OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A year-long project was unveiled at the capitol Wednesday for Oklahoma’s new state tag line and logo.
The phrase “Imagine That” was chosen by a group of 200 volunteers, coming from different public relations and marketing backgrounds.
All Oklahomans were invited by the Lieutenant Governor to be a part of the decision-making group, OklaX.
“You know, people come to Oklahoma and they’re wowed, they’re surprised and we wanted to tap into that. We really wanted to tap into the emotional piece of you can still imagine the American dream in Oklahoma,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell.
The team wanted to keep the tag line short, so it’s easier to brand and to remember.
“A lot of people say it and that’s what we wanted. We don’t want people to forget it, and you can use it in a whole lot of different ways,” said Pinnell. “I also feel like it was something Will Rogers would say.”
The new logo is inspired by Oklahoma’s heritage.
The different colors represent the earth, sky, water, agriculture, and forest.
“We really just wanted to make sure we were celebrating what Oklahoma is all about. In order to do that, we needed a diverse array of shapes and colors and we wanted to make sure we were creating Oklahoma as the hub of America,” said Okla-X volunteer and new Dir. of State Branding, Amy Blackburn.
The star in the center represents our state’s original flag.
However, some Oklahomans are not thrilled about the new logo and slogan.
“There are some people that are going to love it, and there’s some people that aren’t gonna like it. What I would say is did you see what we had before? Because we didn’t really have a brand we didn’t really have a logo,” said Pinnell.
The price tag for the new branding thus far: $200,000, paid to an international firm hired for the rebrand.
Pinnell says that firm has worked on re-branding multiple ‘Fortune 500’ companies as well.
$100,000 of that bill was paid by the state, the other half came from private donations.
“You had to have one neutral person, bringing all of our local companies together. They didn’t have creativity on it, they were just the facilitator that got all of this to bubble up and come up with our great logo and brand,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt.
They compared this cost to other states like Colorado, who according to Pinnell, paid $800,000.
Pinnell says during this new legislative session, they hope to have $2 million go toward branding efforts.
Previously, they’ve had zero.
That money will be appropriated to the Department of Commerce, where Blackburn will manage those dollars.
Other agencies will chip in too, like the Department of Transportation who will help pay for new signage.
“We have to invest in these things for us to get our message out there. We can’t just design a logo and put a couple of things on a couple of government agencies and think that that’s going to resonate across the world. You have to spend some money from a marketing perspective doing those things,” said Pinnell.
At least seven new welcome billboards will go up across the state Thursday.
A new license plate will be optional for now.
“It’ll be something they will just roll out when you renew your tag. You’re welcome to update it, so there will be no force to do it in the near future,” said Gov. Stitt.