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'Unbridled' Slogan Spurs Kentucky Tourism

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DALLAS Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher said results of a study of the state's tourism campaign shows the "Kentucky unbridled spirit" tagline to be one of the most recognizable in the region.

Jerry Henry & Associates conducted the research project in Kentucky and five contiguous states: Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio.

"The whole point of the branding project is to differentiate Kentucky from our competition, the surrounding states," Fletcher said. "Successfully showcasing that difference will lead more visitors to Kentucky and bring more jobs to Kentucky."

The tagline, derived from Kentucky's historic horse culture, was introduced in November 2004, after four weeks of Internet voting by state residents. The slogan appears on state stationery, Web sites, signage and advertising. City and county governments, groups, associations and private companies have also adopted the theme. Branded merchandise is being sold online and in 70 retail stores, and has increased revenues for the state, officials said.

In the study, "Kentucky unbridled spirit" earned higher appeal ratings than any other state tested, according to researchers. Those who like the brand outnumber those who don't by a margin of 5 to 1.