How would you describe the Commonwealth of Kentucky? Would you mention fried chicken, George Clooney, or bourbon? How about bluegrass music or Muhammad Ali, NCAA Basketball Championships or the mother-freaking Kentucky Derby?
Does the Commonwealth's current slogan “Unbridled Spirit” best describe Kentucky? Sure, it’s clever (Unbridled Spirit = horse + bourbon), but does it make you want to visit? Would you wear it on a shirt? Will it ever be big in Japan?
Google “Unbridled Spirit”, and the first result is for horseback riding lessons in San Antonio, Texas. That’s no bueno.
So, in 2004, why did the Commonwealth use half a million of your hard-earned tax dollars to develop the “Unbridled Spirit” brand for Kentucky?
Kentucky for Kentucky has been tasked with developing a viable brand and tagline for the great Commonwealth of Kentucky. Our goals are simple: increase tourism, attract new business, foster pride, diminish stereotypes, unify the Commonwealth, and distinguish Kentucky from any other place on the planet.
- Step #1: We talked to some of the coolest, most admired, most kick-ass Kentuckians (and a few non-Kentuckians) we could find, and we asked them to describe Kentucky in a few words.
- Step #2: We partnered with Cricket Press and went to work developing this tagline into a kick-ass logo.
- Step #3: Along with your help, we’re gonna turn up the volume and let the world know: KENTUCKY KICKS ASS!
Enjoy, and Thanks!
Whit, Griffin, and Kent
Kentucky for Kentucky
Straight Crushing It for The Commonwealth since 1792.
Special thanks to Governor Steve Beshear, the Kentucky Department of Tourism, all the kick-ass Kentuckians that participated in these interviews, Ian Friley of Kong Productions, Brian and Sara Turner of Cricket Press, Jason Kaufman, the Internet, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and George Clooney.
Kentucky is a Proud Place
Kentucky is a proud place.
An awesome place.
A kick-ass Commonwealth.
But the world may think otherwise. On September 8, 2011, we launched a 60-day Kickstarter campaign to raise $3.5 million to crowdfund a Super Bowl ad to show the world just how amazing Kentucky is.
It was hard to find a single Kentuckian who didn't love the idea, so they gave, and they gave. Some pledged a dollar; some pledged $1,000. More than one proud Kentuckian gave over $10,000. It was an idea worth sharing, "tweeted" and "liked" thousands of times.
A lot of proud Kentuckians (and non-Kentuckians) started talking about how great the Commonwealth is. The talking still hasn't stopped. Kentucky PAID NOTHING for this exposure.
A Kick Ass Case Study Video
Three proud Kentuckians (Whit Hiler, Griffin VanMeter, and Kent Carmichael), calling themselves Kentucky for Kentucky, took it upon themselves to rebrand the great commonwealth of Kentucky. A pretty big task, considering they had zero money and no one asked them to do it.
They launched a YouTube video declaring: Kentucky Kicks Ass. And the people of Kentucky either loved it or hated it, but it got them talking about the great people, places and things their state has to offer - a campaign that was heard around the world and part of popular culture. As mentioned in The USA Today, NPR, the BBC and comically in Conan O’Brien’s monologue.
Music: 'Kentucky' by kick-ass Kentucky band Gideon's Rifle.
Video by Ian Friley
Kentucky Kicks Ass Tattoos
Nothing says I love you like a tattoo. It's one of the highest forms of flattery for a brand. On May 22, 2013 we asked our friends on Facebook if they'd like a 'Kentucky Kicks Ass' tattoo. We also offered to pay (using only Abe Lincolns). Since then we've been hooking a bunch of kick ass Kentuckians up with some amazing 'Kentucky Kicks Ass' tattoos. We've documented all of the action on this here video. Enjoy! #KentuckyKicksAss