Apple TV+ Undercuts Competition; KFC’s New Colonel: Wednesday’s First Things First

And what you can learn from Hilton's membership program

Sean Astin reprises his role as Rudy, but as Rudy as the KFC Colonel.
Headshot of Jameson Fleming

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Today’s Top Story: Apple TV+ Undercuts the Streaming World With $4.99 Price

Seemingly everyone will have a streaming service by the end of 2020, which means every player from Apple TV+ to Disney+ to BET+ (if you’re noticing a theme here, there is one) needs to do something to stand out for end up suffering through a miserable amount of user churn. For Apple TV+, its differentiator will be the price: just $4.99, which is cheaper than offerings from Hulu, Netflix, HBO and more. It will debut Nov. 1 with an ambitious slate of original series with Oprah, Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Momoa and more.

Read more: Apple will also give those who purchase new Apple hardware a free year of the streaming service. Streaming reporter Kelsey Sutton noted that the service may serve as an additional incentive for customers to stay loyal to Apple products or make the switch to Apple hardware.

Consumers’ trust in brands has fallen to a new low

This shouldn’t surprise you. Salesforce released some numbers that should be worrisome to brand marketers:

  • 59% of consumers now fear that their personal data is vulnerable to hackers
  • 54% think that companies don’t operate with their customers’ best interests in mind

The report revealed data that marketers should consider good news:

  • 91% of customers are likely to trust a company that’s transparent about how personal data is used.
  • 93% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand that they trust.

Read more: Salesforce’s CMO explains why consumers are so wary—and what brands can do about it.

What you can learn from Hilton’s membership program

Hilton is emphasizing its loyalty program with guests for a number of reasons:

  • It helps Hilton eliminate the middleman and eliminate fees from online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia and
  • Hilton can collect more data on consumers, allowing the brand to tailor deals, experiences and perks like whether they need a hypoallergenic pillow.
  • Younger consumers flock to OTAs, but by targeting them on Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, Hilton hopes to build a new generation of loyal customers.

Read more: Travel reporter Ryan Barwick spoke with Hilton CMO Kellyn Smith Kenny to explain the strategy behind the program.

The best of the rest:

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Ad of the Day: Sean Astin Returns for ‘Rudy II,’ Except It’s All a KFC Ad

Well now we know the newest incarnation of the KFC Colonel, and he’s definitely an MVP of KFC: Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. Or, rather, Sean Astin as Ruettiger. Reprising his role from the 1993 biographical film Rudy, Astin is making another play as the football hopeful with big dreams, only this time his eyes are less focused on the end zone and more on a white suit and a bucket of extra crispy.

Workplace Tip: How to keep your agency on top of pop culture and news

Andy Pray, founder and CEO, Praytell, a creative communications agency

We’ve got a ‘Pulse’ crew that wakes up every morning and sends out a digest to the agency with internet stuff that folks may have missed on their commute. It’s a curated and thoughtfully indexed offering that ensures we’re thinking about up to the minute ideas. It’s not a fancy product—it’s an awfully human approach—and doesn’t make any money, per say. But it’s something we think keeps us fresh and ensures our fingers are are on the, well, you get it…

What’s stressing you out? And what are you doing about it?

Samantha Villavicencio, integrated creative at Orcí

Something that stresses me out about the industry now is how fast things are changing. We all knew that advertising was going digital and social, but I think we never expected these platforms to develop and constantly change so much. It seems like algorithms, rules and products are different, and new, every day, and it’s become really hard to keep up. I try to stay on top of all this news by subscribing to newsletters and reading industry publications. But you really have to do your research at least once a week to make sure that what you’re doing is still relevant, and what you’re planning will work with what’s coming.

We’re looking to hear from more non-execs. Let us know what’s stressing you about the industry and what you’re doing about it.