Colors: Designers duke it out on New York subway platform

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New York commuters rushing across the Grand Central Terminal platform to catch the shuttle to Times Square last week might have taken pause-for once in their harried lives-to notice that the space had been furnished with something other than cardboard boxes and old newspapers. Turns out that the MTA, always keen to turn a buck or two, allowed Bravo to trick the place out as part of a promotion for its "Top Design" show, a new reality show (because we needed one). Oddly enough, "Top Design," which features 12 aspiring interior designers fighting to, um, out-design one another , is shot in Los Angeles, not New York. Bravo President Lauren Zalaznick said she was a bit skeptical about the concept of targeting real New Yorkers in such a tourist trap. "I was the biggest naysayer," she told us, adding that she is a dedicated subway rider herself-not one of those "black-car" types like so many other network execs. While she may be a subway rider, we'd point out that the shuttle isn't exactly a tourist-only ride. In fact, we assumed that one of the reasons the shuttle is so often given over to marketers-the train cars themselves have been redecorated by HBO and Eddie Bauer-is because of the equal mix of tourists and those influential media-world employees.

While "Top Design" will be hosted by Todd Oldham, the designer didn't make the launch celebration. Perhaps he took the wrong train.

Most popular girl in MySpace wants to be queen bee

Ad Age held its annual Marketing 50 luncheon last week. And while Adages isn't going to make you sit through a recount of the program-after all, you haven't been inoculated with a cocktail or two-we will relate that one odd table pairing. Uber-hip MySpace diva ForBiddeN (a.k.a. Christine Dolce) found herself next to honoree Mike Indursky, chief marketing and strategic officer to wholesome-as-pie Burt's Bees. While he gave out his business card printed on tubes of the company's lip balm, she pulled out her own tube of Burt's Bees hand cream to prove she wasn't just paying him lip service when she said she was a fan. Funnily enough, other honored marketers-like those at KY Jelly-are just dying for Christine to plug their products on her MySpace page.

'Die Hardest: The New-Business Pitch'

Not many people, let alone advertising agencies, can say they've schooled Bruce Willis. But Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners can stand by the claim that it taught the action star everything he knows about the ad business. Willis plays Harrison Hill, the cutthroat owner of an eponymous ad agency in his next thriller, "Perfect Stranger," due out in April. In preparation for his role, producers set up an afternoon for him to sit down with Jon Bond and Richard Kirshenbaum. "He really wanted to know what it was like in terms of the competitive nature of the business. How it goes in terms of taking or stealing accounts; what's usually done and what's not done," Kirshenbaum said. The folks at Kirshenbaum Bond are no strangers to celebrities walking their halls. They've already worked with Halle Barry, Willis' co-star in the film, from the days when they held the Revlon account. They even survived interns Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton during the third season of "The Simple Life." Willis popping his head into conference rooms and saying hi to everyone he met was practically old hat for the staff. Staffers swear none of the character's (spoiler alert!) possible homicidal tendencies came from Bond or Kirshenbaum.

Contributing: Brooke Capps, Andrew Hampp Send subway-decorating tips to [email protected]
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