Nebraska’s Barf-tastic New Licence Plates: Chosen By A College Prank?

UPDATE:  Jack & John Exclusive – Governor’s spokeswoman Jen Rae Hein, joins us at 7:05am 7:35 a.m. WEDNESDAY to discuss possible sabotage in the online voting.  Kevin Corrigan, the mastermind behind College Humor.com’s efforts to vote in Nebraska’s black & gray licence plates joins us at 7:15am WEDNESDAY on 1400 KLIN and KLIN.com.

As pointed out by an alert commenter to our blog, Nebraska may have been victimized by a college prank website in the choice of our new licence plates.

Before those of you with taste prepare to bombard these little rascals back to the sweatsock smelling dorm room from whence they came, take a step back……..and congratulate them.

This prank, though very simple to execute, was pure genius.  Take advantage of a state that showed absolutely ZERO original thought and use it against them to select perhaps one of the dumbest licence plate designs since Henry Ford first slapped a Michigan tag on a Model A.  Seriously, look at the outpouring of people willing to submit their own designs to the World Herald and Journal Star.  A good majority of these homemade models were 10x better than the four we got to vote on – which were LEFTOVERS from the last design competition four years ago!!!!  Anything leftover from four years ago which doesn’t have the label Dom Perignon or Glenfiddich should be thrown down the trash compactor.

Hey, mom!  Anymore leftover meatloaf......from 2005???

Hey, mom! Anymore leftover meatloaf......from 2005???

We (and many callers) thought it was clearly the worst of the four options, all of which were fairly bad.  Doesn’t it look like Microsoft Word when you accidentally have left justify on and you intended for it to be centered?   It’s funny because I was on the phone with local advertising executive Jim Lauerman of Bailey Lauerman this weekend and we were both marveling at just how surprisingly bad this particular design was, but I don’t think either of us thought it had any chance of winning.

Yet somehow, this design won the popular vote.  Any of you vote for it? 

UPDATE:  Collegehumor.com has thanked us for notifying them of this story.  For those of you out-of-Nebraska folks visiting the blog for the first time who would like to hear the interview, you can do so live at 7:15 Central here.

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16 Responses to Nebraska’s Barf-tastic New Licence Plates: Chosen By A College Prank?

  1. Mort blort says:

    Ask hein for the datafiles. Under sunshine laws, shouldn’t they have to release them? My guess is that they did not track referer and consequently have NO idea if they were pranked.

  2. […] to Jack and John in the Morning for alerting us of our victory. I’ll be on their radio show at 7:15 central time fielding […]

  3. Charlie says:

    At least on the official Nebraska political ballots, there is a line for a write-in candidate (remember Omaha mayor Al Veys?). I am disgusted that there was no such line on the DMV’s ballot. I wanted “none of the above, try again loser” as a selection – it would have won easily.

  4. Sarah says:

    Can you concider talking about something news worthy? I am so sick of this license plate issue. really who cares what it looks like? thank you gov. for keeping this process cost effective and not extending the pain of Jack and Johns listeners, this is close to the rants and irrelevant raves of the state fair park cry babies…

  5. jackm1400 says:

    Given the incredible amount of discussion on this topic, both ‘on the street’, via our phones, and on every online comments section below any media account related to this, we thought it was worthy of discussion during part of today’s show, along with some relevant interviews. I’ll post my full response in the blog.

  6. Dan says:

    The plate issue is part of a larger issue: The popular notion that Nebraska is boring, uninspiring, and ugly. Rather than making attempts to combat that view, the governor has allowed production of a plate that REINFORCES that view. Hooray.

    An outlet for the general level of frustration can be found here: http://nefail.tumblr.com/

  7. jackm1400 says:

    That’s a good point as well, Dan, and one we didn’t get to explore as much as I would have liked to on today’s show.

  8. eric says:

    My, it’s nice to see you guys are at least trying to positive and productive – making an impact on society and trying to encourage folks to be accepting of something that WON THE POPULAR VOTE on the website.

    Keep this up and there won’t be voting for license plates, you’ll always be stuck with what one person or committee decides is the best.

    I’d rather at least have a vote.

  9. Charlie says:

    eric:
    It’s rather like choosing among candidates that some despot has put on a ballot. In this case, the vote was meaningless; four really bad designs that some commissar made available to you. I saw some fantastic designs (courtesy of Jack & John) that weren’t proffered by the “dictator of bad taste”. Thus, I disagree with you. I contend that you actually don’t have a vote.

  10. eric says:

    Good points, Charlie … this would also seem to infer that I don’t actually have a vote when it comes to something like, oh, the US presidential election.

    We citizens have to choose from candidates that have been vetted and blessed by their respective political parties.

    I don’t disagree with you that the license plate “voting” and other public “voting” only gives the populace a subset of what we can “choose” from … but I still have a vote – between plates, Coke/Pepsi, Chevy/Ford, McCain/Obama, etc.

    I just think those who can help shape public opinion (the media, perhaps?) could try to celebrate the fact that this was shared with the public and at least an ATTEMPT was made to be fair and include public opinion/perception.

    Hopefully we’ve all learned from this experience and can do better next time … keep in mind that most Nebraskans don’t get excited and participate when someone like the DMV puts out a request for plate designs — sort of like calling your phone company or electricians and congratulating them on a job well done, most people just sit by and complain afterwards about the fact that they “could have done better”.

    Hopefully we can continue to see further encouragement of our listenership to get out there and get involved, rather than complain about the process and results after the fact. :)

  11. Charlie says:

    eric:
    Fair assessment. I agree completely with your reasoning here. I didn’t like many of the pre-vetted candidates either.

  12. fromNebraska says:

    I think the prank may have had help.. Our plates are usually some god-awefull design that the elderly vote in because they have nothing else to worry about except voting against technology enhancements like public community internet.

  13. Nick Gurz says:

    I’m from Edmonton alberta canada and i feel priveleged by the fact that collegehumor.com gave me the chance to decide on your new plate! enjoy!

  14. […] It’s ANOTHER design contest.  That’s right, the same state that held an open contest to design the licence plates (and failed miserably) held ANOTHER contest to design the logo for a fair that already has suffered […]

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