Lifetime Seeks (Un)Real Sponsor for Fictional Show

Lifetime is in the market for a sponsor for the reality dating competition show Everlasting.

What makes the opportunity unusual is that Everlasting isn’t a real show. It’s the fictional show-within-a-show where the main characters of the Lifetime series UnReal work.

Lifetime will air the second season of UnReal later this year.

Even if Everlasting were a real show, it might be a tough sell. Last season, one of its contestants committed suicide, just the highlight of the show’s backstage drama.

“We’re looking for the right marketer who has the sensibility, the quirkiness, that could sort of have fun,” concedes Amy Baker, executive VP of ad sales for Lifetime.

Baker sees the advertisers fully integrated into plotlines of the show.

“You can just see Constance Zimmer [who won awards playing Quinn King, Everlasting’s devious executive producer on UnReal], saying: ‘Damn it! What ware all these pistachios doing all over the place? The network told us we have to find a creative way to integrate these pistachios in to the show,’” Baker said.

“It’s not for everybody, but we are getting very close and we think we’re going to be able to nail it,” she said.

Baker is also looking to get an automaker sponsor to integrate into UnReal. But that would be a more traditional integration, with characters riding around in the client’s vehicles.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.