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Unplug From Technology and Reconnect with Nature in Soothing 'Lexington is Real Life' Spots

Cornett invites tech-weary travellers to experience ‘real life’ in Lexington, KY

Unplug From Technology and Reconnect with Nature in Soothing 'Lexington is Real Life' Spots

If you aren’t in Lexington, Kentucky, you aren’t really living, according to a new campaign for VisitLEX by Lexington-based agency Cornett. 

'Lexington Is Real Life' aims to increase local tourism with a series of five online videos and print ads aimed at techno-overdosed quarantiners within a short drive of Central Kentucky who’ve been trapped at home making sourdough bread and watching Netflix for the past several months.  

Lexington is within a day’s drive of 2/3 of the US population, making it an ideal road trip destination. 

The ads appear as promos for boring lockdown pastimes before flipping the script with clever copy and beautiful images that showcase the wide-open spaces of Central Kentucky and the safe outdoor activities it affords visitors even in the midst of pandemic precautions. 

“Take an online Zoom course,” suggests one video with a stale blue background. It quickly upgrades to real-life, featuring exhilarating GoPro footage of a tourist ziplining through a forest canopy. 

“Finally, a stable connection,” reads a print ad of two women feeding a horse.

Would-be travellers are then directed to a companion landing page for more details about ‘small-batch experiences’ like kayaking, tours of bourbon distilleries, and horse farms that cater to small groups—as well as additional resources like best practices for safe travel.  

The campaign is running from July through October via Facebook, search, native advertising, the KY Visitor Annual Guide, TripAdvisor Destination Sponsorship, and Bourbon Review’s summer issue.

“As travel sentiment began to shift and we saw people were more comfortable with travel, we focused the campaign on places 200-400 miles away and prioritised markets from there,” said Leslie Miller, VP, director of brand management, at Cornett. 

“Lexington’s main pillars are also those that can easily be adapted for social distancing – we have wide open spaces in droves, Horse Farm Tours and Bourbon Distillery Tours,” continued Leslie. “We were able to lean on our main pillars that people are aware of and remind people to visit Lexington and experience our wide open space and partake in countless outdoor activities.”  

A collection of illustrated digital postcards complete the ‘Lexington Is Real Life’ campaign. These shareable retro works of art dovetail with VisitLEX’s ongoing #ShareTheLex initiative, giving passionate locals a convenient way to invite their friends and family to experience all that Lexington has to offer.

In real life, of course.

Find all the spots here

Featured Companies: Sapka Communications

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VP of Marketing / VisitLEX: Gathan Borden

VP, Director of Brand Management / Cornett: Leslie Miller

Assistant Account Planner / Cornett: Bailey Klutts

Executive Creative Director / Cornett: Whit Hiler

Art Director / Cornett: Dave Jones

Sr. Copywriter / Cornett: Jonathon Spalding

Content Strategist/Copywriter / Cornett: Coleman Larkin

Jr. Digital Designer / Cornett: Jacob McDaniel

Sr. Graphic Designer / Cornett: Sarah Vaughn

Videographer/Editor / Unsung Hero Media: Brandon Turner

Actress: Martina Barksdale

Actress: LaShayna Sawyers

Voice Over: Gwendolyn Carter

Animation: Matt Whattam


Partners: Boone Creek Outdoors, Canoe KY, Mill Ridge Farm, Buffalo Trace Distillery

Genre: Dialogue , Scenic