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Illustrated Soap Ads - the good, the bad, and the oddities

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Posted (edited)

While looking at the TV Guide ad for Capitol that I posted in the Capitol thread, I fell into a google-hole of soap print ads


It was interesting to look at how CBS ads changed with the decades (Can you match the names with their images in the GL ad, and was India the only woman in the history of soaps who wanted to look older than her age?)


NBC ads went from earnest (what does it mean to be "half in love"?) to amusing


When I think of NBC I think of their classic illustrated ads - like this Cecile ad from the 90s (where the unrealistic perspective of the compact really annoys me), but check out the copy on the DAYS ad for a sizzling half sibling romance


I also enjoyed the classic NBC contest ads (Would you rather attend Felicia, Sally, or Kayla's wedding? & Are they trying to trick us by showing the DAYS bride as a brunette?)



ABC changed over the years but seemed to be influenced by the NBC illustrations


Some illustrators may not have been as talented as others which lead to these odd images - Does RH Jill have a sidegig as Sandy in Grease?  What's with Siobhan's large hand?  And why is SFT Suzy marrying Grant Show from RH?


Dynasty's odd illustrations matched the oddity of the Two Krystal's plot (was Krystal being played by a ventriloquist dummy?)


And Kim Zimmer must have been pleased when CBS switched from illustration to photos

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Edited by j swift
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  • j swift changed the title to Illustrated Soap Ads - the good, the bad, and the oddities
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Posted (edited)

I enjoyed these so much that I decided to make a game.  - Who's that supposed to be?


Name the soap, the character(s), and the actor for each picture. 


Try to submit your answers using the spoiler button (it looks like an eye), so that there's no cheating. 


I've added the soap using the spoiler button if you need a hint.


#1 - We'll start easy with a classic Sandy Dvore image from


#2 may look like a comic book but it's from


#3 from the same ad


#4 I included both members of this couple because she is unrecognizable to me in illustrated form


#5 The other part of this couple would have given it away too easily


#6 She's dressed for bed, not a black tie event


#7 Looks like a generic image of a soap actor, but the character was so popular that he was on more than one show


#8 - Does the headpiece give it away (or the eyebrows)?


#9 a classic TV Guide caricature (hint not Falcon Crest)


#10 To be fair, the covers of these novelizations were probably intentionally obscure in order to avoid paying the actors for their images.  So, bonus points if you can guess which characters they are trying to portray.


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The winner gets a trip to Roman and Diana's Greek Wedding (time machine, airfare, and hotel not included).

Edited by j swift
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Oh, what fun!



















Boy, that does look a lot like Susan Sullivan, but ...




Yes, it's exposition-heavy, but I have a soft spot for this premiere ad for B&B.

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I wish I could find ads from DOOL's "Gutsy. Glamorous." response campaign.

And whoops, sorry, @j swift, I realized I didn't choose an illustrated ad. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2021 at 10:59 PM, Paul Raven said:

The illustrator must have had something against ATWT if this and the #3 above are anything to go by.

I like the mid century pencil illustrations the best, even though the shading makes it look like every actress could cut a steak with those sharp cheekbones

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7 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

Would these rather creepy drawings entice you to devote 1 hr each morning

I don't know which is weirder, the afro on the lady in the Morning Star ad, or the idea that woman in the Paradise Bay ad played her guitar like a stand up bass?

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2 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

The Mary Stuart sketch bears no resemblance whatsoever!

I thought that was supposed to be Alice Horton and Nancy Hughes on top.

4 hours ago, j swift said:

OLTL Viki with a split personality is very cool

I love it! I hope Gillian has it framed in her home. I would hang that in my own office.

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