Midland, Texas, population about 95,000, midway between Fort Worth and El Paso and "Hometown of President George W. and Laura Bush" as the Midland website (www.ci.midland.tx.us) trumpets, is taking on the state's big cities in an unusual online, print and collateral campaign. The effort urges Texans to "leave the stresses of big city living and 'come home' to an authentic, simpler life," as Midland's agency, Door Number 3, puts it. The agency is based in Austin, one of the cities Midland is bad-mouthing, but let's just call that West Texas irony. Flyers handed out by street teams in downtown Houston, Dallas and Austin feature pictures of what CD Prentice Howe calls "harried workers," accompanied by snappy copy that, while tongue-in-cheek, probably sounds like fightin' words anywhere but in Midland. "Being the underdog, we knew the messaging had to be noisy," Howe explains. "The campaign makes people pause and, hopefully, evokes a smile. But for those trapped by the grind who are wanting something different out of life, it acts as a heavy dose of forced introspection." Midland is ranked among the most affordable U.S. cities, and it offers an "easy and traditional lifestyle," says Howe. "This message is expected to resonate well with 20- to 40-year-olds, a generation that craves an authentic quality of life." Photography by Randal Ford, www.randalford.com, who, as he notes on his site, is "based out of Austin and big Dallas." See www.comehometomidland.com for more.