Lifetime’s latest original movie has all of the genre’s most familiar tropes—deception, threats, forbidden love and attempted murder—along with a surprising twist: One of the characters is KFC’s Colonel Harland Sanders.
Yes, this is a joke—but it’s also a real Lifetime movie. Or, actually, what the network is calling a “Lifetime original ini-movie.” A Recipe for Seduction—starring Mario Lopez as the KFC founder—is a 15-minute branded content collaboration from Lifetime, KFC and agency Wieden+Kennedy Portland, and debuts on the cable network this Sunday, Dec. 13, at noon ET.
The program, which sends up Lifetime’s signature soapy films, focuses on a young heiress whose devious mother has hand-picked her suitor, but finds herself falling instead for Lopez’s Sanders, a new chef with a secret … fried chicken recipe.
The trailer is packed with the moments that Lifetime movies are famous for, with lines like “we all have our secrets” and a scene featuring Lopez bound and gagged as the mother barks, “Just kill him already!”
“We’re no strangers to heating things up for the holidays, just like our famous fried chicken-scented fire log. But let’s face it, we could all use a little distraction this holiday season, so why not fill some of your time at home with a suspenseful drama and the comfort of our world-famous fried chicken?” said KFC U.S. CMO Andrea Zahumensky in a statement. “A Recipe for Seduction is a perfect excuse to curl up at home and escape to your own happily ever after.”
“Through a terrific cast, and with a wink to the unique sensibilities celebrated in Lifetime movies, this co-production spotlights each brand’s POV and marries them in a fun and authentic way,” said David DeSocio, evp of ad sales marketing and partnerships at A+E Networks, in a statement.
Lopez is the latest celeb to play Colonel Sanders in recent years in various campaigns from KFC and Wieden+Kennedy Portland, following in the footsteps of stars like Darrell Hammond, Rob Lowe, Sean Astin, Jason Alexander, George Hamilton and even Reba McEntire.
Lifetime is interested in partnering with other brands to create additional “mini-movies” like A Recipe for Seduction.
As part of the Lifetime and KFC campaign, consumers can order KFC on Uber Eats for delivery and receive six free extra crispy chicken tenders with a $20 purchase or more from Dec. 13-19 via UberEats.com or the mobile app.
The movie’s Sunday debut on Lifetime will be followed by a rebroadcast of Lopez’s new Lifetime holiday movie, FelizNaviDad. Following the premiere, A Recipe for Seduction will also be available on Lifetime’s apps, VOD platforms and its dedicated Christmas Movies site.
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland
Executive Creative Director: Eric Baldwin
Creative Directors: Jarrod Higgins, Lawrence Melilli
Copywriter/Art Director: Christa Prater, Maggie Paris
Head of Production: Matt Hunnicut
Executive Producer: Hayley Goggin
Producers: Danielle Magee, Alex Lianopoulos, Camille Westerberg
Account Team Members: Jesse Johnson, Kimmy Cunningham, Mandy Wakimoto, Megan Russell, Allie Bottinelli, Komal Charania
Creative Operations Manager: Jane Monaghan
Media Team: Samantha Horvath, Kristen Mcnamee, Annamaria Grinis
Brand Strategy: Britton Taylor, Jake Watt
Digital Strategy Director: John Dempsey
Business Affairs: Emily Kahn
Executive Design Producer: Alicia Kuna
Design Producer: Victoria Tengblad-Kreft
Design Director: Patrick Nistler
Designers: David Trujillo, Dave Hagen, Seth Shelman, Corey Bade
Photographer: Saskia Thomson