When is a commercial not just a commercial? Fast food brand KFC and Lifetime answered that question on Monday with news of a project called A Recipe for Seduction, a parody short film done in the spirit of the network’s soapy thrillers—with Mario Lopez as Colonel Harland Sanders.
A trailer for the “film,” which debuts Sunday at 12 p.m. ET on Lifetime, shows Lopez playing a sexy version of the famed mascot who runs afoul of nefarious, high-class elitists who want to steal his fried chicken recipe. In a press release announcing the project, KFC described A Recipe for Seduction as filled with “mystery, suspense, deception, ‘fowl’ play and—at the heart of it all—love and fried chicken.”
“We know what audiences love about Lifetime movies, so our creative team took the lead on scripting the story to make sure it had the same sensibilities and struck all the beats of a Lifetime Original movie—from romance to drama to intrigue,” David DeSocio, executive VP of ad sales marketing and partnerships at A+E Networks, which owns Lifetime, said in an interview. “Then KFC added their brand elements and the cast brought it all to life.”
A Recipe for Seduction was conceptualized more than 18 months ago, but only just filmed this past October amid strict coronavirus protocols, Ad Age reported.
Needless to say, the creative marketing ploy has been a hit thus far on social media. Lopez himself was a trending topic on Twitter by Monday afternoon on the East Coast, and a number of users were more than willing to crack jokes about the intentionally cheesy project.
mario lopez have never met a check he couldn't cash https://t.co/ogV2sRPfdM
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) December 7, 2020
After 15 seconds of deliberation, this is now a Mario Lopez as Colonel Sanders fan acct pic.twitter.com/Z6FrxUs4zn
— Razzball (@Razzball) December 7, 2020
Between Quibi, Peacock, and this Lifetime Original Sexy KFC Movie starring Mario Lopez, the spirit of "30 Rock" has had one hell of a year https://t.co/TBdUemMQgS
— Caroline Darya Framke (@carolineframke) December 7, 2020
At the absolute bare minimum, Mario Lopez should travel around the country dressed as Colonel Sanders in a hazmat suit delivering chicken to promote this https://t.co/MTy8pe8UFv
— Alex Zalben (@azalben) December 7, 2020
this has been a truly wild year but i never expected to read the words "Mario Lopez as Colonel Sanders"
— 🦉𝚍𝚘𝚍𝚊𝚒 𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚝🦉 (@dodaistewart) December 7, 2020
I'm supposed to believe Mario Lopez ascended to the rank of colonel?
— Judy Berman (@judyberman) December 7, 2020
Lifetime has turned into the skid of its reputation before, perhaps most famously when the network produced a mostly straight version of its typical fare with Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig in starring roles. That movie, A Deadly Adoption, was released in 2015; Ferrell later called it one of his favorite projects ever, “partly because it completely baffles maybe 80 percent of the audience,” he said in 2017.
As for Lopez, he’s enjoyed a minor renaissance in the waning days of 2020. In addition to playing Col. Sanders for the KFC ad, he also recently earned strong praise for revisiting his breakout role of A.C. Slater in the sharply satirical Saved by the Bell reboot.
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