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Clever, right? A great next-generation riff on the original campaign. The presence of the NBC peacock made me wonder if some geniuses at the network had come up with it, but a quick Google search revealed that the shirt exists in several variations, including “New York ♥s You as a Friend”, “New York Loves You as a Friend” and “New York Likes You as a Friend.”
Where did it start? It seems as though the original idea belongs to designer and blogger Vince Akuin. He posted the photo on the bottom right on his blog site Viince in November, 2007 along with the comment “This is basically my response to the I Heart N.Y. shirts which I love so much:”
A few months later he posted a photo of the t-shirt displayed in a New York shop window. His comment? “Thanks, stranger from New York.” He also linked to the NBC peacock version. That’s what I call a big-hearted acceptance of imitation (or in this case, unashamed theft) as the sincerest form of flattery.
The popularity of Akuin’s new design is not only a testament to how clever his caption is, but an indication of how vibrant the original campaign remains. All those people who ♥NY have been waiting over 30 years to find out how NY feels about them – as if NY really was a thinking, feeling entity. Too bad they’re going to have to settle for just being friends.