If You’re Lonely and Pining for Kentucky, This Retro Party Line Ad Has Your Number

Just don't expect any sexy talk

Is the party line alive and well? No, but you can at least get a discount. - Credit by KY for KY

Would you like to join a sexy telephone party and talk with hot people all night long?

If so, don’t bother calling 1-855-883-8663. You’ll just hear an ancient recording of former Kentucky Governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler warbling “My Old Kentucky Home.” On the plus side, those hanging in for the full three minutes will get rewarded with a discount code for Kentucky-related merchandise.

This latest endeavor from wacky ad guy and Blue Grass State booster Whit Hiler draws inspiration from tacky commercials that permeated late-night cable TV in the ’80s and ’90s, promising titillating talk for just pennies per minute. Staffers at Kentucky for Kentucky—Hiler’s venture that promotes his home state through apparel, jewelry, barware and more—appear in the very SFW retro-ad spoof below.

Aimed at Kentucky ex-pats, the spot features lots of regional references, including a nod to Cocaine Bear and the country-rock stylings of Exile. (They still want to kiss you all over, most likely.) And those are dope tie-dyed t-shirts, y’all! But … why target Kentucky natives living elsewhere?

“There are a ton of proud Kentuckians currently living out of state,” Hiler tells Adweek. “We know this because we ship a ton of our Kentucky-proud merchandise all over the world. The ex-pat Kentuckians are some of our best customers and Kentucky’s biggest advocates. Jennifer Lawrence being one of them.”

The video will run on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter, in some cases backed by strategic media buys. “I think it will be pretty easy to target out-of-state Kentuckians just by encouraging our in-state friends to share both the video and the number with their out-of-state friends and family,” Hiler says.

As for the chat-line concept, “I remember those commercials being on all the damn time,” he says. “I also remember this one time when I had a sleepover at my house and then got into big trouble at a later date because we had called some of those numbers and racked up a huge telephone bill. My parents were so pissed.”

Making the video proved fun and educational.

“A young man that works with us saw his very first rotary phone at the shoot,” Hiler says. “It blew his mind.”


Client/Agency: Ky for Ky
Creative Director: Whit Hiler
Video Production: John Buckman
Account Supervisor: Andrew Allingham + Anna Bard
Voice Talent: Sally Evans

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@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: October 2, 2018 https://dev.adweek.com/creativity/if-youre-lonely-and-pining-for-kentucky-this-retro-party-line-ad-has-your-number/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT