Texas A&M: Aggie Wins Don’t Mess With Texas Jingle Contest

Texas A&M University junior Courtney Eoff, a marketing major from Rockdale, earned the top spot for “Best Original Song” in the 2020 jingle contest for the “Don’t Mess With Texas” anti-littering campaign.

Her 30-second song was chosen from more than 130 entries. She joins musicians including fellow Aggie Lyle Lovett in promoting the campaign, launched by the Texas Department of Transportation in 1985.

Eoff said she comes from a musical family and “was humming before I could even talk.” She grew up listening to country and western icons like Willie Nelson, George Strait and LeAnn Rimes, whose jingles also have been used in the campaign over the years.

After many years of singing in choirs, writing songs and performing in plays and talent shows, she spent about 30 minutes on the winning jingle.

“My goal was for anyone age two to 100 to be able to sing along,” Eoff said. “I wanted this jingle to get stuck in their heads and have everybody singing about keeping Texas clean.”

Eoff learned to play the guitar while in eighth grade and booked her first official gig just after turning 16. In addition to performing, she and a friend won the 2019 Houston Rodeo Rockstar competition for their performance of Keith Urban’s “Making Memories of Us.”

While Eoff hopes to advance her music career, she also understands the importance of a college education.

“I chose Texas A&M because the very first time I drove by the campus at 15, I just felt like it was my home,” she said. “I loved all the traditions and values Aggies share. After taking the official tour and meeting all the friendly Aggies, I was sold.”

While she is pursuing a career in marketing, she said, “It would be the best of both worlds if I could combine two things that I love.”

Eoff received $5,000 in equipment for an at-home recording studio, and her jingle will be featured in the Texas Department of Transportation’s social media platforms and campaign.

The agency launched the campaign in 1985 to try to prevent the 362 million or so pieces of litter found on the state’s roads every year. In 2006, “Don’t Mess With Texas” was named America’s favorite slogan and named to the Advertising Walk of Fame.

“I have learned so far that you can’t completely plan out your future,” Eoff said. “But one thing I do know for certain is that music will always be a part of my life.”

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