movies at a breakneck pace, and viewers are eating them up – because many of them are better than what Hollywood is putting out. More independent companies are getting into the game every year, and the ability for smaller business to buy advertising through product placement is enticing, especially when those productions become big hits unexpectedly.