Uber App Goes Gangster-Style to Promote Boardwalk Empire Premiere

Uber Vintage Rides - Boardwalk Empire

It would be tough to top last year’s promotion for the season 2 premiere of Boardwalk Empire, which saw HBO partner with the MTA to run a prohibition-era subway train (complete with Boardwalk Empire-inspired ads) between 42nd and 96th streets in Manhattan.

But, for two days last week, Uber users in Manhattan were able to request free rides in a vintage Rolls Royce, Bentley, Cadillac, or one of the other 1920s-era vehicles.

Check out photos of the cars using the hashtag #Boardwalkride.


Mugshot Yourself and Come Face-to-Face with Your Criminal Past

BBC America Mugshot YourselfMark Michaelson is a New York editorial art director who has worked for Newsweek, Allure, New York, Entertainment Weekly, and Radar. Since the mid 90s he has been collecting old mug shots, posting some of more interesting on the ‘Least Wanted‘ Flickr account.

There are no back stories to the photos, only an odd assortment of tired, unhappy looking faces. Michaelson allows visitors to post their own thoughts on what brought the photo’s subject to appear in this unfortunate photo. In 2009, a small part of the 10,000 mugshots in his collection were published as ‘Least Wanted: A Century of American Mugshots‘. More recently the photos have been used in gallery shows and a soon to be released documentary.

To promote ‘Copper’, a period drama set in New York City in 1864, BBC America has launched ‘Mugshot Yourself‘, an application using a selection of Michaelson’s photos. Visitors upload their own photo, select a mugshot, and the application combines create an image of what they may have looked like as a 19th century criminal.

The Go Mugshot Yourself app was put together by Socialbomb and Kevin Slavin.

[via Digiday]


Ted Baker Promotes NYC Store Opening By Tidying Up the Big Apple

Ted Baker 'Midtown Abbey'

To promote the opening of their new Manhattan store at Fifth Avenue and 48th Street, fashion retailer Ted Baker deployed a small army of proper British maids and butlers dressed up in 1920s-era uniforms.

The stunt was dubbed ‘Midtown Abbey’, no doubt to play off of the popular UK TV series Downtown Abbey; saw the butlers and maids scooping up dog poop, polishing the Wall Street bull, ironing wrinkled tourist maps and opening doors for taxi passengers.

[via Muse and Views]


AMC Sets Zombies Loose on the Streets of New York

AMC Put Zombies Back - NYC Experiment

The only thing that could be more terrifying than coming face-to-face with a brain-thirsty zombie, is the possibility of missing ‘Walking Dead‘ because Dish Network recently dumped AMC from it’s cable lineup. With the premiere of Season 3 of ‘The Walking Dead’ only a couple of short months away, AMC has launched PutZombiesBack, an online effort to get AMC back on Dish.

As a stunt to promote the ‘Put Zombies Back’ effort, AMC transformed dozens of New Yorkers into elaborate zombies and set them loose onto the streets of Manhattan. The zombie horde included a shoppers, postman, parking officer, road repair workers, and even a hot dog vendor zombie (I imagine the health department will have an issue with flesh dripping onto the food).

While some people react in terror, others seem amused. Even the New York squirrels are inquisitive, and believe me this world does not need to have zombie squirrels on the loose. If this is any indication of how New Yorkers will act when the real zombie apocalypse happens, the walking dead will eat very well in the big Apple.

The closing scene with one lonely zombie dragging a Dish network satellite dish along the sidewalk says it all. “Zombies don’t belong here. Put them back on TV.”

[via Adrants]


Window Washer Invites High Rise Workaholics to Ultimat Vodka Party

Ultimat Vodka Window Washer

Back in the 1960s, the idea for the unofficial ‘Summer Friday’ holiday was hatched as New York ad agencies realized that during summer, productivity tended to drop to zero on Fridays. Although after watching five seasons of Mad Men, productivity seems pretty suspect all week long. I can’t imagine Roger Sterling anywhere near the office by the time Friday afternoon rolled around.

In an attempt to re-introduce the concept of ‘Summer Fridays’ to today’s dedicated white collar workaholics, ad agency Amalgamated dressed a window washer in a suit and had him personally workers at the 1 State Street Building out for drinks on behalf of their client Ultimat Vodka. The stylishly-dressed window washer held up a series of signs that read “Do You Ever Leave The Office?”, “Come Have A Drink (On Us)”, “Stop Working. Start Drinking”, and “Have You Heard About Fresh Air? It’s Amazing!” advising these overworked souls on less work and more play.

For the high-rise employees who managed to tear themselves away from their meetings and spreadsheets, cool drinks were waiting for them a few blocks away at the Beekman Beach Club on Pier 17.

Since being released last Thursday the video has chalked up over a million views on YouTube.


Flying People Invade New York to Promote the Movie Chronicle

Flying people in New York CityOn Monday New Yorkers may have been startled to see what looked like three people flying around near the Brooklyn bridge and the Statue of Liberty. My first thought was “oh no, this is not going to end well”. But all was fine as the flying people turned out to be simply remote-control airplanes fashioned with a body shaped like a human silhouette. In the video embedded above you can see that from a distance they look pretty good.

The stunt turned out to be a promotion for the movie ‘Chronicle‘, a story of three high school friends who gain superpowers (including flying) that is set for release this Friday.

The promotion was carried out by New York viral video company Thinkmodo, who have carried out such previous campaigns as the Times Square fake video transmitter for ‘Limitless‘ and the sawed off parking meter clip for ‘In Time‘.

Disney Brings Live Characters to Augmented Reality Experience to Times Square

Disney Parks - Augmented Reality in Times SquareNovember 18, 2011 marks the 83rd anniversary of Disney’s Mickey Mouse’s debut in Steamboat Willie in 1928. It also marks the launch of Disney’s ‘Let the Memories Begin‘ campaign. To celebrate both events Disney brought a state-of-the-art augmented reality experience and a whole crew of well-known Disney characters to their store at Broadway and 45th street.

Visitors who stepped onto the sidewalk marker were projected onto the 2000 square foot digital billboard where they could interact with the Disney characters. Unlike other AR experiences, many of the Disney characters were performing live allowing then to interact and respond to the participants on the sidewalk.

Photos of the experience will be captured and emailed to the visitors, elements from the campaign can be followed on Twitter through the hashtag #DisneyMemories.

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New Balance Unleash ‘Urban Dash’ Augmented Reality Game

New Balance - Urban Dash Augmented Reality GameUsing the same game play as the Mini-Getaway game played in Stockholm from last year (Monterosa, the same digital agency is behind both), New Balance has launched a augmented reality game in New York City dubbed the Urban Dash. Each week day New Balance will release 20 virtual batons (10 on the weekend) at various locations throughout the boroughs of New York City. The batons are released sometime between 9am and 5pm, with the exact time revealed on the New Balance Twitter and Facebook pages.

After players download the app and register they are ready to play. Players then use the Google Map within the app to locate the virtual batons, then get within 100 feet of the baton in order to claim it. Once they have claimed the baton they must get to the NBNY store at 150 5th Avenue to claim their prize.

But it would be no fun if it was that simple, other players can steal the baton once they get within 100 feet of current owner. I’m not sure what prevents unscrupulous players hanging around near the HBNY store and simply swiping virtual batons as people approach. It would be interesting to see a ‘safe zone’ several blocks around the store to help minimize this. If you lose connectivity or power to your mobile phone you have effectively dropped the baton and others can grab it at the last location it was connected at.

Players receive a special pair of NBNY exclusive shoes for their first win and a $75 NBNY gift card for their second and third baton wins. The player with the most baton wins by the end of the game on September 10 is eligible to win a special gold baton worth approximately USD $20,000.

This is a pretty solid initiative, the baton fits in well with the serious runners that make up New Balance’s customers.

The New Balance Urban Dash app is available in the US iTunes store.