Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blue Neon of Kentucky, Keep On Shining

I read the headline on a Kentucky license plate for the first time yesterday. It goes like this.

It's That Friendly

Uh . . . Ok . . .I'll bite.

It's what friendly?

What marketing genius signed off on that one?

Here's what I think happened. State Senator Buford J. McHicksley decided that the Kentucky tourism board needed a catchy new slogan to get people to, uh, tourism more in Kentucky. So they hired a high-powered ad agency in Louisville to come up with something clever, pithy and inviting. The high-powered ad agency did some polling of focus groups and made their recommendations. They suggested things like, "My New Kentucky Home" and "Beautiful Bluegrass and More" and "The Friendliest Folks On Earth." This ad agency then billed the state of Kentucky $649,088 for its time and services.

So the recommendations went to committee, and the honorable Mr. McHicksley says, "I like that 'friendliest' one. But I got a better idea. We'll change it just a smidge to 'Kentucky. It's That Friendly.' Whad'ya'll think?" And because he was the chair of that committee, and a senior member of the Senate, no one dared mention the fact that he had come up with a monumentally stupid and entirely meaningless catch phrase. His idea was passed unopposed and the Commonwealth of Kentucky is now stuck with a slogan that doesn't make any fucking sense.

I ask you again, Kentucky, it's what friendly? I want an answer! Kentucky is what friendly?!

Then I saw that the car had a sticker on the back window that says "In memory of the 9/11 victims." What is in memory of the victims? The sticker? The back window of your car? The whole car? Usually people plant a tree or build a museum or commission a statue in "memory" of dead people. But you, Mr./Ms. Cutting-Edge Kentuckian, are spitting in the face of centuries of traditional memorial convention by dedicating the rear defroster of your '94 Dodge Neon to all three thousand 9/11 victims. It must be a great comfort to the victims' families to know that there is a dented, decade-old blue sedan with an overflowing ashtray whose trunk is 1/3000th dedicated to each departed soul from that tragic day. Not to mention the fact that your mobile memorial is tooling around in the state that has pridefully declared itself to be "that friendly."

It's not your sentiment, it's your literacy. Bless your hearts.

Listen, Kentucky. Next time you need a slogan, call me. I have a great one:

We Make Bourbon.


At 8:06 PM , Blogger bridgett said...

The signs greeting you as you came into Kentucky used to read "Where Education Pays...", which got somebody to insert the words "Minimum Wage" in spraypaint in the appropriate spot at the Huntington/Ashland I-64 crossing. Walmart's just ruined Boyd County.

Then again, Iowa's slogan was "You make me smile," which always sounded too much like "Don't make me laugh" to really cut it.


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