Have you ever read the above on the back of a car in front of you, and thought to yourself, "Are you kidding me?" "Oklahoma is OK"? Do they really want to aim so high with their license plate slogan? Aren't they just a tad bit embarrassed by the mediocrity?
But Oklahoma's lame license plates got me to thinking about all the other license plate slogans out there. Some of which just don't make any sense. Take for instance Arkansas' "The Natural State" or Kentucky's "Unbridled Spirit." What do these even mean?
If you have to ask, your branding just isn't working for you, is it?
I was curious, as per, so looked into Kentucky's Unbridled Spirit, and guess what? The Kentucky.gov site has a whole page explaining it. The third question on the list was my question:
What does “Kentucky Unbridled Spirit” mean?
Here is the definition:
“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.”
Hmm. Now I'm really confused!
Some Maine license plates sport, "Vacationland." They're kidding right? I mean, sure, I bet you could have a nice little vacation in Maine. In July. On the coast. But Vacationland? I highly doubt they've got a dearth of vacationers in February. Hasn't everyone read "Olive Kitridge" and "Empire Falls"? Depressing, I tell you. Not vacationland.
I'll give it to some states though, Montana's "Big Sky Country" is a winner, and I've always liked New Mexico's "Land of Enchantment" as well as Puerto Rico's very similar but prettier to say, "La Isla del Encanto" (Island of Enchantment). Arizona's "Grand Canyon State" is worthy because it's so apt as is Washington's "The Evergreen State" (and Montana's already mentioned big sky), whereas New Jersey's "The Garden State," just seems deceitful.
While I was poking around looking for state license plate branding I came across a website that reproduced a list of made up state license plate mottos from the website of the "Township of Grace Gazette."
Some of these are pretty good:
Hell Yes, We Have Electricity
(We have the electric chair)
11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong
Literacy Ain't Everything
We put the "Fun" in Fundamentalist
Haka Tike Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru
(Death to Mainland Scum, Leave Your Money)
Please don't pronounce the 'S'
We're not ALL drunk Cajun wackos, But that's our Tourist Campaign
You Want a ##$%##! Motto?
I got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right Here!
One Big Happy Family...Really!
And my two personal favorites:
Hookers and Poker!
Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus
What can you all come up with?