Recasting Texas Traditions

McCann Mixes State Images, Issues Calls to Action
DALLAS–McCann-Erickson Southwest today launches its first tourism work for the Texas Department of Economic Development in a cable television, print and Internet campaign for the $12 million annual account.
Four 60-second commercials and six double-truck magazine spreads maintain the state’s long-running tagline, “It’s like a whole other country,” developed by former shop GSD&M of Austin, Texas. But Houston-based McCann-Erickson has added emphasis to the state’s toll-free hotline and its Web site ( as the agency has shifted the account into a direct response mode.
“One of the things we looked at this time was creating a strong call to action in the campaign,” said Tracye McDaniel, deputy executive director for Texas tourism.
To prod viewers into ordering the state’s free travel guide from the hotline or the Web site, the agency utilized wordplay in its creative approach to introduce traditional terms with possibly unfamiliar Texas images.
“We want to build on [Texas traditions] and show things that don’t come to mind,” said McCann-Erickson executive vice president Tony Pace. For example, “Country music” text in print and television advertising accompany images of a polka band, highlighting the heavy German and Czech populations of Central Texas.
One of the new 30-second television commercials utilizes a humorous vignette with Lyle Lovett. The work was produced but never aired last year by GSD&M before it lost the state tourism account.
The TV push on 22 national cable networks, including ESPN, CNN, the Travel Channel and USA, runs through May 23. Print will appear throughout the year in magazines such as McCall’s, Southern Living and Modern Maturity.
Senior citizens will be a special target of McCann-Erickson’s advertising efforts during the fall. That is when Texas will seek to attract “Winter Texans” to the state’s warmer climate.