Who knew we needed a sexy Colonel Sanders to wrap up 2020? Here’s everything you need to know about the Lifetime mini-movie, A Recipe For Seduction. 

What Is A Recipe For Seduction?

Lifetime made a surprise announcement on Monday that they would be releasing the KFC produced mini-movie, A Recipe For Seduction on Sunday, December 13th. Their Twitter post read, “Mark your calendars because Lifetime and @KFC have partnered for a Lifetime Original Mini-Movie you don’t want to miss! ‘A Recipe For Seduction’ starring @MarioLopezviva premieres Sunday at 12PM.” The post included a picture of the movie poster, showing a very buff Mario Lopez sporting the Colonel’s signature mustache and goatee, and holding his co-star Justene Alpert. The announcement was accompanied by the release of a minute-long trailer for the film, which explains the story. Colonel Sanders is the new cook for a wealthy family. Young Jessica (Alpert), the heiress to the family fortune, is supposed to marry another wealthy man, but finds herself falling for the cook. Her mother, played by Tessa Munro, and other suitor, played by Chad Dorek, come up with a plan to take out this troublesome obstacle themselves. 

How Are People Reacting?

The response to the announcement and trailer has been tremendous. Who wouldn’t want to watch something that looks as terrible as this? KFC may have taken a risk with this odd marketing ploy, but they certainly won’t be disappointed with the amount of views it gets. The trailer alone already has over 1 million views on YouTube. Viewers of the trailer pointed out in comments that this is just what we should have expected from 2020; something that makes no sense. 

You may be wondering how, and most importantly why, this got made. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on the inner workings of A Recipe For Seduction. The surprise reveal of the trailer gives us almost no information about how the mini-movie came to fruition. Mario Lopez, who is currently starring in the Saved By The Bell revival, could have picked up the part for publicity for his return to the screen as A.C. Slater, but the other actors wouldn’t have any motive except a paycheck. (Besides possibly Chad Dorek, who also has a bit part in the Saved By The Bell reboot.) The production was definitely funded by KFC, but their motives are unclear, besides making an extended television commercial. Or at least, that’s what it sounds like a mini-movie is.

Product Placement In Television

Although product placement has become commonplace in film and television, A Recipe For Seduction takes it to a new level. Plenty of companies have gotten involved in entertainment since the development of streaming and web content, and apparently KFC is no exception. The marketing potential of creating their own content could be enormous, proven by the amount of attention the mini-movie is already getting. The move for networks to build their own streaming services has increased over the years, with NBC’s Peacock being the latest. Lifetime has partnered with Hulu to make their shows available on the MyLifetime streaming service and with a paid subscription to Hulu. Quick tip – if you’re looking to watch A Recipe For Seduction right at 12PM on Sunday, Lifetime is also part of Hulu’s Live TV service. Several companies not connected to traditional networks like Facebook, Apple and IMDb have also started creating their own content. If A Recipe For Seduction is a success for KFC’s marketing team, could this be the start of companies unrelated to entertainment creating their own content?

The world of streaming has already turned television on its head. This could be another major step into the unknown, not only for industry officials but for viewers. How do you feel about your content being produced by someone trying to sell you something? Not just chipping in some money for a show, but actually being part of the creative process? This mini-movie puts KFC front and center, not making it one of the characters favorite dinners, like in Stranger Things. This isn’t Pitbull mentioning vodka brands in his songs, this is vodka featuring Pitbull. 

How Is This Different Than Other Marketing?

The other major difference in this marketing ploy is the – ahem – adult nature of the content. Most fast food restaurants target children as their main demographics. Ronald McDonald, The Burger King and Popeye are all cartoonish characters meant to appeal to children as mascots for their favorite greasy foods. Until now, the Colonel was one of these; but now KFC wants to make him a sex symbol. Changing their demographic to adults is an interesting choice, but one that will probably work in their favor. Sexy Colonel Sanders is going to get a lot more attention on the internet than cartoon grandpa Colonel Sanders. KFC is rolling with changing times and doing what will get them the most attention online. 

The rise of a new generation on the internet is what will power the interest in this movie. Sexy Colonel Sanders? Great meme. Bad television? What else are we watching these days. The quarantine, the quirky sense of humor many people enjoy online, and anyone who remembers Mario Lopez from Saved By The Bell are going to make this mini-movie an instant classic. Not sure if we’re ready for sexy Ronald McDonald though.