Sexy Colonel Sanders; Digital Avatars for Hire; How to Creatively Use Slack: Friday’s First Things First

Plus, Google is tweaking its algorithm again

There have been at least five versions of sexy Colonel Sanders.
Headshot of Jameson Fleming

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A Brief History of Sexy Colonel Sanders

This is the marketing story you didn’t know you needed until now. We found five different times when KFC turned Colonel Sanders into a beefcake. KFC made him the main character in a romance novel and once recreated him as a virtual influencer. Most recently, KFC lovers could try to woo him in a dating simulator. It’s weird. It’s wonderful.

“We’d argue that Colonel Sanders has always been sexy,” Andrea Zahumensky, CMO of KFC U.S., tells Adweek.


Read more: Editor David Griner explores the reinvention of the traditionally wholesome mascot.

This Agency Negotiates Contracts for Cartoon Avatars of Celebrities

genies bitmoji celebrity instagram avatar agency

Your company is launching a new product and you’ve decided at the last moment that you want an NBA superstar to be the face of the campaign. It’s the day before your new line drops, so what do you do on such short notice?

Sign the digital avatar of the star player you want, of course. It’s something Genies does with its new talent firm, Avatar Agency, which negotiates brand partnerships on behalf of these digital doubles. It can secure the talent in less than 24 hours at a fraction of the cost.

Read more: Reporter Patrick Kulp explains the rise of synthetic media and the benefits of working with a digital celebrity.

Google to Reward Original Reporting in Search Results

It’s a bad day for aggregators. Google is tweaking its algorithm to account for news outlets that do original reporting and their “overall reputation for original reporting.” For digital aggregators who rely on digital advertising, this change could be disastrous.

In the blog post, Google pointed to original stories from outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, ESPN and The Hollywood Reporter to illustrate the kinds of reporting it had in mind.

Read more: Reporter Kelsey Sutton explains Google’s reasoning behind the move.

Just Briefly: The rest of today’s top insights

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Ad of the Day: Ilana Glazer Is Not a Fan of Running in Nike spots

There are plenty of people perfectly content with not breaking a sweat as they move.

These new Nike Joyride ads are for them—and they’re so much fun. In a series of three spots, that reluctant runner is played by Broad City star Ilana Glazer, and it’s hard to imagine better casting.

Watch them all here.

How Marketers Are Creatively Using Slack

Steven Moy, CEO, Barbarian

At Barbarian, we use Slack as more than just a file sharing and messaging tool; it’s an essential tool for our culture of collaboration. We create channels that act as open calls for anyone in the agency to answer client and internal briefs. It’s proven that good ideas can come from anyone and anywhere, and Slack allows us to not only give everyone a voice, but in many ways truly democratize the creative process.

Katie Keating, co-founder and co-CCO, Fancy

We used to have these incredible group text chains that would only make sense in the actual moment that the text was coming through because the subjects would bounce around so much. Slack has helped us organize our random thoughts into all these different areas we’ve set up. Client Projects, Special Interests, Inspiration, etc. The funny thing is the one channel no one uses is #random.

Steve O’Connell, ecd and partner, RTO+P

We agency-crowdsource our Twitter handle using a Slack channel. Throughout the day, people toss in ideas, quips and links to shout out, and our social department picks the best ones to tweet out.