Village merchants ready the rollout of new ad campaign, website


By Dave Schwab

The Gem has a new logo, slogan and website debuting in January, thanks to the efforts of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA).

Robert Lane of the group’s promotion committee, who is also advertising manager of La Jolla Light, presented a preview of “La Jolla: Take It In,” at the association’s Dec. 14 meeting at the Cuvier Club.

The LJVMA consists of nearly 1,250 businesses in a 30-block area around the Village. Each pays a tax to the district with its business license fee, and the association contracts with the city to run the district.

Formed earlier this year, the LJVMA has been working to lay the groundwork for promoting the interests of La Jolla businesses by establishing four working committees — design, organization, promotion and economic development.

Lane said the promotion committee worked “tirelessly and fearlessly” to devise a visual, online campaign to create “a concrete market solution for really getting people to spend money in our Village.”

LJVMA president Phil Coller said, “The main thrust was to have a community website for La Jolla. We own it (the website) and run it, but we’ll pretty much allow any use of it that’s reasonable.”

Lane added, “This website needs to be compelling enough to draw repeat traffic and be an all-encompassing resource for exploring what we do here. “

The promotion committee also handles branding and special events. Other members include Michelle Lerach, Claudette Berwin, Nancy Warwick, and Leon Chow.

In a slideshow presentation, Lane unveiled the “La Jolla Take It In” slogan, printed in a hand-drawn script. He talked about the thinking behind the business community’s new brand and imagery.

“The message needs to be brought to a razor point,” Lane said, “It also has to have broad appeal speaking to everyone — locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Lane said the branding for the new website also explores the community’s diversity.

“The visual campaign is a contrasting campaign — from a beach community to a wealthy community, from flip-flops to loafers, from low tide to high fashion, from coffee bar to caviar, from eyewear to I do: La Jolla — Take It In,” he said.

Lane added the new website, which may keep the domain name “La Jolla By The Sea,” will be merchant-friendly allowing Village businesses ample opportunity to promote themselves and link to their own individual websites, as well as be included in an onsite business directory. He noted the website can easily be adapted to changing technology.

In other matters, Coller said the LJVMA’s budget must be approved by the group and submitted to the city for review by Feb. 1. A vote on approving the proposed budget will take place at the Jan. 11 meeting.