KFC's CMO seems to be at how the “genuine” lifelong mini-film, directed by Mario Lopez, got here collectively

The first question that came to mind when you heard about KFC teaming up with Mario Lopez for a lifetime "mini-movie" could reasonably have been: How do you get 10% body fat on a fried chicken diet?

While the answer to this unlikely conspiracy will be hard to pin down, US CMO Andrea Zahumensky gave Adweek the proverbial secret recipe for how the unlikely pairing came about.

The fast food chain made waves on the internet earlier this week when a poster surfaced showing Lopez as KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders to promote the 15-minute short film entitled A Recipe for Seduction.

The show will debut on the network this Sunday, December 13th at 12:00 noon. The plot follows a young heiress who falls in love with the chef, who has just arrived at her family's estate and who has come up with a secret recipe for – you guessed it – fried chicken. Tension arises with a vicious mother who has other plans for her daughter. Viewers have to tune in on Sunday to see how it ends.

The lively project was in work for over a year: 18 months ago, the KFC media agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland had the first idea for a "unique mini-film concept" that had never been implemented before, "said Zahumensky.

“At KFC, at the beginning of our creative process, we think about how our brand can present itself in popular culture in interesting and unexpected ways,” she said.

Given that Lifetime is known for bringing joy through its vacation movies and content, and KFC is known for bringing people together over dinner, the two made an ideal game.

"For a year like no other, we wanted to celebrate the holiday season and bring the much-needed distraction of 2020 in a way only KFC and Lifetime can," said Zahumensky.

The agency's plan was to put the chain's iconic founder in custom branded content to serve as entertainment, she said. The team then turned to Lifetime, an existing partner of KFC, with the programming option. Given the network's history of working with brands to align them with content like furniture salesman Wayfair, "It took the chance to create a fun and authentic piece to add to the film franchise," It's a Wonderful Lifetime Holiday "to connect," explained Zahumensky.

If the movie feels like any other lifetime original, it's because the network "took responsibility for casting, writing, and producing the first 15-minute mini-movie of its kind," said Zahumensky. In fact, Lifetime and Wieden + Kennedy worked together to create a script that is full of puzzles, suspense, deception and, yes, fowl that one would expect from a piece of Lifetime programming but one that is about love and of course, Fried chicken.

Zahumensky said A + E Networks and Jean & # 39; s Sister Productions were also involved in bringing the episode to life in addition to his record keeping agency. Lopez's history with the network made him a natural choice to star.

"When people see Mario Lopez on the screen, their eyes light up," she said. "Mario is a lifelong legend and we knew he would be the perfect person to play Colonel Sanders on A Recipe for Seduction."

The partnership also has a restaurant aspect: KFC is partnering with Uber Easts to bring fans a meal to eat while they enjoy the movie with a special on December 13-19. There are six free, extra-crispy deals on grocery delivery orders of $ 20 or more on KFC via UberEats.com or the mobile app.

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