Tonight when I look across the river at the Empire State Building, it's lights will be yellow. No, it won't represent the U.S. Open (which usually gets "tennis ball yellow") or support for the troops (ala yellow ribbons). The yellow color will be in honor of The Simpsons Movie on DVD from Fox Home Entertainment. In the thirty years that the ESB has featured colored lights, this is the first time the colors have been a movie tie-in. And it's odd, because The Simpsons Movie doesn't really have anything to do with New York City. Nonetheless, Fox and its yellow-skinned family have taken over the city in a marketing blitz titled the "Simpson-izing of Manhattan." In addition to the ESB lights, there will be a Simpsons on Ice show at Bryant Park, yellow-jacketed street teams (handing out fliers for the DVD, I'm sure) and giant inflatable Homers. Unfortunately, there will be no specially designated street vendors selling Khlav Kalash and Crab Juice.

The event in general follows the city-wide stunts and activities planned in the past for Mission:Impossible III and Spider-Man 3, and hopefully won't be too annoying for actual New Yorkers, who should be able to ignore anything relating to movie-making or marketing in Manhattan these days. The only thing I hope for the sake of people working in Midtown is that those yellow-jacketed street teams aren't as aggressively obnoxious as the Spider-Man 3 flier guys (as if walking through Herald Square this time of year isn't trying enough). I also hope that the ESB doesn't make it a regular thing to lease out its lights to Hollywood -- unless the tied-in movie was at least shot in or has something to do with the Big Apple (for the lighting calendar go here).

Other cities are having their own celebration promotion of the DVD, including Los Angeles, where "elves" wearing yellow Santa hats will be handing out pink-frosted "D'oh!Nut" sprinkles, and Hollywood, which will feature inflatable Homer Santas, pink Christmas trees and donut balloons. In 20 cities, including Santa Fe, Honolulu and El Paso, pink donut balloons will be tied to parking meters, which will not have to be paid today (in those cities). And in 51 other (less-populous) cities, like Mobile, Alabama, and Concord, New Hampshire, will have people distributing yellow Santa hats. If you come across any of this blitz in your city, please let us know about it -- preferably with photos.