Law & Order: Special Marketing Unit


The New York Post says Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was seen in an IBM commercial during a telecast of the British Open. We have found the script for a long version of the spot. It portrays a 911 call and its heroically successful followup with details that scream New York, at least to IBM executives and clueless provincials: pizzeria, tattoos, September 11, and bragging about the city’s turnaround — “Thompson [sic] Square Park, where the homeless used to eat pigeons,” says one cop, “now it[‘s] served a[s] squab on Avenue B.” Ha ha, stupid homeless didn’t know they were eating fancy squab! Also, “Right now, we’re at the waterfront of Brooklyn… at Williamsburg, and all this is gonna be taken down and all new luxury high rises are gonna go over here. Now, before where they had gangs and grafittis…”

Some sources in the Post story question the propriety of top civic officials endorsing major corporations. Kelly says he was not paid for his appearance, and did the ad just to “highlight” an NYPD crime center. We suspect Kelly also saw an opportunity to enter, if only for a moment, a magical wonderland where New Yorkers are still spellbound by low crime statistics and look forward to the day when Williamsburg is finally gentrified.

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