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If you were flipping through Lifetime on Sunday, December 13th, you definitely came across a bizarre sight. A Lifetime original movie starring Mario Lopez as American businessman Harland Sanders. A Recipe for Seduction centers on a woman named Jessica who falls for a hot new chef, the future Colonel Sanders, much to the chagrin of her scheming mother and riled ex-lover. Harboring a secret recipe for chicken that will change the world, Harland becomes a target for betrayal. A Recipe for Seduction‘s trailer tells you all you need to know. It’s an over-the-top, a sixteen minute satire of rom-coms, filled with cheesy acting and attempted murder.
But why does this movie exist? Short answer, why not? With Mario Lopez starring in the Christmas-themed movie Feliz NaviDAD this year, KFC took the opportunity to team up with Lifetime to deliver a memorable marketing experience for their brand. And it’s done in a fun, unique way. As The Atlantic writer Megan Garber puts it, “This is product placement turned upside down, a story placed within the product.” Rather than reverting to blatant product placement in another movie, KFC has created a movie of their own.
However, this isn’t the first time KFC has dived into unconventional marketing techniques. Just last year, they released a video game called I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator for free on Steam. This was a nice callback for anyone who remembers the Xbox Burger King games in 2006. Between their dating simulator and now the movie, it’s hilarious that KFC has no problem sexualizing their brand mascot and founder.
With Chick-fil-A and Popeyes notoriously sparking a social media war over their chicken sandwich feud, now Jack in the Box recently announced its new Cluck Deluxe sandwich. It’s becoming clear that these fast food chains are coming for KFC’s 60+ year rein in the chicken industry. If that means KFC has to up the ante on its advertising game by turning to brilliant new marketing strategies, then so be it. For anyone who is craving more KFC content, you can watch their entire short film below.
What are your thoughts on KFC’s new Lifetime movie? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.