Kentucky Invites Visitors To Take A Nostalgic 'Joy Ride'

The Kentucky Bluegrass region has its own style. But to promote the region's visibility, the Coomer agency decided to drive memories. Literally.

The new campaign "Joy Ride" invites visitors to travel Kentucky's scenic back roads via five nostalgic classic car ads, including a 1967 Corvette, 1956 Blue Bel Air and a 1964 Pontiac GTO.

The parody ad campaign runs on eBay, designed to capture the attention of car enthusiasts who browse online auction platforms for classic cars. The cars aren't for sale; the memories are.

Agency copy relies on "memory math," a play on 2023’s "girl math," making someone feel better about buying an expensive item. Here, the hefty price tag is calculated through the prism of its owner, noting the Bluegrass adventures — such as a first kiss or a college visit — are reflected in the car. Value is an emotional assignment.



“Look, she’s not tricked out, but BOY has she seen some things,” is the lead in an ad for a 1956 Nomad, while a second write-up for a 1967 Corvette proclaims, “There’s NO CAR like THIS CAR, and NO MEMORIES like what she’s seen…”

“Most people have a hard time letting go of things that have been stalwarts of their past, and their sentimental value of them is usually higher than the actual value, which is what this campaign taps into,” said Robbie Morgan, director of the Lawrenceburg/Anderson County Tourism Commission. “While we don’t expect anyone to actually buy the cars in the ads, we’re looking to make a connection between sentimental value and making more priceless memories through travel.” 

Morgan reports there were 91 million visitors to the state through the third quarter of 2023. 

The goal of "Joy Ride" is to suggest visitors, too, can create special Kentucky memories at Daniel Boone’s Last Kentucky Homeplace, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and the Birthplace of Prohibition. Or sample the pleasures of small towns.

The “Memory Math” eBay campaign runs through February 2024, and is part of the larger "Joy Ride" campaign, which kicked off in the fall of 2023 with a two-minute short film featuring Mike Wolfe from The History Channel TV show "American Pickers," alongside Leticia Cline, a heritage-tourism preservationist.

"Joy Ride" is also supported by nostalgic collectible posters, available at various spots in the Bluegrass region, such as the Historic Boone Tavern in Berea; Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort; Herrington Lake in Lancaster & Paint Lick; and Keeneland Race Track in Lexington.

"Joy Ride" runs throughout the end of 2024, with new ad campaigns debuting throughout the year.

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