Kentucky for Kentucky has a brand identity, and it’s irreverence.
So when the business was designing its ad for the Kentucky-themed issue of the Oxford American magazine, it turned on a favorite marketing theme: turning stereotypes about Kentucky upside down.
In this case, the whole illiteracy thing.
The Kentucky ad is headlined: “We speak you’re language.”
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Get it? “You’re” is wrong. The proper word is “your.”
Text at the bottom of the page reveals that the creators are in on the joke: “We know. It’s “your” not “you’re.” We just figured that a typo would be the best way for our ad to stand out in a fine publication like Oxford American Magazine. But nice catch anyway, William Faulkner.”
The photo in the ad features Kentucky poet Rebecca Gayle Howell, sporting one of Kentucky for Kentucky’s “Y’all” T-shirts, and her fiancé, Brett Ratliff, fiddling next to her with a “KY” hat. The two are on a northern Fayette County farm next to several picturesque horses.
The photo also is an engagement photo for Ratliff and Howell. (Congrats, y’all!) Ratliff is identified as a “kick-ass Kentucky musician” and Howell as a “kick-ass Kentucky writer.”
On Wednesday morning, an article about the ad was No. 1 on AdWeek.com: “This ad is trolling readers of a major literary magazine with a glaring typo.”
Kentucky for Kentucky partner Whit Hiler said the idea came while the group was dining after the photo shoot at Windy Corner, Ouita Michel’s upscale down-home diner out on Bryan Station Road.
The ad has drawn attention that a straight-up sincere ad would not, so Hiler is pleased: “I think typos can be a good thing. ... It’s so perfect for that particular magazine.”