Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Hunt for Invasive Species Slogans – 1st Edition

I’ve always been intrigued with creativity that is put to good use.  As I’m sure you know, a catchy or funny slogan or saying can really make an advertisement memorable (for example, you can't hear 'Where’s the Beef?' without thinking of Wendy's).  From working with invasive species over the last ten years, I've come to the conclusion that there are a lot of creative, funny, and/or odd things out there when it comes to invasive species educational material.
I’m starting a series of posts to highlight some of the more memorable and fun slogans that you can find on publications, bumper stickers, and t-shirts.   
If you know of some slogans that haven’t been posted here, please send them to
These slogans seem to fit into three broad categories: Play-off, Alliteration, and Rhyming.  Here in this first post, I am going to concentrate on The Play-off.
*UPDATE:  The second, third, and fourth posts in this series are posted and available at RHYMING, ALLITERATION, and MASCOTS
The Play-off
Take a familiar saying and change it just enough to 1.) focus the saying on invasive species and 2.) avoid any copyright infringement.  These slogans rely on familiarity to draw people in and become exposed to their message.

“Don’t Move a Mussel”
h/t Kim Bogenschutz

Targeting both Zebra and Quagga Mussels, this is a simple, effective message.  Arizona and Iowa both can lay claim to using this one, but I’ll let them fight it out to determine who actually came up with it first.  I love that this is being used in print and even up on boat ramp signs.

“Give them an inch and they’ll take an acre”

Another one of these oft-used slogans.  I’ve seen this one in many places, but since Cal-IPC’s material was the first to pop up on my internet search, they get the honor of having their ad being used.

“Carpe Weedum: Seize the Weed!”
This has to be one of my all-time favorite slogans.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture to go with it.  For some reason, I love how they forced the word “weed” into Latin.  My hat’s off to whomever actually came up with this.  I first saw it on a T-shirt in 2008 complete with a drawing of a hand grasping a weed.  If anybody has more information or, better yet, a picture of one of those t-shirts, please let me know!   Some internet searching did reveal that other groups of ‘weed’ enthusiasts are now using this slogan as well but I am steadfast in believing that it started with the invasive species ‘weed’ people first.

“I’ve been knotty this year”

This one doesn’t quite fit into any of the three categories but is somewhat of a play-off so I added it here.  Highlighting the troublesome Japanese Knotweed, this is from the Invasive Species Weblog.  Best of all, you can order buttons with this on it from

“Hello Invasive Species.  Goodbye Texas”
h/t Damon Wait

Texans seem to do everything big.  Not content to simply come up with a slogan that plays off of the popular Texas Tourism saying, instead they come up with this slogan and then expand it to an entire ad campaign that focuses on a ton of different species.  The one above is obviously about Giant Salvinia.  The salvinia infestation added to the father/son picture is the perfect touch!

Wanted DEAD, not Alive

Another common saying here put to good use by Wildlife Forever.  Each one of those wanted posters features a different invasive species with "Wanted DEAD, not Alive" up at the top.  The old-timey print, faded background, and bullet holes tie right in to the play-off with this saying.

Asian Carp Cuisine: Recipes to "wet" your appetite

h/t Kim Bogenschutz

Coming right out of Illinois through the Illinois-Indiana SeaGrant and Illinois Natural History Survey, this is a straightforward statement with just a hint of play-off.  I’m glad they added the quotation marks around “wet” to emphasize that this was intentional and not just a misspelling of “whet.”  I’ve still not tried eating Asian Carp, but when I do, I’m going to use some of the recipes found in this publication.

Looks Can Kill

I'm showing my age a bit here, but I remember seeing this poster for National Invasive Weed Awareness Week (NIWAW) in 2006 long before it became NISAW (changed the name to invasive species from weed).  No wasting space on this slogan, just stating the simple facts that, though they are pretty, these invasive plants can kill.  The drawing of purple loosestrife with its roots engulfing the world is a bit dramatic, but does grab your attention.

I am really impressed with the creativity on display and think this really does help raise awareness about invasive species.  Keep an eye out for future posts on this blog about this subject as I cover Rhyming and Alliteration categories.  I also want to capture pictures of cool invasive species mascots as well.  Again, if you come across good examples of invasive species slogans, sayings, or ad campaigns please send them to

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