Chamber tests new Cary catchphrase

akenney@newsobserver.comJuly 24, 2013 


The "Cary On" logo is the face of a new town-wide marketing campaign by the Cary Chamber of Commerce, set to roll out this September.


— This has been a year of soul-searching and debate for Cary.

Now, amid all the controversy of the Imagine Cary planning effort, the Cary Chamber of Commerce is making its own effort to unify the town.

The new slogan is “Cary On,” with a power button in place of the O.

By the end of the summer, the logo may appear on bumper stickers, car windows, T-shirts, storefronts and coffee mugs across town, making this the Chamber’s broadest publicity campaign in recent memory.

“We wanted to kind of create, whether it’s from a business perspective or just a citizen’s perspective, a brand that the town could rally around,” said Chuck Norman, owner of S&A Cherokee communications firm, which helped design the marketing push.

He also said the campaign is a response to the age-old jokes about the town, including a recent T-shirt that portrayed Cary as boring and Durham as dangerous.

The campaign’s organizers hope its images and typography will catch on as a way to express Cary pride, similar to the black-and-white bumper stickers that declare a driver’s love of “OBX” or “USA.”

To that end, the Chamber of Commerce will sell “Cary On” merchandise beginning in September; in all, the venture might produce thousands of merchandise items.

“We’re going to price these items very competitively. They’re looking at it as a way to grow the brand awareness,” Norman said.

The main theme of the campaign is Cary’s status as a “technology town,” but the slogan also refers to Cary’s ability to “carry on” with its success, and the idea that the town is on point when it comes to infrastructure and the arts.

“It’s a high-tech image,” said Howard Johnson, president of the Cary Chamber of Commerce. “You can take it in several ways, but it’s a community surrounding its mission – it’s a community that’s on the move.”

Town Councilwoman Jennifer Robinson first had the idea for the campaign, and town staff helped shape it, Norman said.

And there may be one more unusual element, a plan yet to be revealed.

“It would be something you’ll be able to see from the air,” Norman hinted. “As people fly in and out of the airport, you’d be able to see our brand.”

Kenney: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @KenneyOnCary

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