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Visit Oakland Launches New Destination Brand

Date: Apr 08, 2014

Oakland’s Destination Marketing Organization Targets Visitors to Oakland with New Brand and Marketing Campaign 


Visit Oakland, the official destination marketing organization for the city, hosted its first Annual Tourism Breakfast, including members of the hospitality and business community, local sports teams, developers and residents. Guests gathered at the iconic Paramount Theatre for the new brand launch and year-in-review presentation.


The Strategy

After a year of research conducted by travel industry research firm, Young Strategies, Inc., Visit Oakland has developed a new corporate brand identity, website, destination brand architecture, and targeted advertising campaign.


Business leaders from a variety of market segments participated in vision workshops and focus groups throughout the creative process. Visit Oakland’s advertising agency of record, Carol H. Williams (CHWA), then created an initial rollout campaign.


“As an Oakland-based agency, we understand the importance of embracing Oakland’s diversity,” said Carol Williams, founder of CHWA. “During these workshops, we were able to hear all angles of what Oakland’s brand should represent. Our end goal was to develop a cohesive identity that not only represents Oakland’s destination appeal, but also serves as a brand umbrella for the entire city.”


The Brand

The objective of Visit Oakland’s brand and accompanying advertising campaign is to provide a consistent, positive voice and brand platform for Oakland. The organization’s goal is to encourage immediate action to learn more about the destination and plan a visit. With a $195,000 campaign budget, Visit Oakland will focus media buying on digital platforms and in target markets supported by the research.


“Visit Oakland is laser focused on elevating Oakland’s brand. With our research, marketing partnerships, and new brand architecture, all of the pieces have come together to create a strong image for Oakland. We are inviting visitors, local media and meeting professionals to really understand our city, and discover the unexpected,” said Alison Best, president and CEO of Visit Oakland.


The New Corporate Identity

The new Visit Oakland logo is designed to showcase Oakland’s diverse landscape and creativity through a multi-layered graphic that requires a second look. From yellows and greens of Oakland’s forests, parks and sunny skies, to urban grays and waterfront blues, the circles represent how united and connected the destination is, and the playful font is a nod to its creativity and innovation. The new span of the Bay Bridge is used in Visit Oakland’s logo and throughout the brand as a new iconic entry point to Oakland.


Visit Oakland hopes to expand its budget in the next fiscal year, allowing for a broader campaign including the East Coast and international markets. The organization plans to maximize its national and international reach through media outreach, co-op marketing partnerships, leveraging larger tourism agencies such as Visit California and Brand USA, and hosting client events. With its current budget, Visit Oakland relies on strong relationships with its media and community partners rather than paid advertising opportunities.


Visit Oakland is encouraging community leaders, businesses and residents to embrace the new branding by making brand elements, brochures, photography and more available on its newly designed website


About Visit Oakland

Visit Oakland is a 501(c) (6) non-profit organization dedicated to marketing the City of Oakland as a travel destination. Visit Oakland offers a wide variety of complimentary services and materials for travelers, meeting planners and businesses. For more information, see