Oklahoma to get new license plate as part of Kevin Stitt re-brand…

Gov. Kevin Stitt is finally addressing one of Mary Fallin’s most visible mistakes.

According to this article in The Oklahoman, Lt. Gov. Matt “Sunshine” Pinnell – a key player in Kevin Stitt’s brown-noser cabinet – is leading yet another effort to “re-brand” Oklahoma as a tourism destination for the easy-to-dupe.

The attention-getting part of the plan includes coming up with a new license plate that – if we’re being honest – will probably be as bad as the universally ridiculed, Twitter-inspired plates Mary and her tourism team micromanaged.

Via Not NewsOK.com:

Oklahoma is “better than OK” and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell wants everyone to know.

Oklahoma’s second-in-command is leading the charge to craft a cohesive brand for Oklahoma that includes a new state logo, slogan and selfie-worthy “Welcome to Oklahoma” signs on major state highways.

Pinnell, who also doubles as the state’s secretary of tourism and branding, also wants to ditch the widely criticized scissor-tailed flycatcher license plates Gov. Mary Fallin unveiled in 2016.

Yep, it’s official. Oklahoma is… “Better Than OK!” Boy, that instills some confidence. Maybe we should just go ahead and make that our new state motto. Turn it into a logo, plop it on a license plate inspired by the Instagram logo and Ayipioeeay, I think I just saved our state a few million bucks.

Here’s what Matt Pinnell told the Oklahoman:

“If we don’t define who we are, every other state will,” he said. “That’s politics 101. You have to define who you are before your opponent does and there’s 49 other states that are competing for the same jobs and same tourism dollars.”

Yeah, watch out California, Florida or any other state with either oceans, mountains, nice weather or an unlimited supply of entertainment options – you’re not going to define who we are. We are! By the way, we’re Oklahoma in case you’ve never heard of us.

Also, I know I’m not a pandering, self-serving politician who’s looking to advance my career, but what does “Politics 101” have to do with developing a cohesive, strategic branding campaign to promote our state’s tourism industry? The only commonality between politics and branding is that both rely on deeply rooted lies and falsehoods to cover up the truth and present a manufactured reality. I think that’s something Pinnell – a lifelong politico who looks like he’s been a member of a Newsboys cover band or two – knows well.

All snark aside, our state could probably use a re-brand. The only question is, Who’s going to lead it? In the past, we’ve usually left that stuff to Ackerman McQueen – the preferred agency of the local ruling class – but they’re still recovering from being shot down by the NRA.

Fortunately, there’s a new “marketing expert” in town to take the lead:

Yep, they’ve selected Renzi Stone to oversee the state’s re-brand. For what’s it worth, that’s a real painting that is (or was) on display at the Oklahoma History Center. I think it’s part of their award-winning Narcissism in Oklahoma exhibit. It’s a nice work of art that, I assume, was painted at gunpoint — which explains why the artist forgot to include words such as egotistical, conceited, self-serving and hardwood.

Here’s more:

Pinnell is working with Renzi Stone, CEO of the Oklahoma City public relations and marketing firm Saxum, to gather the state’s top advertising, graphic design and branding experts at an August summit devoted to rebranding the state. Pinnell likened the process to building an advertising agency — dubbed OklaX — from the bottom up.

The experts, recruited from both the public and private sectors, will work on a volunteer basis through the end of the year to craft the new brand in the hopes that it can be unveiled early next year, Pinnell said.

As a guy who cut his career teeth in the corporate marketing and advertising world before developing a loved, loathed and recognizable digital media brand that’s reached millions of people, let me say I think this a great idea.

First of all, if you want good, quality, reliable work, make sure you rely on unpaid volunteers. Whether they’re TLO contributors or marketing experts from the private sector meeting at Quartz Mountain, they’re the hardest, most reliable workers out there. They’ll give this project the attention it deserves.

Second, nothing fosters the creative process more than committees, groupthink and bureaucracy. Sure, some people would say you’d be better off hiring a respected local design firm or even a freelancer to wrap themselves up in the project and have the freedom and flexibility to practice their craft without micromanagement, but the more voices you have in a room making logo changes the better.

Let’s wrap this thing up:

In the meantime, Pinnell and his team are interviewing leaders in state, local and business communities across Oklahoma on how best to brand the state.

The public also can provide input online through a five-question survey at projectbluesky.ok.gov.

Pinnell pointed to iconic slogans like “Virginia is for Lovers,” “I Love New York” and “Keep Austin Weird” as the sort of lasting branding he wants for Oklahoma.

Oddly enough, I think we had that slogan. It was “Oklahoma Is OK.” Sure, it’s easy to mock, but it’s also a genuine, honest, self-deprecating description of this place we call home. Maybe we should pull a Tyrion Lannister and wear the slogan like armor. Then those other 49 states can never use it against us.

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57 Responses

  1. Ok but what are we gonna promote as our brand? What are our big tourist destinations? You have to actually have something that attracts tourists. New license plates seem like a money grab. That’s how this state likes to make money by just finding extra fees to charge us. Also if you don’t want other states to “define us” maybe start by not letting former sports stars find our brand or have politicians wasting time voting for different state songs. This is what makes us seem small time.

    1. Also, if you (universal you, not you John) don’t want other states defining us, a really great start is not electing moonbat culture warriors to offices. They’re out of the legislature now, but there are plenty of outsiders who keep sharing years-old articles on social media about George Faught (rape can be “a blessing”), John Bennett (Muslims suck), and even the long-retired Sally Kern (various anti-gay and John Birch Society paranoia and very thinly veiled racism and sexism).

      1. this ^

      2. My out of state husband used to say “Oklahoma is OK” because we couldn’t spell mediocre.

        1. I thought everyone knew that the correct spelling of mediocre was mediokie.

  2. Thank goodness someone thinks our tags are gag worthy. Like them or not, Stitt’s team is getting things done in our great state and not just getting rid of a tag eyesore.

    1. I guess I have missed the things that Stitt’s team has done. Please take time to update me Old but wise. Thank you in advance.

      1. I won’t know all of them but off the top of my head. Speed limit change to 75 to keep up with neighboring states. Put the states checkbook on internet to bring more transparency. Agency accountability. Gave school teachers another raise. Gave the federal government the finger and made it legal for stoners to carry their guns, Audits for the largest departments that spend the lions share of the budget. Brought OMES budget down from 23 million to 0. In the process of making our Oklahoma licence compliant which is something failing couldn’t ever get close to.

    2. Could you please write down EXACTLY what Alfalfa stitt has ACTUALLY done…we’re ALL waiting for this bullstitt!!

      1. Gun bill. Now anyone can carry anywhere.

        What could be better than that?

        1. Barf

          1. not till Nov 1 2019 wild Graychin

  3. I’m perfectly fine with “Labour Omnia Vincit,” and it appears on the Original State Flag plate (extra $15 on your registration every year, but worth it to me).

    Could just make THAT the official plate IMHO. It’s simple, attractive, and is literally state heritage.

    It just seems like this bunch could actually conceive a licence plate that’s actually WORSE than the Twitter Bird plate.

    1. That motto is an early form of “blue sky.”

      In Oklahoma, as in America generally, the truth is that CAPITAL omnia vincit. Labor mostly wins for the capitalists who buy it for cheap. It takes two or three jobs for many households just to get by on their labor.

      Plus we now have Gov. Keating’s white whale of Right to Work to keep labor from getting too uppity.

      1. After years of being blocked by the labor lackeys in the Oklahoma legislature, right to work was passed by ballot initiative in 2001. Just like weed and all the other initiatives you agree with, the people chose it.
        Why should shoveling off dues to corrupt organizations (SEIU/teamsters et al.) so the union bosses and can live it up and pay for more politicians to keep them in power, be a condition of employment? If you want to join a union, hey, go ahead, but now the Unions have to actually provide a service their member’s value. Why do Unions fight RTW so hard? Because they know, as soon as workers have a choice, they have to deliver.
        Capitalists? You mean job creators, the vast majority are small business owners. If I’m not getting paid what I’m worth, I have the right to go and find another job that will. The # of multiple job holders has been on the steady decline since 1998 and stands today at 4.9%.


        Save it for the other 5 comrades down at your DSA meeting.

        1. Sounds like the view of a true nazi loving moron!! Wages, Benefits, have gone to hell in a handbasket since the greedy idiots like you and your employer have got the right to treat workers like slaves!! 28 years in a labor union have given me the right to have a better retirement than you morons who are living from paycheck to paycheck w/o any future ever will!! I’ll be the one pissing in your cup while you sit at the exit ramp for your retirement benefits!! RTW…just another repubtard commie “policy” voted in by a bunch of idiots who didn’t have the slightest idea what it even meant for the working class!!

        2. Unions fight them because they’re bad for unions. CEO’s fight for them because their good for CEO’s. The entire argument, like many, is more political than economic, since unions are typically democrat.

          As far as the effect of them, studies haven’t been consistent. RTW states typically have lower wages, but higher job growth than non-RTW states. RTW states typically have been linked to lower rates of employee provided insurance compared to non RTW states. Unemployment is about the same in both. The problem is that you can’t really isolate RTW as a factor because states that pass them tend to have multiple pro-business laws that are enacted as well.

          Unions have been incredibly important to improving worker conditions in the US. Though they do have their problems in places, it’s folly to pretend that businesses, especially modern day businesses, hold employee altruism in high regard. Unions only exist in the first place because the US saw the downsides of unfettered capitalism during the industrial revolution.

          1. And that, Krakatoa, is about as knowledgeable and succinct an exposition about RTW as one is likely to find here or elsewhere.

        3. Who would have guessed that vH is so deeply concerned about workers’ rights? Or is his concern only limited to how a union might crowd those supposed rights? Boo hoo!

          Who would have guessed that vH would fret over greedy and crooked union bosses, since much worse populate corporate boardrooms – often taking fat checks while fucking their employees over? Vulture CAPITAL!

          “Job creator” is a warm and fuzzy term that gets thrown around a lot in the last decade or so. But again, it takes CAPITAL to create a job, whether it’s a high-paying job or one flipping burgers for Kevin Hern. Capital omnia vincit, like I said. if you ain’t got capital, you’re a wage slave for life.

          Tough to accumulate that capital when you’re scraping to get by, and while American capital is becoming concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

          1. Job creator is a very useful term. It lets you know immediately that you are talking to someone who isn’t worth talking to.

        4. Right to work? More like Right to Work for Less…

  4. All license plates are hideous and, at least until the 80’s, they didn’t pretend to be anything else. Just a simple slab of metal with numbers and letters so you could be identified if you committed some sort of crime. We don’t need to spend tons of money designing new, cutesy-wootzy license plates all the time. Just about the time I get my number memorized I have to change my plate. Seems like a huge waste of time and effort from somebody with not enough to do.

  5. “Better Than OK” is a loser. Send Pinnell to sit in the corner.

  6. Isn’t this just a ploy to raise taxes on every car-driving Okie for a year??

    I wish that—instead—they’d just replace the old GPT rate (7%) and undo capital gains exemptions for millionaires…it’ll raise way more revenue anyway.

    1. Precisely! But these are all conservatives beholden to Big Oil, which means they’re scared to death of doing what actually NEEDS to be done or else That Big Billionaire Guy will come out from under the bridge and glare at everybody from his balcony seat in the House chamber.

      I remain more than proud of my vote for Drew Edmondson. He wouldn’t have been perfect, but he would have been a kick in the correct direction.

    2. ^X1000^

  7. How about doing something to the sign as you come into Oklahoma from Texas! The “Welcome to Oklahoma” sign is boring, and almost hidden.

    1. How about “Good Luck Finding a Rest Area”?

    2. How about fixing the rest area just prior to I-40 Westbound leaving the OK state. It’s been been closed 3-4 years and is a lasting “pisser”, so to speak, for those who have traveled our roads and left a few bucks in doing so. You know, gas, diesel, food, motels, traffic fines, etc. Sorta Oklahoma’s parting shot to travelers that says screw you travelers, don’t hurry back!

      What a great lasting impression of “The OK State” if you really need to go! Think about it, Lt. Governor/Director of Oklahoma Tourism Matt Pinnell. We should be able to treat our travelers better than that.

      1. No place to take a “Stitt”.

    3. Need to change it to “Oklahoma – Turnaround, don’t drown”.

  8. I think it would be great if they come up with so many good ideas that we could change license plates once a month. It wouldn’t reduce our highest-per-capita incarceration rate, but it should give all those folks something to do.

  9. “TALL”

  10. Why not just steal the last line from “Oklahoma!”?

  11. “Welcome to tribal gaming!”

    1. “The Casino State”

      1. “Oklahoma – whatever,..”

  12. There is no good reason to make everyone change license plate design for at least 10 years.
    I expect if it happens, it will apply to only new issue tags and not re registrations of existing tags. As you know, current law requires all Sellers to keep the current plate, and issue a paper transfer tag. Seller then registers his old tag onto his replacement vehicle.

  13. The Oklahoma tags should read: “For some reason, rednecks seem to love rich guys from NYC. All hail our lord and savior Trump! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAW!”

  14. If you are tone deaf enough to name a branding think tank “Oklax”, the end result is bound to be crap.

  15. I would hope this is just a “trial balloon” of the new campaign. I understand how politicians think how great it is to put some marketing on cars, but if any of them honestly believes it does any good, they are as dumb as Renzi Stone’s campaign.

    I thought Mary’s idea to put the states tourism website on the license plate was a crazy idea. I bet you didn’t even know it was there, but it probably was sold as a way to increase traffic on the website.

    Also thought starting July 1st the tag stays with the car. So much for that plan I guess. I guess Lt. Governor Pinnell had to prove things have changed since Mary left. Changing the license plate is sort of like the new manager rearranging the office on Day one on the job to reinforce the notion that there is change in the air.

    Now just wait until you see what the chosen one Renzi will come up with for the anti-opioid campaign the state plans on running should they win the case against Johnson & Johnson. After all Jethro, oh I mean Renzi was an “expert witness”

    Sadly, Oklahoma never changes and its politicians love advertising and marketing, and naturally advertising and marketing people love them for their business.

  16. Branding and marketing, no matter how brilliant, isn’t enough without a desirable product.

    This reminds me of the old tale of the expensive, carefully-planned campaign to introduce a new brand of dog food. It failed miserably. The dogs wouldn’t eat the stuff.

    Anyone remember Zima?

    1. I see a common theme with “progressives” like Neckbeard here. They hate places they live in (America at large, and like Neckbeard posted above, their own states). You love NYC? Go live there for more than a weekend, and you will come running back faster than Trump fires off another twit. A lot of your liberal utopia places (CA especially) are shit holes. If you’re going to San Shit-cisco, best take care or there’ll be shit in your hair…

      Now, we have a lot (!) of fixing to do here, but I’m glad to see the city and OK at large actually showings some signs of growth lately. That MAGA is sure rubbing off on us 😉

      1. ViX, you have no clue about what I love and hate. No clue at all. And you’re far from the only MAGA acolyte unable to understand any point of view but his own.

        Oklahoma is a nice enough place to live, for me anyway, but I wouldn’t want to visit here. Who would? It’s a drive-through or fly-over place at best for most vacationers. “Discover the Excellence”? Where?

        Pro tip: name-calling only weakens an already silly rant.

        1. I don’t need any clues, your posts speak for themselves usually. You need to get out of your house more often if you don’t think we have any places worth visiting.

          Re: name-calling. That’s rich coming from you lol

  17. Hmmmmm? So we want them bicoastal libtards we hate with a passion to come to Oklahoma so we can pretend to like them while taking their money? First I’d say we need to look at another flyover, desolate, thinly populated redneck state that has had some success at this. Nevada. Or we could just put down the meth pipe long enough to realize we ain’t getting ’em. So Branson, Graceland and Nashville are getting the monied peckerwoods so that leaves a vastly underserved population. The meth smoking, trailer living, confederate flag wavering broke ass rednecks.

    We can start by ripping out those idiotic electric car charging stations like the one at the Moore Walmart and installing hot plugged in jumper cables. Forget the Quality Inn/Best Western motels and focus on the one’s like the old motor courts that used to line Route 66. The finest dining should be a Waffle House and tours established of famous trailer parks and schedule more cheap ass music festivals and start holding welding tournaments.

    Let’s face. If a tourist has a credit card he’s probably to upscale for Oklahoma.

  18. Every man, woman and child in America can see that “Virgiinia is for Lovers” is an ad slogan and does not inspire romantic vacation plans to Hampton Roads. “Wander Indiana” is another favorite; who the actual F sees that on a license plate and is inspired to spend a single minute in Indiana?

    If you insist:
    “Home of Scott Pruitt” is a slogan that would say a lot. Or else “Home of James Imhoff.”
    Oklahoma: Oil or Bust or Both!
    Top Ten in Teen Pregnancy!
    Top Ten in Incarceration!

  19. How a 70s throwback? Oklahoma: We Love Folks!

  20. Yeah, new tags will come new prices we’ll have to pay. Maybe the new ones will be reflective so you can read them better than the current ones. What a waste of money at taxpayer’s expense!

  21. I’m a little cranky that after a decade of cutting funding for infrastructure, education, state parks, etc., and loosening the reins on oil companies so that they don’t need to think as much about the long term effects that they might have on the state’s environment, we’re going to turn on a dime and extoll the values of those very things in a marketing campaign to make us all feel better about being such cheapskates.

    On the other hand, I can’t wait to bolt an “Oklahoma is Frackin’ Great!” license plate to the bumper of my pickup truck!

  22. Yes, the idea that a license plate design is going to increase tourism is just ludicrous. The number of people that see any design on a plate and think, “Wow, that license plate with the cute slogan has made me realize I gotta go there!” is somewhere between zero and -1.
    Jobs for PR people, is all it is, and it reminds me of when they changed the name of the N. Canadian River to the Oklahoma River, asserting that that too would increase tourism.
    “Hey, Jeannie, there’s a river in Oklahoma, in Oklahoma County, in Oklahoma City, called the Oklahoma River! God dang it, we just gotta go now, honey!”
    Meanwhile some p.r. genius collected his check.

  23. Oh yeah, because when being all judgemental about a state the license plate is first on the list. I’m sure once we get rid of whatever plate that makes no difference now and get new plates that will make no difference then, everything will get better here in Oklahoma by leaps and bounds and we will be doing way “Better than OK.” What a bunch of fucking morons and the worst are the rubes that support this dumbassery.

  24. OklaX sounds like some kind of MIO laxative. Probably will produce similar results.

  25. A new slogan could go a long way in curing all our ills. May I be so bold tpo propose….”Okies – WTF?

  26. too

  27. 100 to 1 says that the new license plates will have an oil derrick and/or the Devon penis…errr tower…. on them.

  28. Maybe the motto should be “New Governor, new plates!” since we seem to change up plates every newly elected Governor.

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