The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Fake Ad for Phallic Luxury Building 'Eros' Meant to Recruit Painters

By Serena Dai | July 29, 2014 8:36am
 Williamsburg mural advertisement painting firm Colossal Media put up a series of irreverent ads in the neighborhood.
Colossal Media Ads
View Full Caption

WILLIAMSBURG — Don't worry, Williamsburg — a large wall-painting ad for a new, explicitly phallic luxury building called "Eros" isn't real.

The 15-by-13-foot ad on Wythe Avenue near North 10th Street, which boasts the tagline "insert yourself into exquisite luxury," is one of several fake, large-scale paintings on buildings to promote Williamsburg mural advertisement company Colossal Media.

Colossal Media, whose clients have included everyone from Vans to Jack Daniels, recently marked its 10th anniversary and decided to celebrate with a series of tongue-in-cheek ads, according to Patrick Harrelson-Keyes, executive vice president of business development at the company.

Most employees live in either Williamsburg or Bushwick. The company hopes that as it grows, ads like the Eros one could help attract the attention of new painters worth recruiting for its apprenticeship program in the area filled with artists.

"It's to generate goodwill and to say, 'We understand who you are and what you might think is funny,'" Harrelson-Keyes said.

"Eros" remarks on the neighborhood's building boom with a sexual innuendo, while other ads similarly "wink" at major neighborhood issues, he explained.

A 20-by-40-foot ad at Berry and North 12th streets is a "missed connection" ad lusting after a "girl" who was spotted "sipping Kombucha on the L train."

"We had the same hairstyle and the same cut of ladies Levis with a 25 inch waste [sic]," the ad reads. "I knew it was meant to be."

"It's making fun of ourselves," said Harrelson-Keyes, adding that typos were intentional to mimic being typed on a phone. "It's making a commentary on where the culture is at the moment."

The "missed connections" ad has been up since last Tuesday, and the "Building Erectus" ad went up on Thursday.

Colossal, based at 85 Wythe Ave., will put up several mural ads in the next week, like one for a psychic adviser who will help with "stolen bike seats" and one for an art school that says "Nobody bought your ZINE yet? You made SO many copies."

People who call the number listed on the ads, 1-844-COL-OSAL, are greeted by an outgoing message where a man describes Colossal Media in a scratchy, somewhat profane message.

Since the ads went up, they've been receiving 25 to 30 calls a day, Harrelson-Keyes said.

Most people hang up after the message, but a couple of women have left messages as if they're the Kombucha-sipping lady that the missed connection ad spotted, Harrelson-Keyes said.

He is pretty sure they weren't being serious.

"We think they're playing with us," he said. "It's what you would do if you saw the missed connection."