Downtown launches new summer campaign

Nicole Lanphear
    The Downtown Renaissance Network has unveiled the new logo for downtown Bellingham and will be a part of the new “Summer in the City” campaign. Kirsten Walker, director of the Downtown Renaissance Network, said while they have had similar marketing campaigns before, this one features the new logo for downtown and will change how people identify downtown.
“The main goal is to promote downtown Bellingham both within the city of Bellingham and Whatcom County and regionally. We want to get the word out about the variety we have down here of experiences, like shopping and restaurants and entertainment,” Walker said. “To help downtown businesses to do that, cooperative ad campaigns are much more price-effective than doing it all on your own, and you get more bang for your buck.”
Recruitment of businesses for the campaign started May 2 and continue until May 11 or until all the spots are filled.
Baron & Company, downtown Bellingham graphic designers, created the new logo. Account manager Jason Lee said the process to create a new identity began approximately a year ago and underwent a lot of discussion.
“Not only are you branding a place that has emotional attachments to it, like downtown, but you are interfacing with an entire executive board of directors,” Lee said.
The Bellingham native said he was excited with the challenge of the task, and honored.
“We think it turned out great, and it was not something we took lightly,” Lee said.
Lee is also handling many aspects of the campaign, which will include TV spots, newspaper inserts and Web sites. Each week of the summer will focus on a different theme and highlight downtown businesses and events. Weekly itineraries will be printed and put online to highlight different activities and places to stop in Downtown.
One of the businesses buying into the cooperative ad campaign is Garys’ Men’s and Women’s Wear, owned by Barbara Lupo. Lupo has owned the clothing store for 29 years and has been a part of a downtown-networking group since she first set up shop. She said she believes in the sense of responsibility and community that comes with the cooperative group.
Lupo is excited about the new summer campaign.
“It is great because it’s inclusive,” she said. “You have the opportunity as a new business to have a vehicle to show off what you are about.”
Lupo also participated in the holiday ad campaign. She said while she couldn’t quantify the effect on her business, she recognized the value to downtown. “It’s beneficial for the whole of downtown, which is beneficial for downtown businesses,” she said.
Unique West owner Theresa Griffin, who started her downtown apparel store less than a year ago, also participated in the holiday campaign and will join the summer one as well. She said it helped bring people downtown, and she knows people who saw the commercial. She is expecting the same of the summer campaign.
“I’m hoping it reaches a lot more homes and gets families and individuals to come downtown and see all the awesome shops here,” she said.



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