The State of Texas has awarded its tourism advertising account to Dallas-based independent agency Slingshot. The shop replaces Interpublic’s TM, which had the assignment for about a decade.
A spokesperson for the governor’s office in Texas confirmed that the account contract “will cost about $20 million,” in fiscal year 2012 -- which, according to Kantar, is what the campaign spent on ads in 2010 as well.
That’s up from the annual $15 million a year the contract was worth when TM successfully defended the account in 2004 for a two-year term. TM subsequently renewed its agreement with the state without a formal review.
It was not clear whether TM defended this time around or what other agencies were in the two-month review. A TM rep did not immediately return an email query seeking comment.
As the new agency of record on the account, Slingshot will plot and execute an integrated campaign that includes creative, media planning and buying, digital and experiential events, a Slingshot rep confirmed. Media channels will include broadcast, print, online, social media and live events.
The shop will be responsible for promoting both domestic and international travel to the state.
“We couldn’t be more excited about our new agency partner,” stated Julie Chase, tourism director for Texas Tourism. “Slingshot’s proposal included quality strategic thinking and creative ideas, a thorough media plan and understanding of emerging platforms to reach our wide variety of target audiences.”
For its pitch, Slingshot created a dedicated group to manage the account, dubbed “Team Texas,” which is comprised of Slingshot, Dallas-based creative boutique Belmont Icehouse and international partners. Slingshot is managing the new assignment from its Dallas headquarters, but is opening a new office in Austin -- the state capital -- where the account team will be based.
“We set out to create a one-of-a-kind agency resource for Texas -- one with an unmatched knowledge of the state, a deep passion for Texas and the skill to apply next-generation thinking about how you sell it,” stated Owen Hannay, founder and CEO of Slingshot.
The privately held Slingshot was founded in 1995. The agency’s clients include Jack Daniel’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, Borden Dairy, IHOP@Home and the American Heart Association.