On Wednesday, Feb. 12, Gov. Kevin Stitt unveiled Oklahoma’s new brand and tagline, “Imagine That.” The process of rebranding was spearheaded by Secretary of Tourism and Branding, Lt. Governor Pinnell, who is the first holder of this title. Pinnell is an ORU alumni.
To begin the brand launch, Pinnell traveled throughout the state to soak in what each community had to offer, compiling a well-rounded picture of the Boomer state. Next, he gathered more than 200 of “Oklahoma’s brightest and most creative” professionals to collaborate in creating the new brand.
“Their task was to develop a cohesive, new brand for Oklahoma that best represents our heritage and history, our booming industry, our beautiful one of a kind vistas, and, most importantly, our greatest asset—our people,” Pinnell stated in an official release.
Operative Brand Consulting, a company in Ontario, Canada, led the project, receiving over $250,000 in compensation according to The Frontier. Along with this company, the chosen volunteers within Oklahoma collaborated works in photography, design, media and other components of the campaign. The time committed by the volunteers added up to $1.5 million worth of work, according to The Frontier.
Jamie Heiman, ORU alumni and current project director at SixPR, played a part in promoting this new brand. Principal and Co-Founder of SixPR, Marnie Fernandez was one of the professionals selected to volunteer for the brand development. SixPR covered event planning and media coverage for the release, handpicking the invitation list, the vendors and the venue, then sharing a press release and covering all media outlets.
“I think it is an ingenious way for us to say, ‘Hey, we get it — Oklahoma’s not known for anything but cowboys and teepees. However, we have all of these unbelievable things to offer, that you would have never guessed. Imagine that.’” Heiman said. “I think this style of approach will make bypassers think twice about us when they see a billboard or an airport sign.”
The logo, featuring bright earth tones and shapes, was inspired by Oklahoma’s heritage. The original state flag contained a white star, and this star is brought back to be the centerpiece of the new state logo. In the new logo, there are chevrons around the star that represent Oklahoma’s military. With all of the logo elements directed inward, it symbolizes Oklahoma as the center of America— a hub.
This new face of Oklahoma has already been branded on t-shirts, billboards, websites and novelty souvenirs. Oklahoma is on track to become a “top-tier destination for visitors, businesses, talent and citizens,” according to Pinnell.