Monday, July 17, 2006

"Don't Mess with Texas"

From a friend:

We need your help. Don't Mess with Texas has been nominated as one of the best slogans of all time. The slogan is nominated right alongside Nike's "Just Do It" and Wheaties' "The Breakfast of Champions."

Winners are selected American Idol style with online voting. There was a great story in today's Austin American-Statesman (pasted below). Basically, our goal is to get as many Texans to vote as possible. And with 22 million real Texans, how can we lose?

Here's how you can help.

1. Most important, go to and vote for Don't Mess with Texas . One vote per computer, so you can vote at work and at home.
2. Forward this email or the link today to all your friends, family and coworkers and ask them to vote for "Don't Mess with Texas ." Send it to anyone who loves Texas .

Thanks everyone.

Statesman Story:

'Don't mess' with this campaign
Austin agencies looking to mobilize thousands of Texans to give anti-littering slogan a click of the mouse.

By Lilly Rockwell
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's arguably the most well-known slogan to ever come out of the state of Texas, used as a battle cry by athletes and politicians alike, worn on T-shirts and bumper stickers, and repeated by President Bush on the campaign trail:

"Don't mess with Texas."

The slogan was nominated alongside 25 others for the third-annual favorite slogan contest hosted by the sponsors of Advertising Week at the industry's premiere convention in New York .

Austin-based GSD&M (who created the slogan more than 20 years ago) nominated "Don't mess with Texas ." To win, the slogan needs to earn the most votes online by Sept. 28.

To prove it's the best of the herd, the creative minds behind the slogan are launching an aggressive nationwide campaign designed to get as many current and former Texans as possible to give the anti-littering slogan a click of the mouse.

EnviroMedia, which currently holds the "Don't mess with Texas" advertising account, plans to use a flash mob technique (where people contacted via e-mail or text message gather at a designated time and location) during today's official announcement of the nominees.

The agency is looking to gather together hundreds of Texans in New York 's Times Square at 11 a.m. Next, EnviroMedia plans to send e-mails to thousands of Texans over the next two months.

"That slogan, although it is about litter prevention, carries with it a certain amount of Texas pride," said Doris Howdeshell, the director of the travel division for the transportation department. "It reaches the heart and soul of true Texans."

But it faces an uphill battle. Last year's winner, General Electric's "Imagination at work," used an aggressive internal get-out-the-vote strategy aimed at its 300,000 employees. This year, heavyweights include Burger King, with more than 360,000 employees, and Cingular, with more than 70,000. In comparison, EnviroMedia has 30 employees and the transportation department has 14,800.

The slogan wasn't always so popular, said Tim McClure, the creator of "Don't mess with Texas " and the M in GSD&M. When McClure pitched the idea to a panel of state officials in 1985, one person requested it be changed to "Please, don't mess with Texas ."

McClure stuck to his guns, saying the message would resonate with men ages 18 to 34, the worst litter offenders.

GSD&M won the account, and when the first TV advertisement aired in 1986 with Stevie Ray Vaughan strumming his guitar and reminding people to "Don't mess with Texas," people started calling TV stations to request the song, McClure said.

"It actually reached into the Texans' DNA," McClure said. "They got it."

And if the slogan is among the top two vote-getters, New Yorkers will get a permanent reminder of that Texas pride: a bronze plaque of the slogan installed on Madison Avenue's Advertising Walk of Fame.

The competition

Among the 26 catchphrases nominated for this year's favorite slogan contest are:
'Have It Your Way' (Burger King)
'Got Milk?' ( California Milk Processors Board)
'What Happens Here, Stays Here' ( Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)
'When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There Overnight.' (FedEx)
'Raising the Bar' (Cingular)
'Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires' ( U.S. Forest Service)
'The Breakfast of Champions' (Wheaties)
'Good to the Last Drop' (Maxwell House)

How to vote

To cast a vote for your favorite slogan, go to . You can also vote for your favorite advertising icon.

Winners will be announced in New York City on Sept. 29. Winners get a bronze plaque on Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame and a permanent place at the Advertising Icon Museum in Kansas City .

"The greedy truth about media consultants"

Great article in Salon about the cut media consultants take:

Think you know where your campaign dollars go? Think again, sucker. Political image-makers skim off percentages that would make Exxon execs envious -- and the public never knows about it.


But have you scrutinized the financial arrangements and consultant contracts of this campaign the way you would skeptically analyze the balance sheet of your favorite charity? Would you feel ripped off if you discovered that about 15 percent of everything you donate goes right into the pockets of the media-consulting firm?

What we are talking about is one of the biggest secrets in politics, right up there with debate briefing books and sealed divorce decrees. In this fate-of-the-nation political year when more than $1 billion will be given to Senate and House candidates, there is just one certainty about the outcome -- the true winners in November will be the leading media consultants in both parties.

For more than a quarter-century, media consultants have been paid not in fixed dollar terms, but as a percentage of the campaign's television buy. The more often a candidate goes on television, the more the media consultant makes, even though the actual cookie-cutter commercials may have all the originality of a Harvard undergraduate's coming-of-age novel. Small wonder that in virtually every free-spending political race in both parties, the campaign manager (who is paid a salary, which is publicly disclosed) and the pollster (who is usually compensated by a flat rate per poll) start gazing enviously at the media consultant as they conclude, "We're in the wrong business." Remember, we're not dealing with chump change here like FedEx charges or gassing up the campaign van. We're talking about an off-the-top rake-off of campaign funds that might make Exxon executives envious. As Leslie Kerman, a Democratic campaign lawyer and a leading behind-the-scenes crusader against the inflated fees paid to media firms, puts it, "These same consultants love to run ads about out-of-control compensation for CEOs, but they don't think about their own compensation."

I never knew DNC demanded a flat rate. Good for them. I will be asking campaigns I contribute to that question from now on. If they want my $50 contribution they better have the right answer!