Confederate Air Force Voted Favorite Don’t Mess With Texas Ad


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Confederate Air Force Voted Favorite Don’t Mess With Texas Ad

By Shane Nolan

February 22, 2011 - After nearly 600,000 total votes cast in the Face-Off, Texans have declared the Confederate Air Force, now the Commemorative Air Force, the favorite Don’t Mess with Texas TV ad of the past 25 years.  

The Texas Department of Transportation celebrated the start of its Don’t Mess with Texas campaign’s silver anniversary with a Celebrity Face-Off. Texans voted in January and February on a pool of 38 commercials, the first of which aired during the Cotton Bowl in 1986.  

“The sheer number of votes in the Face-Off shows Don’t Mess with Texas is adored for its commercials,” said TxDOT Travel Information Division Director Doris Howdeshell. “We launched the Face-Off to get people engaged in litter prevention. I know we can carry this momentum forward and keep litter off our roadways.”  

In the winning Don’t Mess with Texas spot, an airplane flies overhead letting Texans know that somebody up there is watching for litterers. “The Commemorative Air Force was founded in Texas over 50 years ago, which makes Texas our home and the Don’t Mess with Texas campaign extremely important to us,” said CAF President/CEO Stephan Brown. 

“When the Face-Off began, we saw an outpouring of support from our 8,000 members. Getting to the finals and then winning has been great fun for our staff and members. We’re excited that the CAF’s B-17 Sentimental Journey brought it home.”  

There was also a buzz about the Face-Off on Don’t Mess with Texas’ Facebook page. Post views on the page increased by 963 percent and post “likes” increased by 457 percent, with 1,695 people liking the Don’t Mess with Texas page since the Face-Off started.  

Friends of the campaign wrote about their most-loved TV spots. One fan wrote, “Let's vote the King of Country as the King of Texas!,” while another fan said, “Okay it is time to get behind Jerry Jeff. He has been my hero since way back in the early 70s.” Another Don’t Mess with Texas Facebook friend declared, “Commemorative Air Force commercial just rocks.”


The latest research commissioned by TxDOT shows that there are approximately 1.1 billion pieces of litter on Texas roads. A success is that food-related trash is down 76 percent in Texas, yet tobacco trash remains a culprit, as 400 million discarded cigarette butts made up 43 percent of Texas litter in 2009.  


In 1986, TxDOT spent $2.33 per person for litter pickup, and the agency now spends $1.90 per person. Research shows roadway litter in Texas is down 11 percent since 2001 despite our state’s population and road growth.  

Don’t Mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. TxDOT’s litter prevention program includes Adopt-a-Highway and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Don’t Mess with Texas activities also include a spring “Trash-Off,” community outreach, a scholarship, a corporate partner program, and a photo album where Texans can share their iconic Texas images.

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