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

By Kiran Aditham 

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.”


Well, it didn’t take long for the “Kentucky Kicks Ass” crew to indulge the slightly backhanded comment via this photo on Facebook:

Hiler tells us, “Regardless of what Kentucky’s Tourism Department says, we’re rebranding the state. A grass roots movement is taking place – driven by proud Kentuckians, the Internets and a little social media. Our goals remain the same – increase tourism, foster pride, diminish stereotypes, bring in new business and distinguish Kentucky from any other place on the planet.” Keep on fighting the good fight, fellas.