Before it became the rallying cry for the state of Texas. Before it was printed on millions of t-shirts, bumper stickers and belt buckles. Before it was voiced in presidential speeches. The iconic phrase “Don’t Mess with Texas” was an anti-littering campaign penned by a small advertising agency in Austin, Texas. Talk about humble beginnings. In 1985, GSD&M was tasked with solving the litter problem in Texas. The idea was a bold statement that played into the deep, emotional pride Texans have for their state. The executions were equally bold, featuring Texas’ most iconic personalities and beloved figures reminding us all that this state is not to be messed with.

The commercials have featured Academy and Grammy award winners, a Heavy Weight Champion, NFL superstars, Chuck Norris and even Shamu. The campaign became so popular, that you couldn’t claim to be a Texas celebrity if you hadn’t starred in your own Don’t Mess With Texas commercial.

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