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Posts Tagged ‘Whit Hiler’

Friday Morning Stir aims to provoke with online ad (video above).

-That John Lewis penguin ad already has a parody.

-Paddy Power calls for creative review.

-Kik introduces promoted chats for brands.

-Digiday asks if Whit Hiler is “the most talented creative in America.”

-Marketers are already looking past Christmas to the Super Bowl.

-Havas Medias’ Paul Frampton says agencies need a “healthy paranoia” about Google and Facebook.

-MediaPost explains “Why Digital Advertising Will Never Surpass $100B.”

-A cat obsession coupled with ad industry frustration breeds Agency Trash Talk.

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Cornett Celebrates A&W Chain with Custom Table Number Designs


It’s been a couple of months since we’ve heard from Lexington, KY-based agency Cornett. Now they’ve returned with a new effort for A&W Restaurants. Now that Cornett has crafted “the world’s longest hashtag” for the chain, the agency has unveiled a follow-up in the form of customized table number designs. To accomplish the feat, Cornett has enlisted the services of a handful of artists who each drew up 20 distinct, race car-inspired table number designs that cater to the agency’s new brand platform dubbed “hip nostalgia.” Above and below is just a smattering of the handiwork from artists Ken Davis, Jason Carne, Ryan Quickfall, Travis Hess and CD Tim Jones. While it doesn’t have the humor like some previous Cornett work, the artistic bent is still somewhat appealing. You can view the full project here.



Cornett IMS Crafts World’s Longest Hashtag for A&W

Kentucky-based agency Cornett IMS (who you may remember from Beardvertising or “Kentucky Kicks Ass“) has created the world’s longest hashtag to promote the release of A&W’s new chicken tender sandwich.

While most brands see the hashtag as something that fans will hopefully share on social media, Cornett chose to create a hashtag so long that the chance of it being used are pretty damn low. The extra-big hashtag is, presumably, meant to coincide with the extra-big nature of A&W’s Hand-Breaded Chicken Tender Texas Toast Sandwich. Like that sandwich, the hashtag is quite the mouthful. As Cornett’s Whit Hiler puts it, they were going for a “hashtag so long, our consumers would say ‘man that’s a really long hashtag, that Hand-Breaded Chicken Tender Texas Toast Sandwich must be freaking delicious.’” You can view the TV spot introducing the hashtag above. That hashtag, by the way, is: #supertastylargeandinchargetexastoasttwohand-wichmadewithdeliciousonehundredpercentwhitemeathandbreadedchickentendersandyourchoiceofclassicorspicypapasauceeitherwayyoucan’tgowrongwowthatsoundsgoodyouneedtotryoneit’sonlyavailableforalimitedtimeImgoingtohavetogogetonemyselfareyoustillreadingthisseeyouatAandW. Credits after the jump. Read more

Whit Hiler is a Self-Promoting Ninja

Do you like sake? Do you like throwing stars? Ever wish there was a place where you could go to pound sake and throw throwing stars? How about an indoor ninja throwing star range where they serve sake? That sounds like either the best idea ever, or a lawsuit waiting to happen, or both, right?

In what is surely the craziest publicity stunt you’ll hear about today, Whit Hiler, one of the Lexington, KY-based Cornett IMS masterminds behind beardvertising and “Kentucky Kicks Ass”  announced that he was behind the crazy “Ninjas Indoor Throwing Star Range.”Hiler and crew created “Ninjas Indoor Throwing Star Range” because “Everyone loves throwing stars and everyone loves alcohol.” Hiler and Cornet decided to present their “establishment that allows people to pound sake and chuck throwing stars” to the world, presenting it as an establishment that would open in Lexington, Kentucky in the spring. Enlisted to aid Hiler in spreading this madness were “Kris Kross Ange on the design, Golden Nick Child on the video, and Shammy Shamick Gaworski on the web development.”

And spread it they did. The video makes use of YouTube’s “Best Death Scene Ever,” while the website quotes Wu Tang and, according to Hiler, Japanese curse words. They even created a fake Gmail account under the name Satou Watanabe (which has to be the coolest sounding alias this side of Throb Darshall) Soon everyone was talking, tweeting, and posting about the crazy new sake bar/throwing star range coming to Kentucky. For obvious reasons, most people wanted this to be real. The crew received articles from people asking how they could become a franchisee. Articles appeared in the likes of Gizmodo, io9, and Laughing Squid. Hiler even faked an interview with Yahoo, under another cool alias: Timothy San Bernardino.

Throughout the process, Hiler and crew got a lot of attention for Lexington and the agency in which they toil. But when can I really walk into an establishment, get shitfaced on sake and chuck throwing stars, you ask? Well, “maybe we’ll turn this joke into a reality and end up opening the world’s first throwing star range and sake bar later this year,” says Hiler. One thing is for sure though, as we mentioned above, Whit Hiler is a self-promoting ninja.

Apparently, Beardvertising Works

Whit Hiler and the folks over at Lexington, KY-based agency Cornett IMS — who you may remember as the masterminds behind “Kentucky Kicks Ass” — spent 2013 revolutionizing the advertising world with a new form of native advertising: beardvertising.

It’s a pretty simple formula: beards+advertising = beardvertising. The idea is that “beardboards” (beard billboards) are clipped onto epic bears to advertise a given product. The concept was developed solely to garner free press for Cornett and their clients, and it certainly did that, as it was covered by news outlets all over the country. But a funny thing happened: some brands actually inquired about beardvertising, and more than 1,400 men signed up to be paid for using their facial hair as advertising space. So in July, Cornett launched the first ever beardvertising campaign for Dollar Shave Club. Cornett selected 25 of their favorite beards from those submitted and, in their words, “History was made and beards got paid.”

Check out the case study video above for more on beardvertising. And if you think your beard might make the cut, head on over to and sign up.

Cornett-IMS Crafts the Best Horse Farm Ad You’ve Ever Seen

Lexington, KY-based Cornett-IMS, the agency behind “Beardvertising” and whose creative/biz dev guy Whit Hiler also co-masterminded  “Kentucky Kicks Ass,” have crafted the best long and short-form advertisements for a horse farm I’ve ever seen (and also the only long and short-form advertisements for a horse farm I’ve ever seen).

They teamed up with Eye Level Films to create “The Lane’s End Experience: A Short Film,” actually a long ad for Lane’s End Farms, which we’re told is “one of the world’s premier Thoroughbred farms.” It’s not hard to believe that after watching the video. There’s rolling green grass as far as the eye can see, attentive caretakers, and plenty to eat. If I was a horse, I think I’d really enjoy living at Lane’s End. The ad tells the story of Lane’s End beginnings and rise to prominence, with plenty of breathtaking scenery and majestic horses galloping through the countryside. If you’re looking for a horse farm, are a horse, or just love horses, it may be worth sitting through the 4:20 ad.

All kidding aside, it’s very well put together, managing to tell a story in a visually stimulating way over the course of its somewhat long running time. “The Lane’s End Experience: A Short Film” is available at the new Lane’s End website. There’s also a :30 version, which will premiere (appropriately enough) this weekend during the 30th Annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships on NBC Sports.

Oh Yeah, Forgot to Mention a Quick Update on ‘Beardvertising’


With all the hullabaloo surrounding the Campbell Ewald news and everything else under the sun yesterday, forgot Whit Hiler‘s note to us that, yes, brands have latched on, literally, to his “Beardvertising” effort. Hiler, of course, is one of the parties involved in the “Kentucky Kicks Ass” tourism campaign launched towards the end of last year. Two months ago, the creative and his agency Lexington, KY-based agency Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions decided to launch an effort called “Beardvertising,” in which still-patent-pending “beardboards”–or miniature billboards–would be placed on willing participants’ beards.

Well, suffice it to say, we were skeptical, but now Hiler tells us that “Beardvertising” is building momentum, in a sense, in that the project has nabbed brands including A&W Restaurants and most recently (and aptly enough), Dollar Shave Club. In a statement, the latter company’s founder Michael Dubin says, “We’re excited to be building our business of beardlessness with these badass, bushy Beardboards.” Yesterday, the Beardvertising effort officially took off with 25 participants from around the U.S. who will sport beardboards, and Hiler says there are 1,400 more “eager guys” willing to participate. Perhaps one of the most prominent beardvertisers for DSC thus far is Gerald Okamura (below), who you may recognize from films including Big Trouble in Little China and Showdown in Little Tokyo.


You can check out more Beardvertising hijinks on Instagram here.

‘Kentucky Kicks Ass’ Co-Conspirator Delves into ‘Beardvertising’

And now, for a little midday silliness courtesy of Whit Hiler, a creative at Lexington, KY-based Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions who’s perhaps better known as one of the parties involved with the ongoing grassroots tourism campaign, “Kentucky Kicks Ass.” Hiler, who’s also been prone to shock and amuse on Reddit in recent months with his array of fliers, has now reteamed with his Cornett IMS crew to launch the patent-pending “Beardvertising,” which he dubs “the real native advertising.”

To be honest, we’re surprised we haven’t seen something this ridiculous before, though ad folks have ventured into “beard-selling” in the past. Anyhow, inspired by stats saying that 55 percent of males worldwide now have facial hair, Hiler and company are now seeking out men with beards that want to make money hosting, yes, “BeardBoards,” patent-pending miniature billboards that clip onto a beard. As you can see, this pretty much only applies to those in the ZZ Top/Williamsburg realm of beard growth, so it looks like we’re out the running (and from the looks of it, thank heavens). Along with brave participants, Cornett IMS is also looking for partners to advertise on BeardBoards (and we’ll be damned, they already have two). We’re just wondering why they didn’t think of this ahead of winter.

Guys Behind ‘Kentucky Kicks Ass’ Take State’s Response in Stride

Less than a week after a few Kentucky-based creatives decided to take matters into their own hands and rebrand their home state in an effort to drive tourism among other things, USA Today decided to look further into the grassroots project dubbed “Kentucky Kicks Ass.” What we’ve come to learn from the trade’s report on the ass-kicking effort, which is a non-agency project that comes to us from actual agency creatives including Whit Hiler, Griffin VanMeter and Kent Carmichael, is that the Kentucky Tourism Department itself is sadly not a big fan of the “Kick Ass” movement. Regarding the campaign’s tagline, the state’s tourism department spokesman Pat Sipes tells USA Today,  “We certainly would not sanction or endorse that phraseology. These guys are Kentucky natives and they love the state. But they have a different constituency. Which is no one.”

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