Willie Nelson, “Don’t Mess With Texas”


– 11.03.98

(AUSTIN) – As Texans head to the polls Tuesday, one election already has a winner: Willie Nelson. The country music icon won the most votes in both categories (favorite TV and radio ads) in the “Vote Don’t Mess with Texas” statewide contest that began September 1. Voters chose their favorites from more than 50 TV and radio spots produced for the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) “Don’t Mess with Texas” litter prevention campaign.

Willie Nelson recorded his famous TV spot in 1989, sitting on a stool in the middle of an empty highway singing Mamas, tell all your babies don’t mess with Texas.” After learning of his victory, Nelson said, “Thanks for your vote, and for not trashing our Texas highways. The people want a cleaner Texas, and litter in every barrel.”

“Congratulations to Willie Nelson,” said Doris Howdeshell, Travel Division director at TxDOT. “Willie and all the celebrities that contributed their talent are all big winners. Over the last 12 years, this popular campaign has reduced roadside litter and is now a part of Texas culture.”

New TV and radio ads have been produced to officially announce Willie Nelson’s victory. They debut during 10 p.m. election news coverage today in every Texas media market.

“Even though Willie was on the road again, he took time out from a concert in Florida to let us capture his response to the election results,” said Kevin Tuerff, president of Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia, Inc. in Austin. With the conclusion of this campaign, EnviroMedia will now focus on educating a new target audience, males and females 16-24 years old. The campaign
has long been aimed at males 18-34.

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