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Welcome to Oakland, the Local Time is...


A long time ago, when I was new to the Bay Area, I had a BART driver who, as the train pulled out of the Transbay Tube into West Oakland, announced, "Welcome to Oakland, ladies and gentlemen. Local time is 12:51pm. It's a balmy 71 degrees with a slight breeze out of the northwest. I hope you enjoy your stay in the East Bay and we thank you for traveling with BART."

The pilot impersonation was good for a chuckle because of the geographic, meteorological, and even cultural differentiation between the East Bay and San Francisco. Oakland feels like a place different and distant enough from San Francisco that you should have had to take a flight to get there, which is ironic considering Oakland suffers from being in San Francisco's shadow.

Operating on the Zero Partners philosophy that every place has a personality (a brand) and owning and amplifying that brand is often the best way to connect with people, I sketched up the above artwork. How is there not a "Welcome to Oakland" sign there already, for that matter? Talk about an opportunity.

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