Colonel Sanders, object of fantasies. Plus, Apple’s new ads: Wednesday Wake-Up Call


This post is by Angela Doland from Latest News - AdAge


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Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.

A Colonel Sanders dating game
If you’ve ever harbored secret fantasies about Colonel Sanders, you’re in luck. KFC, agency Wieden & Kennedy and production company Psyop teamed up to make a Colonel Sanders-themed dating sim, a subgenre of video games about  dating or romance. It’s called “I Love You Colonel Sanders," and it stars a hot, anime-inspired avatar of the KFC founder. 

You probably have questions. Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz explains

“I Love You Colonel Sanders” gives you, the player, a chance to win the heart of the company’s white-suited, bolo-tied founder. The premise, according to KFC, is this: You are a student at a culinary institution called University of Cooking Academy for Learning. Colonel Sanders, it seems, will be a fellow student...

This is real, it debuts on Steam on Sept. 24, and it’s totally in line with KFC’s attempt to plug its mascot into pop culture whenever possible. May the actual, non-avatar version of Colonel Harland Sanders (1890-1980) rest in peace.

The #AppleEvent
For those who missed yesterday's product launch event, Apple condensed all the news about the iPhone 11, Watch Series 5 and other new offerings into a zany summary video that’s two minutes long. Forty-eight seconds in, there's a demonstration of the much-discussed “slofie,” the term Apple wants us to use for slow-motion selfies. The voiceover on that summary spot, funnily enough, sounds just like Apple VP of Marketing Communications Tor Myhren, as As Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz points out. (She’s asking about it.) Diaz compiled the day’s five best Apple promo videos, while Ad Age’s Garett Sloane has the event’s top takeaways, like the $4.99-per-month pricetag for Apple’s new subscription video service, Apple TV Plus, which is less than what its competitors charge. 

More companies are tapping women as CMOs
Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports on companies' progress in hiring women for top marketing jobs:

“Of the marketing leadership appointments made in the first half of the year, 48 percent went to women, marking an all-time high, according to a new report from executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, which has been tracking CMO moves for six years.”

That’s welcome news for anyone still reeling from the fact that Forbes just released a list of 100 innovative leaders that had only one woman on it. 

Just briefly: 
CBD scrutiny:
The Federal Trade Commission sent letters of warning to three companies that sell CBD creams, gummies and other products, The Wall Street Journal reports. “The letters warned that it is illegal to advertise a product that can prevent or cure a disease without reliable scientific evidence to support such claims.”

Demystification: Salesforce is running a new global brand campaign to explain what, exactly, it does, George P. Slefo reports in Ad Age. The tagline is, “We bring companies and customers together.” 

Carriage wars: "ESPN alerted 'Monday Night Football' viewers that it and its Disney siblings could go dark in homes serviced by DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse," Ad Age's Anthony Crupi writes. What we’re reading: The Cut’s portrait of the complicated quasi-friendship between infamous Instagrammer Caroline Calloway and her one-time ghostwriter Natalie Beach is quite a read. This is Beach’s side of the story, with lessons about mismatched expectations, 20-something life and the weirdness of Instagram fame.

Video of the day: Jack Ma just retired from China’s Alibaba Group, the online shopping giant he founded 20 years ago, stepping down as executive chairman. To mark the occasion, the quirky executive dressed up as a rocker—complete with studded leather jacket and Mohawk—and sang in a stadium full of Alibaba employees. (Ma is known for elaborate performances and costumes as company events.) Watch him croon “You Raise Me Up” with Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, who is taking over his title. 

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