The image: A subway car's captive audience is frequently subjected to TV-show advertising, but HBO may be the first network to literally turn the entire car into a promotional vehicle. To push the upcoming second season of the hit series Boardwalk Empire, a crime drama set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era, the network will start sending a vintage 1920s train down the express 2/3 track in Manhattan. (See an image below.) The train, which originally began operating in 1917, will feature period details like rattan seats, ceiling fans, and drop sash windows — plus an aggressive array of Boardwalk Empire-themed art. The traveling advertisement will rumble through midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays throughout September.
The reaction: Apparently, HBO purchased so many subway ads over the years "that the MTA let them buy an entire car," says Maureen O'Connor at Gawker. Expect New York's straphangers to find this "old-timey transit" a whole lot of fun. "Admit it, you want to ride in this car." Indeed, says Jen Doll at The Village Voice. And "a vintage subway train is better than a whole train covered in wall-to-wall Target advertising… right?" See for yourself: