Soapie By Cellphone a Milestone by Vodacom
Vodacom has started transmitting SoLikeLife, a soap opera produced specifically for cellphones and available free to Vodacom's Vodafone live! customers. More than 1,7-million Vodafone live! users were able to download the soapie, or "mobi-soap", in the format of a one to two minute mobisode (episode) each day. The first series consists of 40 mobisodes.
Emma Kaye, director of new media company Gate 7, said the content had been localised for the mobisoap and its success would depend on the marketing behind it and the ability to use "cross-media solutions".
She said the success of mobisoaps overseas had been about building brand values that consumers could relate to.
SoLikeLife tells the story of two "20-something" South Africans who meet, fall in love and are drawn into a relationship played out on the user's cellphone. Although the storyline contains all the elements of a traditional soapie, SoLikeLife breaks all the conventions of traditional TV as it is presented from the perspective of the two main characters, offering viewers a fly-on-the-wall, voyeuristic perspective of a relationship unfolding in a digital age.
SoLikeLife runs for two months, with a new episode daily from Monday to Friday, and each prior episode would remain available for viewing. SoLikeLife was produced for cellphones by Ochre Moving Pictures and was sponsored by Nokia.