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Should Kentucky Change Their State Slogan To “Kicks Ass?”

Submitted by on January 29, 2013 – 9:02 amOne Comment

A few enterprising ad men in Kentucky have given themselves a few simple goals: to single-handedly raise the spirits of their home commonwealth, and earn its residents buttloads of new revenue. How? With a new slogan: “Kentucky Kicks Ass.”

Griffin VanMeter, Whit Hiler, and their off-screen colleague Kent Carmichael, are better known as “Kentucky For Kentucky.” They led a fiscally unsuccessful campaign two years ago to raise enough money to buy a Super Bowl spot for an ad promoting Kentucky- but the good will and enthusiasm generated by that initial project inspired their next act.

A five minute promotional video shows VanMeter and Hiler, making their case for the two words they- and many other Kentuckians- feel best represent the state.

Hiler told NPR:

“Everybody was saying ‘kick ass [...] That was our thing on our Facebook page, and so that seemed logical when we came up with the idea of rebranding the state.”

Kentucky’s current slogan is “Unbridled Spirit” (a play on the state’s legacy for horses and horse racing). VanMeter disdainfully points out that googling “Unbridled Spirit” leads you to a site for horseback riding lessons in Texas.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has thanked the group for their initiative, creativity, and for drawing positive attention to the state; but officials have made clear that “Kicks Ass” will not grace official state stationary or signage any time soon.

Slogans shouldn’t be confused with state mottoes. Slogans are employed chiefly for tourism, and change frequently; mottoes are often approved by state legislatures and/or included on the state seal.

Kentucky has two official mottos: “United we stand, divided we fall;” and “Deo gratiam habeamus (Let us be grateful to God).“ 

Maybe Kentucky for Kentucky will get to work on those next.

What do you think? Should Kentucky officially Kick Ass?

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