Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

June 27, 2005 Surreal Echoes of the 1990's

Back in late 2003, I was overjoyed to discover a trove of ancient digital artifacts stowed aboard the servers of, the ad agency that ran Kozmo's advertising campaigns. Sadly, as a reader recently pointed out to me, in recent months's admins have purged the site of all of this historical matter, which is a great loss to all of us who wish to study the rise and fall of, one of the few sites that continue to inspire widespread affection among its former customers.

Fortunately, all is not lost. The Internet Archive has a partial, but still revealing collection of Kozmo's ad campaign-related artifacts, including the following:

The classic Kozmo Metrocard
Imagine showing up at a subway token booth with one of these babies today. You'd either get slapped or hugged by the token clerk!

Kozmo's Classic Urinal Ad
One thing I'll say about those DeMassimo people: they sure did know how to inspire gender-based hatred back in the 1990's. What a hot ad agency!

Kozmo's Classic Women's Room Ad
Who could claim that we're not an enligthened culture when both men and women view each other with the same degree of contempt? Now that's equality!

Kozmo's Business Card, Phone Booth Ad, Messenger Uniform
Kozmo's little orange business card is really quite elegant looking. But is that little man running or falling? Also, note the Kozmo phone booth ad whose copy reads "Dirk Diggler and Fresh Samantha," a reference to a character in the 1997 film Boogie Nights and a fresh fruit drink that was evidently popular in the 1990's). Also on this page is an image (blurry, of course) showing a typical Kozmo messenger's distinctive orange uniform and bag.

Kozmo's Jumbotron Copy
Imagine this: it's 1999 and you're on your way to a Cocktails with Courtney party. You've just gotten out of the subway at Times Square, using your Kozmo Metrocard. You reach into your wallet to make sure you have enough Kozmo business cards, and then you look UP and there's Kozmo, on the Jumbotron! What could be more exciting?

Being almost run over by the bus, of course!

If you're interested in reading more about Kozmo, you can read Cyber-Nostalgia: Why the Web Still Weeps for, published in Ghost Sites in May of 2004. Some of its links to EBay areas and Craigs List postings have, however, been broken with the passage of time.

Note: when I first wrote about the DiMassino archive, I was approached by at least one person who claimed to have actually captured the famous Kozmo Lee Majors TV ad and the Kozmo radio spots from If you are out there and actually have these files, please contact me. Kozmo's history is rapidly disappearing from the Internet and obtaining these files would be of great interest to me, as well as to future Web and cultural historians who will wonder, fifty or a hundred years from now, what all the hoopla was about.

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