Seven Years Of The Douchiest NYC Real Estate Advertising

Mark Duffy
4 min readSep 22, 2019

Real estate ads, in general, are hyperbolic and douchey. But New York City real estate ads raise both the hyperbole & douche bars to high-rise levels. I collected these ads from 2005–2012, scanned from the New York Times and local magazines, or shot on the subway and streets.

snapped in the Flatiron District in 2012.

Exquisite…Extraordinary…Exclusive…” The “MiMA” (Middle of Manhattan) Tower is a 63-story combo hotel/luxury condo eyesore in Hell’s Kitchen — “the hippest, hottest, most happening (real estate copywriters love lazy alliteration) neighborhood in Manhattan!”, according to their current promo copy.

A common marketing tactic of NYC realtors (well, all realtors) is to try to “nail” their target demo in their ads. These two just “nailed” each other, but the “leasing” dynamic laid out here is confusing: They may be married, but it ain’t to each other. (2019 Note: Penthouse 1C recently sold for $6.67 million.)

scanned from TimeOut NY.

A flirtation on the terrace…” Circa 2010 print ad, when such bearded, trust-funded Fauxhemians were already overrunning Brooklyn. (Here’s the accompanying local TV spot featuring a different unlikable couple but the same “hip” art style.)

So Audrey and her mini-dress and Mr. unnamed white-loafers totally banged that night. She loved the view/hated the sex, of course.

scanned from New York Times Magazine, 2005.

Meet the Douchehammers of the Upper East Side…To 96th Street for this 2005 “luxury” nothing building. Here, the target audience was maybe a bit too defined, to the point where One Carnegie Hill probably pissed off pretty much every citizen of the City.

Left, ad from 2009, right, snapped on Lafayette St., 2006.

Just two examples of the evil of Corcoran, one of the evilest names in NYC real estate (much less evil than Kushner, of course). L — How to justify the mega-inflated price tags for such very small living spaces? Invent a “math formula” where “x” equals near infinity. R — A BIG evil ad for babies, because babies turn 1-BRs into 2–3BRs and duplexes into townhouses.

scanned from New York Times Magazine, 2006.

Daddy left us, and took all the furniture, Bartholomew. Here’s a hundred, go get us something to eat…” To the “East Side Story” at 170 East End Avenue, where all the families wear only black and all the children are architectural prodigies.

ad visuals scanned from the New York Times in 2007.

Platinum Man & Platinum Woman…Gotham power couple. Precious Metals traders by day, naked, platinum-painted crime fighters by night (in Hell’s Kitchen, where “The Platinum” condo high-rise is located. It features a “steel and glass exterior”, no platinum.)

WELL ARE YOU? Are you a rich “retooled” tool? Does the lower half of your face kinda match up with these three apparent BUSHWICK icons? If not, GTFO. Snapped in 2010 by Miss Heather @ (The Knick’s obnoxious custom url is dead, of course.)

Scene: Marketing meeting for this 2007 subway ad for Twenty Bayard, “Williamburg’s premier parkfront condominiums”…”It’s radically chic.” “No, it’s chicly radical.” “Chicly’s not a word.” “It sure as fuck is.” “Fuck. OK, we’ll use both.”

scanned from Gotham magazine, 2011.

Dick on a deck…At least New York by Gehry has some Gehry flair to it, but it’s no longer “the largest residential tower in the Americas” as its website claims (actually not even in Manhattan).

But that visual. Has there ever been an image of a bigger douchebag in a real estate ad…ever? What’s the hedge funder singing/playing/butchering? Best guess: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. The Civic Flame copper statue lady atop the Manhattan Municipal Building appears to be giving him the finger.



Mark Duffy

Copywriter/Copyranter. My hockey wrist shot is better than yours.