Austin Business Journal: TxDot messes with ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’

A story in the Austin Business Journal yesterday reported on the makeover to the 25-year old anti-litter campaign ‘Don’t Mess with Texas.’ We eagerly await the unveiling of the updated campaign and pledge our support to this and all anti-litter efforts across our state.

TxDOT messes with ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’



They’re messing with “Don’t Mess With Texas” – sort of.

Twenty-seven years after the iconic anti-littering campaign kicked off, the Texas Department of Transportation and Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing will hold a press conference on April 2 at the Texas Capitol to update the message and aim it at younger motorists — ages 16 to 34 — who are some of the most flagrant litterbugs on the road.

The overhaul won’t be drastic, but the event will showcase a new “Don’t Mess With Texas” jingle along with Esther’s Follies cast members dressed up as the red, white and blue litter cans that were a big component of the campaign created by Austin ad agency GSD&M.

Tim McClure, a co-founder of the agency and the brains behind the campaign, said he was glad TxDOT and Matthews’ agency “kept the DNA” of the original message and consulted with him when figuring out how to make it relevant to a younger generation.

“The message has to change, and I think this was long past due,” he said. “It’s a 25-year-old campaign, and I want it to last another 25 years.”

The updated campaign will emphasize the strong wording of the original message rather than the logo it gradually transitioned into, and the return of the familiar litter barrels will be a big component as well.

“One of the most important things was the original wording, and we always wanted the words to stand for themselves,” McClure said. “They’ve reached way back into the DNA of what we did and are giving it a new twist.”