The Curator’s News Feed: June 29, 2012

This week we're watching dancing on YouTube, going to a roving Vitamin Water tour, getting pumped for the Olympics and deciding between waffles and pancakes. What are you doing this weekend?

Your Ad Here, on a Fire Truck? Broke Cities Sell Naming Rights, New York Times. I’m all for creative advertising, but this one goes too far in my book. And what are the guidelines? Would Evian sponsor the fire truck but Red Hots be out? And what’s next…ambulances sponsored by a fast food company or Jiffy Lube or some other company where speed is the issue? Honestly, if city budgets are that bad where this has to be considered, I’d love to see a company step up and provide money needed so as to keep advertising OFF of these essential services. – Dan

The New Airbnb Focuses On Pretty Pics Rather Than Searches, Fast Co. Design. I’ve used Airbnb (the vacation-rental-by-owner older cousin of Couchsurfing) to find lodging in places like Vancouver, BC, Austin, Texas and Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s fantastic for getting off the beaten track and experiencing a city like a local (for a heck of a lot cheaper than a hotel). They’ve just redesigned their website to encourage browsing over searching, adding Pinterest-like thematic lists, and emphasizing professional photography. According to this, travelers are two and a half times more likely to book listings that feature professional images, so there’s a business decision behind the shift as well. Like I needed further incentive to book trips! – Lisa

Where the Hell is Matt? 2012, YouTube. When I grow up, I want to be Matt Harding. Since 2006, Matt has been traveling the world and dancing. In his first video, it was just Matt in interesting or iconic spots around the globe. Today, nearly 18 million people have watched that original video. Somewhere along his journey, he realized that dancing with people created more interesting video content, so he went back on the road to make the second Where the Hell is Matt video. That video has 43 million views and counting. Just last week, he released his third and latest Where the Hell is Matt video. In 8 days, more than 2 million people have watched Matt’s latest dancing adventure.  – Ann Marie

Photos: 2 Chainz and Passion Pit at vitaminwater, The Fader. Vitamin Water and the Fader have been on an intriguing type of roving tour, and last Wednesday, I checked it out. Anticipation was ramped up via social media: an RSVP list, instructions to show up at a random address in the warehouse district, and the promise of surprise performances, with the mantra ‘prepare for anything.’ The result: a line a couple of blocks long, a trapeze studio venue, unlimited Vitamin Water and Heineken, and intimate performances by distinctly differentiated hip hop artist 2 Chainz and indie pop stars Passion Pit. What’s not to like? The event successfully got the product in the hands of a swath of urban hip hop, pop culture enthusiasts who may not have noticed the brand before, and put it in the space of those who don't like to think too long and hard about a beverage purchase. Vitamin Water and the Fader understood the crowd, and now the crowd understands them. Consider my event-planning Rolodex of inspiration revived. PS- don’t know who 2 Chainz is? Check out this interview. – Megan K­

Google getting back to its roots of innovation, Engadget. It has been painful to watch Google teeter between the worlds of Apple and Microsoft. One minute their innovating, and another they’re releasing half-cocked iPad rip-offs. Google’s “Project Glass” might seem a little out there, but respect their gravitas. And while I’m not convinced I’ll ever have a use for Google glasses, (then again, I thought the same thing about the iPad) it’s exciting to see Google stepping up to imagineer something completely new. – Matthew

Three Olympic Stars You Must Know for 2012 Summer Games in London, Bleacher Report. With the 2012 London Olympic trials in full swing, all I can say is I can’t wait! Watching these athletes compete at their level and excel at their craft is awe-inspiring. Not to mention that having one of the USA Team’s track athletes train right down the road from us in Eugene, Oregon isn’t too shabby either. Check out the video of athlete, Jesse Williams, take on Jordan Kent at a basketball dunk competition. This guy can jump! But, he’s just one of the several Olympic stars this article points out. Make sure you keep your eye on these ones over the coming months! – Annie

Vintage Weight Gain Ads II, 1908-1984, The Retronaut. The Retronaut is one of my favorite sites to look through (and follow on Twitter of course @theretronaut). I am fascinated by all things vintage and especially love looking at old advertisements like this one. I think the irony in how far we come and how much we have progressed is highly entertaining! Plus, I think people respond to the vintage feel whether in messaging or on the creative end so why not look to the past for inspiration! – Chelsey

Fashion and Art: Jumping into Bed to Make Money Together, Forbes. Fashion and art are definitely complimentary, but they are coming together more than ever with museum exhibitions centered on fashion designers popping up all over the world that appeal to Matisse lovers as well as Yves Saint Laurent devotees. I think this sentence sums it up perfectly: “The Louvre Museum, for the first time in its 900-year history, allowed a fashion house (Ferragamo) to mount a runway show – in exchange for sponsoring the museum’s current exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s final painting.” First time in 900 years. Wow. – Julia

Uniqlo Storms Pinterest With Scrolling Campaign, Mashable. On Monday, Uniqlo, a popular Japanese retailer, rolled out a new digital campaign. However, this campaign was unlike any other -  using more than 100 shell accounts, a team of more than a dozen simultaneously pinned rows of long graphics in a five-category takeover. As users scrolled, the graphics appeared animated in the style of an old film strip. This is the first Pinterest campaign of its kind and it will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit, or if the social network will put the kibosh on this type of advertising. – Megan A