Go to USC for the Education. Stay up late for Burritobox.

I must be hungry today.  It’s that same hunger which drove me to the Jack in the Box on Figueroa at 30th in the middle of the night for a couple of greasy burgers and tacos. You remember those days, don’t you? If you don’t, not to worry because I have pictures.

The company that builds Burritobox kiosks has opened a location at the University of Southern California, making it the first campus in the nation to host the famed vending machine.

“We thought it was an amazing opportunity to bring fresh product to the campus for the students that have late night munchies,” said Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality.

He Krisy, I remember I’d eat just about anything at 2:00 in the morning, but I might have swung my vote to visit your orange, touch-screen burrito kiosks that offers a choice of five $3 burritos, which are hormone- and antibiotic-free, and available 24-hours a day.     If there’s anything a college kid doesn’t need are more hormones, and 24 hours – which means all-nighter to the typical Trojan – is appealing.

“It’s like the Redbox for Burritos”

Ray Hardjadinata, a graduate student studying business administration thinks that the new system will soon be a student favorite. “I have a feeling this is more than just a fad, and we will start to see many more Burritobox locations pop up, both on and off campus.”

Find out about Burritobox, at: http://tastetheburritobox.com/

Read the article in the Daily Trojan, at: http://goo.gl/zNI0bP


Ronald McDonald endorses new Taco Bell Breakfast Fare

In a clever guerrilla marketing stunt worthy of ruffling a few and driving some sales, Taco Bell scored the endorsement of some fellows named Ronald McDonald for its new breakfast menu.

Don’t take my word for it. Watch the video for yourself:

The video was created by ad agency Deutsch LA, which recruited 25 real people with the name Ronald McDonald.  Now, my friend Jack Box has been calling me with his own idea for a spot….

I just read your very first Twitter Tweet #firsttweet

Don’t worry if you can’t remember what your first tweet was about. In celebration of its 8th birthday, Twitter has made it easy for you to find and re-read your very fist tweet.

(I joined Twitter back in 2009 and have generated more than 11,000 tweets since then.)

Enter your Twitter username at  http://www.first-tweets.com, you can  and instantly pull up that intelligent, insightful, and funny first tweet you posted. In my case, it was a deadly dull journalistic inquiry asking to get in touch with a press contact for a restaurant.

First-tweets.com let’s you read other Twitter users first tweets, too.  Read mine at https://discover.twitter.com/first-tweet#stiel

SXSW 2014 Wrap-Up: NPR’s Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

We spent our spring break at SXSW listening to bands who’s music will linger in my ears longer than their names , enjoying local food favorites (as well as way to much free food and drink thanks to sponsors and hawkers of every imaginable e-gadget and web-enabler), pressing interactive buttons, and admiring the massive spending and attempts by marketers to grab my attention.

Stephen Thompson discussed NPR’s favorite discoveries at SXSW on a recent airing. Mentions included British jazz-punk group Melt Yourself Down, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl’s The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, and the instrumental, electronic group Anamanaguchi.

Soloist Vancouver Sleep Clinic and the Korean rock group Jambinai were among the NPR favorites.   Don’t forget to download NPR’s (legally) free mix,  The Austin 100 which will be available until April 2.

Private Label Cards: Dead or Alive?

Arif Damji, director of strategy & development at 500friends wrote a nice article about private label credit cards in today’s Direct Marketing News.  That got me asking, “Are Private Label Cards Dead on Arrival?”

When I ran a large oil company’s payment programs in the early 21st century (O.K., from the mid-1990s to around 2006), it’s Private Label Credit Cards, not including the co-branded MasterCard cards, represented around 20% of the company’s fuel sales.  Around a billion gallons of fuel were paid for annually using its Private Label Credit Cards.

More important, the “share-of-fuel purchases” among the cardholders themselves was on average 25% higher than non-cardholders each month. Retention was equally impressive, with private label cardholders remaining customers for an average of eleven years, about 40% longer than non-cardholders.

What does this mean from a numbers perspective? Fuel marketers translate their metrics into gallons and margins.  That means each Private Label Credit Cardholders bought on average 2,745 gallons more fuel from the company over their lifetime vs. non-cardholders, worth an additional $411.84 in fuel margins each (based on a 15 cent/gallon margin).

Today, the definition of “private label” could and should include other payment form factors like prepaid, gift cards, mobile apps, and other yet-to-be-imagined private label payment enablers being crafted on dining tables and in garages across the world.

Damji tells us private label is actually growing.  He also poses some interesting ideas about private label loyalty. Check it out and let me know what you think:  http://www.dmnews.com/got-plcc-what-it-is-and-3-reasons-you-also-need-a-loyalty-program/article/338520/



Isis launches NYC taxi promo with American Express

(Graphic: Business Wire)Isis Mobile Wallet,  the payment venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, has partnered with New York City Yellow Medallion taxi to offer 50 percent back in statement credits exclusively for American Express cardholders who pay for their ride using their a Isis mobile wallet-registered smart-phone and linked American Express card.

For a complete description of promotional rules and conditions, or to register your American Express Card, visit www.americanexpress.com/taxi. To learn more about the Isis Mobile Wallet, visit www.paywithisis.com or follow @PayWithIsis on Twitter.

The promotion runs through June 1, 2014.

Apple introduces CarPlay

Apple was at the Geneva Motor Show to introduce CarPlay, a new service that will be integrated into the native interface of vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo “this week.”  

From a button on the steering wheel, drivers will be able to activate Siri to enable distraction-minimizing ways of making calls, using Maps, listening to music and accessing their messages—with a word or a touch.

Read more: http://www.eweek.com/apple/apple-carplay-to-arrive-in-mercedes-ferraris-volvos-this-week.html/

Sport Chalet pole vaults MasterCard to new issuer

Sports Chalet announced that it has dropped its previous issuing partner and has teamed up with First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, to launch a new edition of the Sport Chalet MasterCard. The program will allow customers to earn rewards, and in some locations, receive their new card instantly.