Don’t Mess With Texas’ Slogan


What phrase represents Texas to you?

“God bless Texas.”

“The Lone Star state.”

“Remember the Alamo.”

“Everything’s bigger in Texas.”


“Don’t Mess with Texas.”

Just watch where you use that last one. The don’t mess with Texas slogan is trademarked by the Texas Department of Transportation. An Austin advertising firm created it, back in the 80′s, as part of the state’s anti-litter campaign.

It might have come up with with a slogan that’s a little too good. Now, many think of it as a macho message about how great Texas is. TXDOT is working to change that. Since 2000, it’s contacted more than 100 companies and people about unauthorized use of the phrase. Some have even faced fines.

TXDOT is afraid the slogan’s anti-littering message is getting diluted.

“It can be a little bit dangerous for brands because they lose a sense of their own uniqueness and their own positioning,” explained Beth Ann Kaminkow, President and CEO of TracyLocke.

“[A slogan] becomes the way we associate the experience of a brand,” said Kaminkow.

Kaminkow knows her slogans. TracyLocke is the ad agency is behind the new Dallas slogan, “Big things happen here.” That one you’re free to use, though.

“If they are part of the greater Dallas community, we want them to feel like they can own ‘Big Things Happen Here” and see themselves in it,” explained Kaminkow.

Just don’t mess with Texas’s…. slogan.


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