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‘Kentucky Kicks Ass’: Legitimate Campaign, PR Stunt, or Both?

Kentucky for KentuckyThe new year brought us a fun tale of a unique statewide rebranding campaign: According to PR Daily, the state of Kentucky no longer wants to rely on banjos, bourbon and fried chicken to drive tourist dollars. A group called Kentucky for Kentucky that claims to represent the commonwealth used the new year to unveil a brand-new slogan: “Kentucky Kicks Ass!”

While we got a chuckle out of this campaign, we were also skeptical. Would any state tourism board really approve such a ballsy tagline? Turns out we were right to wonder: While the project supposedly stemmed from an effort to crowdsource funding for a pro-Kentucky Super Bowl ad, state officials do not share the Internet’s enthusiasm for this PR stunt.

And now we learn (surprise, surprise) that Kentucky for Kentucky is the brainchild of three advertising executives who don’t mind making fun of themselves and don’t much care for their home state’s current slogan, the vaguely inspirational “Unbridled spirit”. They’d like everyone to know that they have no problem with the fact that Kentucky is best known for “KFC”, “horses”, “whiskey”, “marijuana”, George Clooney, Jonny Depp and “that chick in The Hunger Games“, because it’s still a great place to live, vacation and spend money. Oh, and they also have lots of fancy t-shirts for sale.

OK, so it was all a little prank. But it worked–and their video is kind of cool:



If this campaign doesn’t end up increasing tourism, we suppose Kentucky could follow West Virginia, Georgia and New Jersey in using trashy reality TV to boost public interest. Can we ever have too many shows about crazy drunk rednecks?

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