Lifetime’s Commercial-Break ‘Mini-Movie’ Returns in Sequel From Olay

Lifetime is trying to turn a commercial break into a holiday tradition.

Last year, the A+E Networks-backed cable outlet showcased a 15 minute “mini-movie” that starred actor Mario Lopez as KFC scion Col. Harland Sanders. The steamy short poked fun at the network’s famous soapy dramas. At 8 p.m. Friday, Lifetime will bring out a new short film, one that is devoted to showcasing Procter & Gamble’s Olay. “A Merry & Bright Makeover” features Monique Coleman, who has starred in Disney’s “High School Musical” and is slated to appear during the premiere of Lifetime’s “A Christmas Dance Reunion.”

“You won’t find a more engaged audience than Lifetime viewers hunkering down for ‘It’s A Wonderful Lifetime’ holiday movies, and we leverage that passion to the advantage of our partners,” said David DeSocio, executive vice president of ad sales and partnership marketing for A+E Networks, in a prepared statement. “Our custom mini-movies are a heartfelt and highly engaging way for clients to connect with consumers.”

A+E pursues its mini-movie concept as traditional TV networks try to offer new kinds of commercials to an audience that is increasingly wary of traditional ad formats. Streaming-video venues like Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu allow subscribers to watch their favorites with fewer ads  – and in many cases none. If advertisers can come up with commercial concepts that are as compelling as the programming they barge in upon, so the thinking goes, they might get consumers to pay more attention than has become the norm.

Olay plans to use the short to highlight its new skin care product, Vitamin C + Peptide24 Moisturizer, which will be featured in a story about a smart scientists who accompanies her boyfriend home for the holidays and prepares for a big evening out with the help of his savvy sister Eve.  Olay will also run ads and promos and offer a giveaway that started around Thanksgiving and will continue until Christmas.