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August 2008

Non-Dorky Bike Helmets

I admit to ego surfing - not so much out of vanity but because in this day and age, it's fairly common to monitor your personal brand, especially when you're a blogger.

It used to be that the only other Stephanie Rogers that consistently showed up in my Google Alert was this one, the folk-rock singer that locked in my namesake URL before I did (but was kind enough to let me take a photo with her on stage when I randomly met her in Chicago one time).

Stephanierogersband

More recently, a new Stephanie Rogers has been popping up on my Google Alerts - this one is a writer for the green blog EarthFirst, and while I religiously read her headlines, I've never introduced her content on CultureJunkie.

Until now.

The topic of her recent post is too good not to share: Non-dorky Bike Helmets.

Bike_helmet

How cool are these?!

According to the other Stephanie, A group of Danish designers has created bicycle helmets that look like hats, but include the chin strap (and presumably, padding). Copenhagen-based company Yakkay sells them for about $120, and although they're not yet available in the US, an international launch is expected soon. 

Or, you can just opt for a home-made Viking model, like this one:

Helmet

Safe (and stylish) riding!


...and I thought AMC was innovative.

When Don Draper started following me on Twitter, I thought it was a brilliant social media play by the Mad Men creators at AMC (or their agency).

His profile has all the markings of an "official" campaign: well-designed background, accurate name, location and bio, and most importantly, a Twitter feed that was truly aligned with the weekly plot updates.

Soon, other characters from the show began following me, and it looked like AMC was developing a series of back stories for the show available only on Twitter (reminiscent of what JJ Abrams did online for LOST). Again, I thought this was brilliant.

But now it seems that AMC has asked Twitter to shut down the feeds because they were created by fans, not the cable company. What?!

This is an incredibly short-sighted move by AMC, and one that makes it clear that they don't understand social media. The fact that fans are interested enough in the show to develop detailed character profiles that are faithful to the original programming is a GOOD thing. The show's ratings have dropped since its second season premiere; you'd think that they'd enjoy - and want to capitalize on - the buzz.

Thankfully, AMC's agency, Deep Focus, was able to talk some sense into them, and the feeds are back up.


TripAdvisor's Traveling Movie Tour

TripAdvisor is running a fantastic campaign right now, and this week, Bostonians can experience it first hand.

An outdoor film festival called the TripAdvisor Traveling Movie Tour,  the campaign is comprised of a free outdoor film festival in five U.S. cities:  New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston. Tripadvisor

For two nights only, locals can head down to the Boston Common (enter at NW Corner, near Beacon and Charles St) and view a free movie at sundown.

Tonight's feature is the classic Roman Holiday; on Thursday they'll show Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

If you do go down, be sure to bring any gently-used luggage you may have for a donation to Suitcases for Kids. Swing buy the TripAdvisor tent and you can also enter for a chance to win your own Roman holiday!

In an effort to engage media buyers as well as travelers, TripAdvisor sent out gift bags with movie candy like Twizzlers and Sno-Caps, plus access to a movie quiz for a chance to win prizes. I love this campaign - it's fun and engaging, and totally on brand. Tripadvisor_2


McCain in the White House

MccainOn the eve of the Democratic National Convention, McCain is grabbing headlines in the ad world.

Not John McCain, mind you, but McCain Foods, a Canadian packaged foods company that's taking advantage of its namesake's run for the US Presidency to roll out a new ad campaign.

Ads feature the company's frozen french fries, sweet-potato fries and kid-friendly "smiles" - all of which are trans-fat free and accompanied by copy such as, "McCain goes to war over oil."

There will also be a "Recipes for Change" section on the campaign site when it rolls out later this week.

All jesting aside, this post marks the addition of the "Politics" category to CultureJunkie. Time to get serious and take a closer look at the issues as the clock ticks down to November 4th.

Stay tuned.