Unclassified Info: Pricy tagline says nothing about Glendale

December 05, 2011|By Gary Huerta

As a few of you know, North Star Destinations, the Tennessee firm Glendale hired to create a marketing strategy, finally answered the $64,000 question. How do we market Glendale to the outside world? The problem is the $64,000 question cost us about $140,000. And the answer is… drum roll please…

“Your city. Animated.”

I know. Most of you are just ecstatic about this new catch phrase. You can't wait to see the return on investment for this new jewel. I am the only one who literally laughed out loud when I first read this. And then the laughter died.

North Star worked on our marketing strategy since March 2010 and this is what they delivered? Are you kidding me? This positioning line does not serve Glendale, unless someone within City Hall explicitly told North Star the prime objective was to create a strategy focused solely on attracting animation companies to rent commercial space in our city. In that case it works, but only as an amateurish double entendre.


This positioning makes no sense for any other business within Glendale, nor does it have any real benefit driven positioning that would attract a diverse audience to our city, which should have been the prime objective of the marketing strategy in the first place.

According to Alison Maxwell, the city's deputy director of economic development, “Glendale has long been content to be a quiet, productive, safe community, but now it's time to let the secret out.”

What secret? That we are animated? Suddenly we live in Toon Town? How does the word “animated” instantly reveal a dynamic civic personality?

“Ladies and gentlemen of the board, we must move our widget company to Glendale. It's animated!”

Last week, Mayor Laura Friedman said the branding strategy is an important element in attracting good-paying jobs. “We need to attract companies, and this branding will help us do that,” she said.

Yet back in September 2010, Friedman said, “Talk to anybody who has a retail shop, who sells real estate, who has a restaurant,” Friedman said. “I believe this is an important part in helping our city compete.”

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