Thursday, January 20, 2000

Whatever you wish for, you can have

Patches of four-foot-tall marshmallow, whipped cream mushrooms and cardboard fruit-sliced bushes sat under the Hershey's Kisses trees that lined the entranceway over a groundcover of gumdrops, lollipops, suckers and Smarties. Butlers dressed in all green or purple, complete with top hats, welcomed you as you walked towards the 10-foot-tall red and fuchsia-colored portrait of Wille Wonka. Or was it Kevin O'Connor smirking at us from above, in that playful manner of his?

Doubleclick once again outdid itself and set the standard for a fun, tasteful wild Silicon Alley party this year. The invites for this sweetly whimsical evening arrived complete with a Golden Ticket invitation wrapped inside a thick, rich chocolate, crispy Doublclick Bar. The Roxy nightclub was transformed into Wonka-World on Thursday, January 20, and inside, thousands of skinny, beautiful, sugary-happy, blissfully blitzed on bonbons Silicon Alley kids danced to the best music ever played. Drag queens led the go-go dancing on platforms and tunes from Dead or Alive, Deelite, Abba. And lots of other fantastic disco-beat, gotta shake-my-booty songs grooved from the roller rink. It was all there. Plus you could swing by and snag a licorice rope, suck on a rock candy sucker, arrange sugar dominos or spell your name with gummy letters. If those treats weren't didn't tickle your fancy, you could wander through the 5,000 pounds of candy purchased for the party and strewn about the club. Catrina Gregory was looking fabulous as she entered the fantasy land with Linda Centkowski of Media Metrix. Once again, I saw Sean Price of USLaw and Kathy Reilly ( this week, but this night they were near the bar, which was lined with inflatable Tootsie Rolls.

Everyone who was anyone was wearing candy necklaces. Okay, everyone was wearing candy necklaces. Matthew Cortellesi of Matt TV and donned a knit ski cap, and jumped on his pal Scott's shoulders to boogie under the flickering strobe lights.

I made my way around the pulsating dance floor, where the beautiful people writhed in slinky lace tops and vinyl skirts, sucking lollipops and tossing their hands in the air while they flipped their cute pixie hair. Nicole Mansdorf of I-traffic marveled with me at some of it before I made my way back towards the entrance. The tall, gorgeous men sported short messy hair, chunky sweaters, cords and ski jackets. Their equally trend women, dressed in straight-leg jeans and midriff-baring sweaters or in straight slim skirts with colorful sticky shirts and tiny prada (or beaded) bags, tottered in four-inch heels. They tossed their long locks carelessly as strobe lights disoriented the sugar-happy crowed.

Did someone tell Ford about this party? I was about to toss my notepad into the peppermint and lollipop bush when I caught Kevin O'Connor, CEO and Co-founder of Doubleclick, and pounced on him with some questions. "So Kevin! Willie Wonka and Doubleclick. What's the connection?" "Well, Willie Wonka is a place where all your wishes come true, and the Internet is place where all your dreams can come true too," he said. Never was a truer statement made. "…And Doubleclick is a place where all your advertising wishes can come true." Aha! The "Everlasting Gobstopper!"

Models or not, every creature there was stuffing candy into their pockets and shoving mints into their mouths as they left Roxy-Wonka-Wonder-Land. I saw Vicky Shapiro of Concrete Media and friends. Sherry Reisner of NYNMA introduced me to Todd Huffman of The Vertical Sports Show out in LA. Refreshed from such creativity, I bundled myself up and headed back out into the night, thinking of Golden Tickets, chocolate and the Internet.