Elk Grove's Texas Ad - Creative License of Former Mayoral Candidate's Slogan?

March 13, 2014 | Yesterday, The City of Elk Grove made quite a splash with a news report from the Sacramento Business Journal over a...

March 13, 2014 |

Yesterday, The City of Elk Grove made quite a splash with a news report from the Sacramento Business Journal over an ad placed in a Houston business publication. In addition to the SBJ, all of the local TV news stations have picked-up the story.

In an attempt to turn the tables on the Lone Star state, Elk Grove appealed to Texas businesses to relocate to the city by using that state's well-known anti-littering campaign tagline, "Don't mess with Texas." That ad also contains another familiar tagline that may have been appropriated by the city and its creative team.

The ad's copy concludes by saying "In Texas they like everything bigger, but in Elk Grove, we like everything better."

Local political observers may remember that 2012 Elk Grove mayoral candidate Lynn Wheat used as her campaign's slogan, "Let's make our city better, not bigger."

See video below at about the 1:15 mark where Wheat uses her campaign slogan. Wheat also closes her pitch by saying "together we can make Elk Grove better, not bigger." 

Coincidence or did the city use creative license? 


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Anonymous said...

Did Lynn write this story for you? No it's not copying.

Anonymous said...

Make Elk Grove better by bringing in new non-retail, non-food service businesses.

Hey Yall in Texas;

Come see the City of Elk Grove, the home of see through buildings.

The rents are rock bottom, housing costs are reasonable, the weather is definitely better than Houston.

We need businesses that pay more than a minimum wage to make Elk Grove better. Strip centers just don't cut it in terms of places of employment.

One line of business that is growing are gun stores.

Now there is a new gun store near the U-Haul at Laguna Boulevard and Harbour Point. Kind of like the Texification of California.

Dishonest Davis said...

This is Davis’s MO. George Murphey’s entire campaign was to get Elk Grove “back on track.” Davis stole tagline as well months later.

Ask Steve Detrick about the sex offender ordinance and what Davis did there. Davis has made a career out of stealing other people’s ideas and making them his own.

This current campaign is nothing but a publicity stunt so that Davis could brag about something at the State of the City Address because he has done nothing since he has been elected mayor and so he needs to give the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce something to applaud.

And how much did these ads cost the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Appears this is in answer to an article published on April 26, 2013 in the Sacramento Biz Journal where it mentions "The Woodlands." Read it here:

Now where and who are "The Woodlands?" None other than HHC......

So is this the "light a fire under HHC" Mayor Davis was talking about? IMO....big mistake on his part....bet HHC has big fire extinguishers.

Not only that, but Texans probably invented the pickup and are wondering who or where is this Elk Grove he's talking about?

Bainc said...

I'm not interested in the tag line being stolen or not but I'm rather interested in our ROI for these ad's. Is this what Mr. Starbuck has been doing? Are we really going to recruit business away from Texas? Is this just a ploy to get local Sacramento coverage? Maybe that's money well spent. I'll reserve judgement but it seems far fetched that we'll receive any ROI from ad's in Texas.

Laguna Pete said...

I just can't believe our city and our mayor continue to stumble all over themselves, almost daily now.

Mayor Davis states the city is close to getting the mall back on track w/ HHC.

Then he promptly antagonizes them with this ad. What purpose does that serve?

Does the mayor and city think HHC, after this direct challenge, will now move faster to help us get our mall up and running?

It's much more likely that the mall is now pushed back to HHC "dead projects" file.

Does anyone really think HHC will blink first?

We need to engage HHC, not antagonize them. I just don't understand this course of action.

Perhaps no one did their homework on "Woodlands" and didn't know it was a HHC community?

That's even more egregious.
What are our leaders doing?

We look foolish to so many countries and communities.

Coffee Bean said...

According to SBJ, this publicity stunt cost us taxpayers $7,000! Starbuck at the helm and Sixshooter Davis in the galley making coffee. Spend your own money next time on this pointless stunt.

Anonymous said...

Need to find a dynamic leader who can lead this city forward rather than backwards into the swamp of suburban mediocrity.

From aloft, this place looks like Vegas without the bright casinos, large regional shopping centers and airport.

In other words a flat boring mess like a cheese pizza with a couple of olives on it for garnish.

Lynn said...

I did not write this article. Can't take the credit. Isn't it great though that our mayor hears me now? I guess after the election was over this wasn't forgotten. I still believe we can make Elk Grove Better and not Bigger. How can that happen? Take the SOI off the table, do not bring it back in a year. Our current leaders and a couple running for office have not been willing to dismiss this...and why? Take a look at our current leaders and those running...watch where their contributions come from....connect the dots...easy to do and you can figure it out. I still believe we can make Elk Grove Better....however this will happen only when residents begin to talk about our community and what is happening...sharing the information! It is a "WE"....I believe that! I still have a vision...it has not died....I know my ideas are viable...or at least one city leader believes it can bring jobs from Texas....Better not Bigger....He was allowed this one...I didn't copywright it....

SteveB6509 said...

Despite what most people on here think, there is no magic bullet to economic development. I like the idea of the ad - why not? The fact that is has gotten us press in the Sacramento Business Journal means this news is available nationwide. In most ways, we are better than Texas and I'm glad we finally had the gonads to say it.

Anonymous said...

I know who was behind this stunt and it was not starbuck!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw Channel 10 and 40's story on this ad. One of them stated the ad would run one day in print and one day on some website. I am wondering if 6,000-7,000 thousand dollars was worth it. My dad was in advertising and he said "you should have kept your money. You cannot get your idea across in one ad". Maybe someone might follow-up and actually Google Elk Grove, but this does seem like a waste of money. Think about it...taxes in Texas vs. California taxes & regulations. Why would you come to California to do business? California is not a business friendly environment and by association, Elk Grove cannot undo what the state has imposed upon us. My other concern is that HHC holds the reins to the mall. Why would we want to poke at that bear now? Seems crazy to me. But wish the ad well. Is there any way to determine if there is any interest generated by the ad?

Lynn said...

Most likely what we will hear from city leaders and management is the same response when inquiring if the money spent on the ice skating rink brought more shoppers/buyers to the retail shops in old town and boosted sales...the response "Store owners liked the skating rink". So in this case "yes the ad was liked"
BTW....our local food bank will now be open Saturdays for our residents. Was this ad really investing in our community? Will this really bring businesses from Texas to California?
I think the 7,000 could of been used in our business incentive program and helped launch a local business. We have many living right now in our community with great ideas...how about really, I mean really supporting "home grown" businesses....How about putting this 7,000 into farm to fork? I don't believe stealing jobs from other areas in our region and now expanding outside California is helpful...

Anonymous said...

How about we just reverse the ad and say the city of Killeen ran this ad in the SBJ. What would we be saying? Most likely laughing and saying, "where in the heck is Killeen?" It's a total waste of taxpayer monies and serves no purpose, just a media stunt. Not thinking Elk Grove will have them flocking down I-5 any time soon, besides the freeways are full with businesses leaving in the past two weeks.

Better be careful when he goes to the Dallas Mayors Convention in June, they may squash him like one of those big bugs he said they had. Not usually good business to try and draw business from a state and out of the other side of your mouth you slap them with a negative comment. They'll be laughing at you all the way to the bank!

Anonymous said...

$7k to get some buzz, really?

Twinkle Eyes Davis placed the ad in the Houston Biz journal, which only a few will only see and that's only if they like to read the ads.

Plus the story got some coverage from the local media, who by the way did not send a worthy reporter to cover it.

Smoke and mirrors, Davis used $7k to give us smoke and mirrors.

I agree with Anon 8:19, the money was wasted.

All I know is that I am watching Davis and all of his cheerleaders!!!

Anonymous said...

All the TV stations picked up this ad? Really? And the business section? WHY?

Well, 7 thousand is pretty cheap adverting then!

Leo Burnett said...

a Google news search using "elk grove, california texas advertisement" showed only local news outlets running the story. The ad appears today in Houston so we will need to check later to see if they pick up on it. If it only generates buzz locally, then the campaign failed. If it creates some buzz in Houston, it will have at least gained some attention. The real test will be whether it actually generates some inquires to the city and if the city can land the account once the potential client visits the showroom, such as it is.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, we could have bought food for a Nigerian Emir for a whole week with that $6,000!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but when them Texans google our Mayor to see who this guy with the audacity to call them out is really like..well...let's just say their jokes about Californians will be further reinforced!

therealLynn said...

if a butterfly flaps its wings

Bob L said...

Ok Davis....There it is in print. You don't want BIGGER, you want BETTER.
Now we can put this SOI issue to bed. You no longer want to expand our borders, you want to build better in the infill rermaining. Good decision.
Now, I don't want to hear anymore from you about this SOI.

Lynn said...

Bob L....the SOI is coming back in a year...our mayor said he would wait a year. Just wait we residents will receive a sound bite on this one....He will say we need 4,000 instead of the original 8,000. And then He will tell us this compromise is a victory for all of us who live here. The city in working towards the SSHCP and are making efforts to keep the SOI viable by saying it is about planning 30-50 years into the future.
Don't be fooled by the mayor's slogan; it is not his original thought!

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to guess what's coming up next from our fearless leader?

I say $8k for a Gary Davis poster giveaway at the corner of Laguna and Bruceville.

The shirts will be given out by the guy who holds the Mr. Pickles sign on the corner.

Or how about $5k for a Gary Davis bobblehead night at Raley Field?

Anonymous said...

Here's the article...all $6000.00 worth! Page 33

Might just as well as thrown the money out in the street...maybe some needy person could have paid their rent or bought some groceries.


Anonymous said...

You may have a problem viewing. They only allowed me to pull it up once and then asked that I register.

Leo Burnet said...

It has been 24 hours since I first Googled news for "elk grove, california texas advertisement" and there is no change. It does not seem the media in Houston has picked up on the advertisement in the Houston Business Journal.

It seems the spot made a bit of a splash locally, but has been all but ignored by Houston media.

I'll continue to monitor this, but as of now, it seems this campaign did not create the buzz in the Houston media market that it did in the Sacramento media market. By that measure, the campaign has failed.

Anonymous said...

Why would it...it's such a small ad at the bottom of the page. I had to flip through the Journal twice to even find it and I was looking specifically for it. Not sure why a picture of a pickup with a sticker on the bumper would jump out at you. We have seen those for so many years we never give them a glance any more. Perhaps a picture of Mayor Davis floating on a cloud with a streamer and $$$ flying behind him would have been a show stopper!

Anonymous said...

What Mayor Davis doesn't understand is Elk Grove is not on anyone's list as an up and coming city and hardly represents the State of California.

Does Mayor Davis not know that Gov. Perry chews & spits out little people like him every day...that's he's nothing but a little fleck on his lapel. Never forget either that this is a small world and how fast this can get to HHC desk from some Texans here in Sacramento with all the news appearances & hot-dog comments.

Anonymous said...

He should of been selling Girl Scouts cookies and the same local stations would've given him coverage for free.

Thanks for making bad decisions with our money Mr. Mayor!

Anonymous said...

Some of us Friday evening were trying to think of what Mayor Davis has accomplished since graduating from councilmember to Mayor & how did the city become better because of it. After much discussion and as it stands now, we decided having a Mayor actually hurts us because he has taken that title to mean much more than it does and that it is just a Honorary Title. Something the other councilmembers need to remind him of when he goes off on those wild media blitzes. On the other hand our thoughts were...maybe they're just letting him dig his own hole to nowhere and hopefully take 1-2 with him. It's our thought that few in the community endorsed this latest costly speal.

Anonymous said...

We need a housing moratorium!

More houses = more high density low income housing projects.

More more high density income housing projects = South Sacramento south.

Lynn said...

To anonymous 19:56
If this is what you believe I would suggest you pack city hall chambers and let your voices be heard there. Also really check out who is on council and who is running; question the candidates running; I believe they support the Sphere of Influence our city expanding by 8,000 acres.
One candidate who currently sits on planning commission voted to change density in the east area; eliminated the estate housing. Isn't his what our council has been saying we need to bring better jobs?
Bring your neighbors and friends to the meeting Tuesday March 25th at 6pm, city chamber halls when the new SEPA plan(1200 acres) is unveiled; 70% housing....

Howard Hughes Corporation said...


To: Mayor Davis and the leaders and citizens of Elk Grove:

Re: Recent Business Journal advertisement

The Howard Hughes Corporation is aware of the recent published ad in our local business periodical. It was brought to our attention by a local reporter who contacted this office to inquire as to whether we had responded or cared to comment. It had actually gone un-noticed by our entire staff. This is likely due to the placement and relative small size of the ad.

We in Texas have much pride and were disappointed with the brazen attack on our state and our citizens. We at HHC thought we put all this pettiness aside after your mayor stated he was going to "light a fire under the HHC" on his last visit, quite sometime ago. We went easy on him, knowing he was from California and all, put if you continue to poke the bull, your likely to get kicked hard in a soft place.

Due to your continued disrespect towards the HHC and Texans in general, I'm confident that you folks may be waiting a few generations before HHC reconsiders development or sale of that mall property that you so desperately want completed.

We would also like to close by reminding all local prospering businesses out there that we offer great relocation incentives and here in Texas, we have no state income tax.

'Ya all have a good day.


Bill O'Mara
Vice President, Land Procurement
Howard Hughes Corporation

Note: The above is a fictitious but reasonable response to Elk Grove's recent ad placed in a Texas business periodical.

Anonymous said...

That's toooo gooood!
Hillarious. I bet staff was peeing their pants.

Anonymous said...

LOL...great letter and pretty much says it all!

Have a business friend who lives in Houston and when I asked him about the ad he did a search and couldn't find it. Had to locate the page number posted above and his first question was....where is that place? When I told him it was a small community south of where I live and the story behind it, he LHAO...asked, what are they smokin' down there? Don't want to play games with Texans & their HHC and Gov. Perry is in Austin. Hadn't heard any of his associates even mention it, doubted that anyone even saw it and not a publication for something like that...IT'S A BUSINESS JOURNAL, that Mayor needs to get a life!

Leo Burnett said...

It has been over 72 hours since I first did a Google news search for 'elk grove, california texas advertisement" and the results have not changed. Apparently the ad has not gotten the desired effect, at least with the Houston media. No media outlet has reported on it like was done in the Sacramento market.

On this measure, this singular ad placement was a flop.

Anonymous said...

But.... This is a destination city!

Yeah, for low income housing residents.

Anonymous said...

If our Mayor spent half as much time on doing something productive instead of media stunts, posting ads in papers, Food Truck events, etc. it's possible some jobs could be coming our way. At some point I would hope he would realize it's just NOT "all about him!"

Anonymous said...

What am I missing here? Has our Mayor & EGEDD gone completely bonkers?

Starbuck was quoted in the Citizen today as saying, " the $6,000 spent on the ad was money well spent.
We were hoping that just taking out an ad in a newspaper of record in Texas would create buzz locally in this region, and that’s exactly what happened. Starbuck said that he had yet to hear from anyone in Houston."

Of course we could have had the same response and saved the city $6000.00 by having Mayor Davis do one of his famous media splashes.

While our elite were busy with this penny-antie stuff did they miss getting in on the Tesla Motors, Inc. $5 billion battery factory site in the works? TX may have upped you on that one too!

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