'Kentucky Kicks Ass' Campaign Doesn't Kick Ass, State Officials Say

Ad guys launch rogue tourism effort

Level up your creative strategy with Sir John Hegarty, will.i.am and leaders at TwentyFirstCenturyBrand, Walmart, Spotify, Hartbeat and more. RSPV and join Adweek Abroad in Cannes: The Business Case for Creativity at Whalar House, June 18–22.

Three ad executives billing themselves as "Kentucky for Kentucky" have launched an unofficial tourism campaign rebranding their home state with the memorably irreverent slogan "Kentucky kicks ass." The execs—Whit Hiler of Cornett-IMS and Griffin VanMeter of Bullhorn, both in Lexington, Ky., and Kent Carmichael, who recently fled up north to Energy BBDO in Chicago—believe Kentucky's current slogan, "Unbridled spirit," says nothing about the state. "Kicks ass," they claim, does a better job of capturing the essence of Kentucky, and they've produced T-shirts, stickers, a logo—and print ads that thus far haven't run.

There's even a YouTube video that explains their point of view, and it does a great job of embracing and lampooning local stereotypes while portraying Kentucky as a fun destination that doesn't take itself too seriously.



Subscribe today!

To Read the Full Story Become an Adweek+ Subscriber

View Subscription Options

Already a member? Sign in