Being a transportation hub can have huge economic advantages for a community. From a tourism perspective, however, if travelers are always heading someplace else it’s hard to engage them with your own entertainment options. Such was the case with Greater Newark, NJ. Newark is a dynamic city with a high-energy urban vibe and hundreds of attractions and events in a more intimate environment than nearby New York City. But outdated reputation problems and a lack of a network media presence meant today’s travelers had no idea what was happening in Newark. The challenge: how best to capture the attention of pass-thru visitors, enticing them off the road and into the Newark experience?
Newark has always been a melting pot brimming with indigenous and imported foods, arts, music and entertainment. But in recent years, that melting pot mentality has evolved so that today’s Newark is also multi-faceted from a visitor’s perspective – an endless parade of offerings, adventures and opportunities. From America’s first and oldest public park to one of the country’s largest performing arts venue, from the state’s biggest museum to the continent’s fifth largest cathedral – pro sports, fine arts, urban retail and outdoor adventure, it’s all happening here.
From a visual perspective, it was critical that the Greater Newark brand be simple, captivating and entirely different from everything else in the marketplace. The line “Newark Happening” draws the visitor in immediately. It supports the “happening” nature of the destination and provides a platform that attractions and events can use to promote themselves. The logo is simple, evoking a feeling of forward motion and progress. It becomes an effective identifier for different categories of attractions when presented in the bright colors of the palette. And it is custom made for use in digital intercept strategies. Creative executions including ads, outdoor boards, the home page of the website and Facebook promotions are black and white, supporting the gritty urban feel of the destination and offering a remarkably inviting contrast to the crowded, colorful, busy marketing approaches of competing destinations. The colorful logo pops when combined with black and white executions while action words direct visitors to Live, Rock, Learn, Love, Shop, Play and Score.