Glendale to get ‘animated’ in image makeover

Glendale is boring. Or at least that’s what more than a year of market research indicates.

Consultants hired to develop a new brand strategy for the city unveiled their findings Tuesday at City Hall, saying most people think of Glendale as the boring city between Burbank and Pasadena.

To combat that image, Nashville-based North Star Destination Strategies suggested a new marketing strategy centered on the tagline, “Your Life. Animated.”

With a nod toward Glendale-based animation studios such as DreamWorks Animation and Disney’s creative campus, the phrase comes with a new logo that includes the city’s name in lowercase letters surrounded by five multicolored curlicues.

“Glendale has long been content to be a quiet, productive, safe community, but now it’s time to let the secret out,” said Alison Maxwell, the city’s deputy director of economic development. “The dynamism, animation and creativity [here], it’s not something that’s presented and marketed to the world.”

The City Council approved the branding elements Tuesday on a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Dave Weaver dissenting. He called the rebranding project — with a budget of $1 million in redevelopment money — a waste of money.

The city has spent $139,000 on the project so far.

“I feel like Uncle Scrooge. I just don’t get it,” Weaver said after Maxwell clicked through a PowerPoint presentation outlining how the new logo and tagline can be used on city stationery, the municipal website, permits and street banners.

But 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.

Maxwell said the tagline can be molded to fit different activities, such as using “Work. Animated” on business brochures. Local businesses could incorporate the tagline into their own advertising, pointing to an image of a Porto’s Bakery bus stop advertisement that said “Your Appetite. Animated.”

Acura of Glendale owner Jeanne Brewer said she could envision the Brand Boulevard of Cars dealerships dropping car emblems into the logo’s multiple curlicues in advertising ventures.

“We believe nothing is more important than a brand. We live it every day,” said Caruso Affiliated executive and past president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Rick Lemmo, adding that he liked where Glendale was going with its tagline.

Maxwell said the logo’s curlicues could also be used in other ways, such as creating a bicycle rack out of colorful swirls.

The point is to “help the logo get into people’s consciousness without being literal about it,” she said.

However, Maxwell added that a branding campaign doesn’t stop with a logo.

“The brand is the way that service, that agency, expresses itself to its customers, to its clients, to consumers,” Maxwell said.

Twitter: @brittanylevine