REBRANDED RED BANK TOUTS ITS COOL

RiverCenter unveiled its new marketing campaign Thursday night at the Count Basie Theatre; below, branded squishy balls. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Not that there ever was, literally, but there’s no longer “only one Red Bank.”

The folks who market the borough’s discontinuous business district to shoppers, retailers and developers have scrapped the three-year-old “Only One Red Bank” slogan and replaced it with “a cool little town.”

The fact that there are Red Banks elsewhere – in Tennessee and South Carolina, and even another one in New Jersey – apparently didn’t factor into the decision to make the change. It was just time, said Nancy Adams, executive director of the business-promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, which commissioned the new branding.

“We needed a new, fresh reason to get them out there, especially with the economy improving” and competition from the nightlife hotspots of Asbury Park and Long Branch heating up, she told redbankgreen before unveiling the new slogan and associated visuals at the Count Basie Theatre Thursday.

Rendered as lowercase type in a rough red paint swatch, the new slogan has already debuted in a full-page ad in New Jersey Monthly magazine. For a month starting in mid-November, it will run, at a cost of $6,000, on a digital billboard visible to motorists heading south on the Garden State Parkway just before the Driscoll Bridge over the Raritan River, Adams said.

The branding is also featured on pens, window decals and squishy stress-relief balls given out at the unveiling.

Spitball, a Broad Street-based branding firm, came up with the slogan after conducting market research in which about 150 local residents were asked how they describe their town to prospective visitors. “A cool little town,” or variants thereof, came up again and again, said Spitball partner Anthony Torre.

The slogan “kind of wrote itself,” he said. “It’s what people think when they think about Red Bank.”

With a about 50 business leaders and government officials watching, Torre ran through a presentation showing the branding in various promotional contexts, including the annual Wedding Walk shopping and booking extravaganza that attracts hundreds of brides-to-be and their friends.

The cost of the rebranding came out of the nonprofit RiverCenter’s annual $512,000 budget, which is derived entirely from a surcharge on commercial properties in the special improvement district, and was supplemented by profits from last May’s International Flavour Fest, Adams said.