Grassroots Branding Campaign Attempts to Change Kentucky’s Slogan

by T+B Blog Team on January 8, 2013

You may actually be familiar with some of the more famous slogans of U.S. states, like “I Love New York” and “Virginia is for Lovers.” But can you name the state slogan of Kentucky?

Officially, it’s “Unbridled Spirit.” But recently, a grassroots effort to change it to “Kentucky Kicks Ass” has resulted in a lot of social media and press attention and, not surprisingly, a trademark application.


The “Kentucky Kicks Ass” campaign originated with a group of advertising agency creatives who got together to find a way to increase tourism in the state. Now a series of ads feature the slogan, along with items associated with the state, including bourbon, outdoor adventures, and fried chicken. There’s also a Kentucky for Kentucky website “to engage and inform the world by promoting Kentucky people, places, and products. And to Kick Ass for the Commonwealth!”

What do Kentucky state officials think of the new campaign? It’s gotten a thumbs-down from the state’s department of tourism. A state spokesperson told 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.” How did the “Kentucky for Kentucky” campaign respond? It’s now selling merchandise featuring … yes, you guessed it: “Constituency of No One.”

Here’s one example of the campaign’s ads:


What other grassroots campaign to change a tagline or slogan do you know of? Was it successful?


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