ANTIOCH (KPIX 5) — Many throughout the Bay Area seem to agree that the city of Antioch has an image problem–including the city’s own mayor. But the city is making strides and spending money to try to change that image.

The city has just hired an image consultant for $95,000 to help rebrand the city’s image, which is often associated with being unsafe and uninteresting.

For a year now, Antioch has been working on the rebranding campaign. On Tuesday, the city council voted to spend more than $200,000 on an advertising effort to lure more economic development to the city.

After numerous community workshops, the city settled on a new slogan: “Opportunity Lives Here.” But the image consultant, Dr. David Kippen of Eviva Branding Agency, says that’s just the first step.

“Branding is about ‘Who am I? What do I want to stand for in the long term?’ Marketing is ‘How do I let YOU know that, right?’” said Kippen.

Antioch plans to create a video message like ones often seen on TV promoting states, cities and even countries.

While Antioch doesn’t have elephants or even a beach, it does have one of the largest waterfronts on the Delta.

Kwame Reed, the town’s Economic Development Director, says there’s a reason settlers were initially drawn to Antioch, one of the oldest cities in the Bay Area.

“Opportunity really started here and we want to bring light to that again. We want to bring light to the fact that it can still live here. Opportunity can hike here, opportunity can sail here,” said Reed.

The 650-seat El Campanil Theatre is one of the city’s hidden gems. Built in 1928, during the age of vaudeville comedy, it was fully restored in 2004.

Reed says the theater would make a perfect complement to a revitalized downtown.

“I mean, we’ve been here waiting for a lot to happen…and I think, when it comes, we will take advantage of that,” said Rick Carraher, the Executive. Director of the El Campanil Theatre Foundation.

The city feels it has a lot to offer businesses, including open land, improvements in transportation and lower-cost housing. The hope is that a company’s employees could embrace the “opportunity” of living in Antioch.

The job now is to let people know about it.

The next step will be to create visual images using the new slogan and begin airing them to the world. In

Reed says the city wants to convince businesses that are considering leaving California that moving to Antioch is a way to stay in the Bay Area at a more reasonable cost.

 

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