“Don’t Mess With Texas” wants a new jingle

A press release from the Texas Department of Transportation announced the state is looking for two new versions of the (in)famous “Don’t Mess With Texas” jingle – one in English, and one in Spanish.

In addition to the winning jingles playing constantly on TV spots across Texas, the winners will also get a Gibson Guitar “up to a MAP value of $2,400” and perform at an iHeart radio station music lounge.

Contestants can head to the official contest website to submit their own :30 second version of “Don’t Mess With Texas”.

Here’s a bullet point list of the main criteria for the :30 second spot…

  • Entrants must be a legal resident of Texas and 18 years of age or older
  • Entry submission should be a recording of the Band/Musician performing an original song and cannot include a cover or derivative material of any kind.
  • Recording must include the following words/phrases: (A) “Don’t mess with Texas” and (B) An anti-littering message
  • Submission video MUST be an original performance video.
  • Song/Video can be recorded in English or Spanish
  • No pre-recorded or edited audio is allowed.
  • Video must show full band/musician
  • Video shall include vocals and may not exceed :30 seconds.
  • Video must be completely ORIGINAL and cannot include cover, copyrighted or derivative material of any kind.
  • Video must be submitted via YouTube link or direct upload on the registration page.
  • Bands/musician may submit one (1) audition entry during the Entry Period. Multiple entries are not allowed;
  • Band/Musician contact shall be a member of Band/musician and must be the registered subscriber of the email account from which the entry is made.
  • Band/Musician must not be obligated to or bound by any sort of recording contracts or agreements with a record label.
  • Band/Musician must provide their own equipment at any of the competitions listed below.

The contest ends on 11:59:59 p.m. (central time) on October 10, 2018, but then public voting begins on October 11, 2018 for “all valid entries”. Public voting will end on October 25, 2018 at 11:59:59 PM (central time).

After the final voting is complete, “the top three submissions with the absolute highest vote count will be judged to determine two winners.” On or about October 31, 2018, a panel of judges will pick two winners from the selected top three submissions.

The final contest winners will be announced on November 2, 2018.

So what’s the judging criteria?

  • Innovation – 10%
  • Creativity – 20%
  • Memorable Tune / Song – 15%
  • Technical Skill – 15%
  • Brand Messaging – 20%
  • Overall Presentation – 20%

Ten randomly selected voters during this campaign will also receive a gift card from Starbucks or Target valued at $25 each.

The official rules are here (PDF warning).

Aaaand here’s the official announcement…


The search is on for new musical talent to educate Texans about litter prevention

AUSTIN – For more than 30 years, the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign has forged partnerships with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Strait, Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes and Grupo Fantasma to share its important message. Now the search is on for a new amateur musical talent to represent the iconic litter-prevention campaign. The “Don’t mess with Texas” Song Search Contest invites undiscovered Texans to compose an original 30-second song, incorporating the campaign’s anti-litter message. The entries, submitted via video, will be collected online where the public will have the opportunity to vote on their favorites.

“Music has been a part of the ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ campaign from the beginning,” said Jeff Austin III, Texas Transportation Commissioner. “We’re excited to expand on this legacy by giving Texans of every walk of life a chance to add their voice to the campaign and share in a fun way how we all have a part to play in keeping our state clean and beautiful.”

The ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ Song Search Contest is presented in partnership with iHeart and Gibson Brands. Country superstars, the Randy Rogers Band, and Latin pop and norteño stars, Las Fenix, who are both featured in this year’s “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign, are also lending their time and talent to help discover the campaign’s newest performer.

The “Don’t mess with Texas” Song Search Contest is open to all Texas residents, ages 18 and above, and runs through October 2018. Contest rules can be found at Dontmesswithtexas.org. At the end of the public voting period, two winners will be selected, one English and one Spanish, and awarded a prize package donated by Gibson Brands and iHeart that includes a 2018 Gibson Guitar, the opportunity to appear in a future “Don’t mess with Texas” TV spot with the Randy Rogers Band and Las Fenix, and a performance at an iHeart Live Music Lounge. The Song Search Contest winners will join the ranks of other notable performers featured in the “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign throughout the years.

“Don’t mess with Texas” has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The campaign is the signature initiative for TxDOT’s litter-prevention initiatives which include Adopt-a-Highway, a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, and the community outreach and cleanup event — the “Don’t Mess with Texas” Trash-Off. For additional information on “Don’t mess with Texas,” visit Dontmesswithtexas.org.