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Soap opera-like Internet commercial has divorce for a theme

Procter & Gamble invented the soap opera genre in the 1930s as a way of promoting its products — hence the name. Radio shows evolved into daytime television series, which included such legendary shows as “As the World Turns” and “The Young and the Restless.”

Today, companies like P&G try to reach younger customers over the Internet. One online ad created for P&G has become a viral sensation, even though its theme is divorce.

The commercial was produced in Hong Kong and is in Chinese, though a version is available with English subtitles. In the spot, an attractive young couple is about to finalize their divorce. The husband gives divorce papers to his wife as dramatic music plays.

The wife, who apparently opposes the split, agrees to sign, but only if the husband consents to meet every day for a month, at a site of her choosing. While there, he must hug her. This being a commercial, the husband agrees to this bizarre request.

Of course, the wife picks spots from the couple’s romantic past for their daily embrace. And of course, over time the husband grows to regret his decision. By the end of the month, he asks her for another hug tomorrow, as the wife smiles and leaves.

What does this have to do with real-life divorce? Or shampoo for that matter? Not much. But it has gotten people talking, even beyond the market the ad was seemingly made for at first.

Like a soap opera, divorce can be full of drama and shocking twists — if you don’t have the right family law attorney working for you.

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