In 1985, Texans were paying millions for litter cleanup along highways, and the cost was getting bigger every year. The nation as a whole was facing a similar issue and putting out public service announcements, like the crying Native American and “Give a hoot, don’t pollute.” But according to Tim McClure, co-founder of ad agency GSD&M, Texans needed something different to reach them.

That’s why they created the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign, a public service announcement that was kicked off solely by the power of word of mouth (long before social media existed). In his presentation, Tim explains how they used millions of bumper stickers, a bunch of Texan celebrities, and a deep understanding of their audience to get the word out about littering — and reduce pollution along highways by 72 percent.

In Tim’s presentation, you’ll also learn:

  • Why young males were early adopters of this anti-littering campaign
  • How they created commercials people were asking TV stations to play
  • Why speaking your audience’s language is important

How “Don’t Mess With Texas” Became One of the Most Talked About Ad Campaigns of All Time, presented by Tim McClure from on Vimeo.

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  1. Ad Messaging that Works: “Don’t Mess with Texas” | Communicate. Well. - April 15, 2013

    […] bottom line to advertising that works begins with a deep understanding of your audience. Read more from the Word of Mouth […]

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