As the secrecy and mystery around KFC’s chicken recipe has waned in recent years, the fast food giant pivoted to creating edible monstrosities. It has also turned its founder-cum-mascot Colonel Harland Sanders into the centrepiece of an I’m Not There-style multimedia ad campaign, featuring a variety of actors portraying the white-haired chicken slinger in different scenarios.
Sanders has also crossed paths with the Justice League during a brief swing through DC Comics’ multiverse that also introduced an entire group of alternate-reality Harlands, all of whom shared a profound love of deep-fried poultry. In a world where the Colonel and RoboCop have become one, the Colonel has competed in the WWE, and played the lead in an all-male dance revue, there doesn’t seem to be much that KFC corporate’s not willing to let Sanders do in order to move product. Take, for example, the company’s latest stunt: a partnership with Lifetime.
Mario Lopez stars as Harland Sanders in A Recipe for Seduction, a Lifetime-produced “mini-movie” (it runs 15 minutes, according to AdWeek, which makes it basically an extended commercial). It features the Colonel at the midst of a wet, greasy, and extremely campy forbidden romance. When Sanders, a travelling chef, arrives at the palatial estate of an heiress soon to be wedded to a man of her mother’s choosing, his food and his charms prove to be a recipe for drama and overwrought camera angles.
Before you go and reflexively groan to yourself “ugh, why is KFC doing this?” consider that a) this is the sort of nonsense that brands do, and b) this is far from the first time that people have attempted to frame Colonel Sanders as an object of desire. In the grand scheme of things, A Recipe for Seduction almost seems overdue considering how absurd fast food marketing campaigns have gotten.
It’ll be impressive if A Recipe for Seduction actually ends up making “sex” and “KFC” two ideas a person can have in their mind at the same time without getting queasy when it premieres Sunday, December 13 at high noon on Lifetime in the U.S.