1.The last Breaking Bad promo has been released – you won’t be disappointed
2.Super Mario shows us the way
3.Retailer are going after the dorm life by creating their own
4.Loyalty program, done right

1. Walter White tells the tale of Ozymandias. Why didn’t we read THIS in high school English? The tale of Ozymandias – one of fallen kings – is featured in the latest (and final) Breaking Bad promo. Bryan Cranston reads the poem over familiar images of the desert, finally coming to a halt on a shot of Heisenberg’s hat, syncing up perfectly as Cranston crescendos with “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

This promo is in perfect alignment with the tone of the whole show. A fitting final promo for what I’m sure will be a fitting final season.

2. What can we learn from Super Mario? A lot evidently. Gamification isn’t going anywhere. And I’m not talking about Candy Crush and Angry Birds. Although the fundamentals of those games could be used as the inspiration for the training program you go through at your next job. Or serve as the basis for your customer service program.

Take a minute and read this insightful piece from Dan Sanker as he discusses how we are watching ‘users’ become ‘players’ in front of our eyes. He provides some very interesting examples of how gamification is being used to make ‘mundane tasks more engaging’.

What I found to be interesting is how this was inspired by the thought of how different a world this place will be for our kids. For a long time video games and the skills that go with them were viewed as a negative. But, as I watch my own kids work a stylus like nobody’s business I think about how their interaction with consumer electronics is modifying their behavior toward products and systems of the future. It won’t be a matter of ‘wow, this is a cool device, or cool application’; it will be expected. And then I realize; the products aren’t modifying their behavior – their expectations are modifying the products.

3. Retailers pursue higher education. Focusing on back to school is nothing new. Appealing to college students and their parents is also something that we’ve seen a lot about. But now retailers are taking their college push to the next level by focusing on dorm life.

Target may have come up with the best idea as it launched Bullseye University.

Bullseye University is a physical location where five ‘students’ live. You can watch for yourself via a live feed as the students hang out in their rooms – all designed and decked out with Target products, all clickable and buyable. And you can win prizes – what’s not to like? Target calls it a livable shopping experience and I agree. Why spend money on creating and placing an ad when you can spend it on creating entertainment?

4. Now that’s loyalty. Kellogg announced its loyalty program has 90% participation and the company is now able to track more than 2.5 billion packages across its portfolio.

Say what? Yea, Kellogg – with its crackers and cereal and Pop-Tarts is using its Kellogg’s Family Rewards program/ platform to engage consumers by having them enter in a unique code listed on their product (so Kellogg can see what you bought and where you bought it) in exchange for points that can get you free stuff.

Several advantages here, no? See what promotions are working; see hot spots by geography; record critical customer data from willing consumers. Yea, I’d say it’s a pretty successful program. And while I agree with a point made in this article that marketing will shift to promoting platforms v. brand I do believe you need the balance. The brand builds the equity and the trust that leads to a consumer wanting to participate in a program like this. And the brand promotes / sustains that message. This is how marketing is going to need to evolve – success will be measured in specifics and finally have a direct tie to the sales process.