How Somerville, NJ Reinvented Its Image with a Little This and That

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Following a period of great economic development, the Downtown Somerville Alliance collaborates with Spitball on a new, playful brand image to kickstart local tourism.

Downtown Somerville Logo

By taking a light-hearted approach and combining unlike elements to drive the home message of diverse offerings, we were able to break through the pack and hopefully take Downtown Somerville to the next level.

On Thursday, February 27th Spitball Advertising gathered with local residents, town officials and the Downtown Somerville Alliance (DSA) to debut a brand new marketing campaign and identity for the “Main St. New Jersey Community” to continue to foster economic development and invigorate local tourism.

DSA Executive Director, Beth Anne MacDonald shared, “We knew that with all recent public and private investment in Somerville and with several more substantial  projects underway, updating our own logo and branding to reflect the changes and renewed energy in town was of critical importance. We felt the timing was perfect and are thrilled with the new look!”

In 2013 Spitball rebranded marketing materials for annual town events, including the Holiday Jubilee, Summer Stage and Farmers Market. Poised with feedback from a stakeholder survey and the progression of event marketing, both parties were ready to embark on an identity overhaul in 2014, including a new town logo and advertising campaign.

“We wanted something that embodied the culture and personified the energy this downtown exudes,” said Anthony Torre, Spitball Co-Founder. “Our team spent a lot of time with local business owners, government officials and literally hit the streets at all hours of the day and seasons to get a slice of life view of Somerville. That was critical to the process.”

The new Downtown Somerville logo highlights both the rich history of the town and the inviting, unconventional personality the sets apart local businesses by juxtaposing traditional and quirky fonts. The varying letter heights are meant to mimic the Main St. architecture and add a playful, lively quality. The deep orange is a variation of Somerville High School’s team color, with the added sophistication of a darker hue. The new tagline, “Always Unexpected,” adds to the playful nature of the logo and encourages visitors to try something new in Somerville.

Spitball also implemented a new ad campaign to raise awareness of the refreshed brand image and Somerville’s unique offerings to the rest of the state and beyond. Stemming from the idea that diverse event, shopping and dining experiences in Downtown truly offer something for everyone, the agency developed the concept of “Somer This...Somer That.” The creative features two distinct items one finds in Somerville and combines them into one eye-catching image to encourage a second-look and playfully illustrate what a day in Somerville can bring.

“This campaign needed to stand out from the pack of traditional and expected tourism marketing,” Torre said. “We give our creative team the freedom to explore all avenues and see what sticks, that’s what we do best. To try and communicate everything Somerville represents in a one-dimensional way is very difficult. By taking a light-hearted approach and combining unlike elements to drive the home message of diverse offerings, we were able to break through the pack and hopefully take Downtown Somerville to the next level. I think it’s just great what they are doing.”

Spitball is no stranger to breathing new life into downtown marketing. In 2012, Spitball successfully launched the award-winning “Escape for a Little While” campaign for Red Bank, NJ and rebranded them as a “Cool Little Town.” The campaign continues to evolve and has helped drive significant traffic to merchants and events as well as new business recruitment such as Carlo’s Bakery.

To support the launch of the Downtown Somerville logo and campaign, Spitball will implement a full media plan, including local print and digital publications as well as a digital billboard at TD Bank Ball Park, home of the Somerset Patriots. For more information on Downtown Somerville, their new look and upcoming events, visit

Spitball Advertising was formed in 2006 in Red Bank, NJ as a full service marketing and design agency. Their main philosophy is to pelt the walls with the most innovative and strategic ideas to see what sticks, then deliver these programs to clients looking to break through the clutter to reach their customers. Spitball enjoys crafting Ideas That Stick® for Cholula Hot Sauce, Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, iCIMS, Township of Red Bank (NJ), Fundtech, Atlantic City Conventions and Visitors Authority and other creative-focused companies. To get the full Spitball experience, visit

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Anthony Torre
Spitball Advertising
+1 (732) 345-9200 Ext: 100
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Anthony Torre
Spitball Advertising
since: 06/2009
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