Kiss my -----.
Fill in the blanks with “Akron” and you have the catchphrase that’s being used for a new campaign aimed at showing love for downtown businesses.
Patrons of downtown Akron stores, restaurants and galleries can express their appreciation by leaving behind a “kiss” in a window or door — a plastic cling that reads “Share the love ... Kiss my Akron” and features a prominent pair of puckered lips.
The Seal it with a Kiss campaign is the latest effort by the Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) to promote businesses in the center city. The campaign kicked off this week in honor of Valentine’s Day and will continue through the end of the month.
“People like things about downtown, but sometimes they don’t think about it,” said Sharon Gillberg, DAP’s spokeswoman. “This is a way to express what’s special to you, what’s unique, what you like about your community.”
Businesses participating so far are 3 Point Restaurant, Akron Civic Theatre, Barley House, Cilantro, DBA (Dante Boccuzzi Akron), the Lockview, NOTO, Rubber City Clothing and We Gallery.
Each of the businesses have kiss clings, as does the DAP office in Greystone Hall.
Downtown Akron Partnership ambassadors will be out and about in downtown today for Valentine’s Day, handing out treat bags that will include the clings.
After giving a “kiss,” the partnership is encouraging patrons to take a picture and post it to DAP’s Facebook page or the page of the business.
Though it’s early in the campaign, a few businesses already have received some love.
NOTO, a women’s clothing and accessory store in Orangerie Mall, had five clings in its window Wednesday morning. The campaign comes at a good time for the store, which recently moved from the downtown historic district near Musica.
“I think it’s so cute,” Lauren Ward, NOTO’s owner, said of the campaign. “The first year is always the test run. I think it’s going to catch on and grow every year.”
3 Point Restaurant, at 45 E. Market St., has gotten 10 kisses so far. Co-owner Domenic Fragomeni said customers generally laugh when they get a cling and make a quip about how DAP is getting a “little risque.”
“I think it’s awesome,” Fragomeni said. “Super creative. It creates excitement about going out in downtown Akron.”
The campaign does not include a competitive component, but the Downtown Akron Partnership might add that next year, if the idea sticks.
“We just want to get started giving affection for downtown,” Gillberg said.
For more information on the campaign, call 330-374-7676 or visit www.downtownakron.com.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmith.