In tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, the newspaper covers the story: “Starbucks, PepsiCo Bring ‘Subopera’ to Shanghai“:
“A feel-good film about a girl from the Chinese countryside who moves to the big city to discover love, blogging and Starbucks will premier this month in an unusual venue: Shanghai’s subway. “A Sunny Day,” is scheduled to play exclusively on thousands of high-tech flat screen monitors on Shanghai’s subway cars and station platforms. Tailored for an audience of 2.2 million who cram onto China’s biggest underground railway each day, the full-length feature film will be shown in daily segments of a few minutes each over 40 weekdays, soap-opera style. Subtitles in Chinese will help commuters follow the dialogue over the subway noise, and multiple daily rebroadcasts and tie-ins on the Internet are designed to ensure no one misses any of the cliffhangers.” Instead of an ordinary film, the so-called “subopera” is a blend of drama and advertising. A venture between Starbucks Coffee Co. and PepsiCo Inc. financed and helped produce the drama as part of a campaign that kicks off today in Shanghai to introduce bottled frappuccino drinks to the Chinese market.”
If you haven’t been to Shanghai (or Beijing for that matter) lately, you will notice that there are Starbucks everywhere – at the same kind of U.S. prices (which can be up to a day’s wage for a lot of Chinese). I wonder why something like this hasn’t happened already in major U.S. cities with a lot of commuters – like in New York City, Washington, D.C., etc… ?