November 20, 2014

The Top 3 State Slogans

by Guest Blogger

In this week's post, I will be completing my 3-part series on the top 10 state slogans according to USA Today readers. Click here and here if you want to read up on numbers 4 to 10. Without further ado, I present the top 3 state slogans:


This is arguably the most iconic of all the state slogans. It was created in 1968 by the founders of The Martin Agency, David Martin and George Woltz. Originally, the concept was more narrowly focused on history ads ("Virginia is for History Lovers"), beach ads ("Virginia is for Beach Lovers"), and mountain ads ("Virginia is for Mountain Lovers"). The limiting language was removed, and the "Virginia Is For Lovers" slogan was launched in February 1969. The campaign was a hit, and it has helped turn Virginia into one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.

To protect its valuable slogan, Virginia has obtained 3 federal trademark registrations covering everything from t-shirts to license plates. Two federal trademark applications are pending.

11 20 14 Blog Virginia License Plate Original


Kentucky took a novel approach to the launch of its state slogan by allowing the voters to decide. In the fall of 2004, Kentuckians overwhelmingly voted in favor of "Kentucky Unbridled Spirit". The slogan is protected by a federal trademark registration.

11 20 14 Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Original

State officials provide the following explanation for the slogan:

Kentucky is a place where spirits are free to soar and big dreams can be fulfilled. We relish competition and cherish our champions for their willingness to push beyond conventional boundaries to reach new heights of success.

The slogan is credited with improving Kentucky's image. Research shows people believe Kentucky is a "better place to visit" (90%), "more friendly" (81%), and "more modern" (81%) than it was just several years ago. This translates into more visitors and more tourism spending.

Despite the popularity of the slogan, some Kentuckians would like to see a change. One particularly vocal contingent would like to see the slogan changed to "Kentucky Kicks Ass". The leaders of the movement explain their position as follows:

Go ahead and Google "unbridled spirit" and you know what you come up with? Horseback riding lessons â in San Antonio.

The reaction from state officials has been lukewarm. Needless to say, there are no plans afoot to adopt the proposed slogan. If you think Kentucky kicks ass, then you can show your support with a novelty license plate or baby onesie.

11 20 14 Blog Kentucky Onesie


So what makes this the #1 state slogan? According to USA Today:

Aside from the fact that Texas is certainly big enough to be a whole other country (and actually was, for a brief period of history), the state slogan encompasses all the places, people and experiences found nowhere else in the world. Texas is a big state with a big attitude to match . . . but Texans would say "it ain't braggin' if you can back it up."

Here is an example of use:

11 20 14 Texas Original

In addition to "Texas. It's Like A Whole Other Country", Texas is also well-known for another famous slogan: "Don't Mess With Texas". While ""Texas. It's Like A Whole Other Country" is used to promote tourism, "Don't Mess With Texas" is used in a campaign to reduce littering by the Texas Department of Transportation. The slogan first appeared in a TV commercial with Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1986, which helped the slogan become a statewide cultural icon:

The slogan became such a phenomenon that the Texas Department of Transportation has obtained 7 federal trademark registrations to protect the slogan on everything from stickers to shot glasses.

The lawyers at Trademarkology provide trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.