Oklahoma’s new “Imagine That” branding campaign is even less original than we thought!

Last week, we acquired and published the pitch deck for Oklahoma’s new marketing and branding campaign. It will apparently be released by Governor Kevin Stitt sometime in February, if – of course – he hasn’t already changed his mind due to all the negative attention and feedback it’s received.

In case you already forgot the forgettable, the campaign is built around the slogan “Imagine That.” Here are some of the boring, unimaginative sample ads from the campaign’s pitch deck:

Holy helvetica! I can’t wait to see all the convention and tourism business that will drum up for the new OKC Convention Center:

“Wilson, where should the company have our next big convention?”

“How about Oklahoma City, sir? It was created in a single day!”

“Imagine that!”

You don’t have to be one of Don Draper’s secretaries to know that “Imagine That” is a boring slogan that lacks originality and creativity. In fact, the slogan is so unoriginal that the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, via the Convention and Visitors Bureau, used it back in the early- to mid-1990s as part of a self-deprecating ad campaign to recruit convention business.

Check out this old print ad that was sent to us by an Ogle Mole:

If you need a reminder of how much Oklahoma City has changed over the past 25 years, zoom in on that ad copy. I think it was written by Eeyore and won a 1994 Regional Addy for “Most Sad And Brutally Honest Print Ad Campaign.”

That being said, I do like the cartoonish brick playing the saxophone like it’s a California Raisin. While we’re regurgitating old ideas, maybe the Bricktown Association should use it as a mascot!

I have no clue if the dual use of “Imagine That” is a simple uninspired coincidence, or if the powers that be were intentionally using a campaign that ended around the same time the unimaginable did happen in Oklahoma City. The people involved in the Okla-X re-brand project aren’t sure either.

After our story published, I talked to numerous Ogle Moles who are part of the Okla X team. They claim “Imagine That” was not included in any presentations or pitches, and that it seemingly dropped out of micro-managerial left field like a CEO wanting to make the logo bigger.

In fact, their reaction to the slogan and campaign kind of makes me wonder if the whole Okla X process was nothing more than a dog and pony show put together to make the local ad industry feel connected and part of the process, when in fact, their input really didn’t matter all that much.

Imagine that, huh?

Anyway, I’m still hearing that “Imagine That” will be unleashed to the masses in February. Once again, that is if Governor Stitt and Lt. Governor Pinnell don’t do an about face and go back the drawing board due to broad negative feedback. If that happens, expect the next state marketing slogan to be “Uninspired Ideas. We’re On It.” to be released in March.

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23 Responses

  1. Good grief! I could have done better in my first year marketing class. What a waste of money and time.

    1. Suing the tribes over a casino contract that he apparently can’t understand, now this. Imagine that!

  2. Top ten in originality!! Imagine that!

    1. Personally, I think it is the perfect tag line for this state.
      1) It doesn’t really give any actual information
      2) It does the opposite of its intended purpose
      3) (And this is the best reason why) That is the most passive aggressive slogan I have ever seen. The only way it could be worse is to just go ahead and go full “Oklahoma City: You’re stereotypes are justified but also you’re wrong, shithead!” Of course, “Imagine That!” probably fits better on a t-shirt…

  3. Maybe we should have stopped trying when we were using the self fulfilling prophecy of “Oklahoma is OK”

    1. Only because Okies could not spell ‘mediocre’.

    2. As a “bottom ten” state in most categories, I considered “Oklahoma is OK” to have been an aspirational statement

  4. Jesus. That’s so awful it makes my fucking head hurt.

  5. That’s as Dull as the license plate “0klahoma Is Ok”
    And…is that it? Oklahoma is just ok? Can’t wait to visit an OK state.

  6. Did any of the project team members play a part in that great idea to put a bird made of bird shit on our license plates?

  7. A better slogan

    OKLAHOMA where the STUPID and the CROOKED run the show

    1. Imagine that.

  8. As bad as it is, it is at least better (bester?) than “Be Best”.

  9. Oklahoma has great medical cannabis.

    Imagine that.

  10. STITT: I don’t reckon I need no fancy book-learnin’!

    Imagine that, Jethro.

  11. Patrick…..If the tag line wasn’t a part of the original pitch, than the whole thing makes even less sense?!?!! How could you even have the slogans in the black boxes without it? Then claiming it was never brought up and that higher ups just dropped it in? X Doubt.
    Im going out on a limb here and guess that most likely the creatives involved had some good ideas but got shot down by the Stitt team and are embarrassed by the end result. If that’s not the case then only other option would be Stitt’s team came up with all the black box slogans….which I doubt even more. I know they had a good team of local creatives selected…I’m sure they just had to deal with a shitty client.

  12. Come on guys, my wife and I live in Texas now after growing up and living in Oklahoma for over 40 years, so we have to defend our beloved home state every day down here in “the great state of Texass”. At least they do better on slogans down here, nobody messes with Texas, afterall – well, except for the Austin Community College football team, the “Fightin Hermans”, easy to mess with a mess. Oklahoma “leaders” have to do better than “imagine that”, sounds like something Gomer Pyle would say. Is that what we are going for? Might as well add “Golly gee” to it, let’s just go total hick. A state with such great people and so much history deserves WAY better than that!

  13. Where teachers are paid squat and fed broken promises.

    Imagine that.

  14. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and inland hurricanes can happen on the same day.

    Imagine that.

  15. Kevin Stitt seems to be out matched and can’t get any traction. It’s as if he has no political experience at all.

    Imagine that!

    1. When will we ever learn that trying to “run government like a business” is a stupid idea. Would-be politicians, especially ones with no government experience whatsoever, who run on that slogan, are pretty much destined to make things worse.

  16. Golly Gee, We’re on it ! Imagine that!

  17. Looks like plagiarism, smells like plagiarism, walks ‘n talks like plagiarism. Gee, ya think? Someone needs to do some refunding.

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