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By Coleman Larkin |

Kentucky for Kentucky brings the Fun Mall magic to local television with old-school commercial spot.



Is there anything stranger than local television here in Kentucky? It's got it all. From the Heavy Hitter to Courtesy on Wheels. From Eric C. Conn to newsman Bill Bryant's sexy smooth segues out of baby pageant results straight into serial killers on the loose.

Of course the ads are the stars. Real ads. Old-school advertising like before all the Don Draper mind games. Just the What, Where, When, and How Much? Maybe you dress like a leprechaun and jump off the roof of one of the storage units you're hawking. Or it's Christmas so you put on a Santa hat and have some dogs pull you around a used car lot. Simple. Elegant. Effective? And, above all, WEIRD.


Well, nobody is weirder than Kentucky for Kentucky, and we wanted in on that freaky analog action.


We're 21st century digital boys and girls so we do most of our crushing online, but that doesn't mean we can't still party like it's 1999. So we dusted off our camcorders, cranked up our boomboxes, enlisted the expertise of our bud Ian at Kong Productions and made it our mission to create (and air) the weirdest thing on Central Kentucky television since that "I do no sex" lady crashed the Lexington City Council.


Adjust your rabbit ears. Here's how it happened.


First of all, what were we selling? It's called the Kentucky Fun Mall. It's our massive new retail space at 720 Bryan Avenue in lovely Lexington, Kentucky. It's the best. We love it and we think you will, too. We've got the largest selection of cool, crazy and bizarre Kentucky gear anywhere on Planet Earth. 12,000 square feet of it to be exact. Plus we've stacked it from wall to wall with all sorts of eye candy and oddities to make hanging out with us a fun experience, regardless of whether or not you're in the market for a kick-ass new t-shirt. Never seen a stuffed bear that died from eating $15 million worth of cocaine? We can fix that for you.




So, in the age of social media and digital advertising, why the hell would we want to make a crusty old television commercial to promote our futuristic Fun Mall? Well, why the hell not? Like little Tommy Cruise in Top Gun, we just wanted to see how far we could push the medium without having to pull the ejector seat. We felt the need, Goose. The need for speed! Kind of like that YouTube show Will It Blend?, we wanted to play Will They Air This? and make something so off-the-wall ridiculous that most local stations wouldn't want to touch it. And they definitely didn't.

Nobody is weirder than Kentucky for Kentucky, and we wanted in on that freaky analog action.

We teamed up with video ninjas Ian and James Friley at Kong Productions to shoot and edit 30 seconds of pure madness, then we shopped our masterpiece around to all the local players. The reviews were pretty unanimous. The human souls buried deep within their corporatized reptilian exoskeletons loved the commercial, but they couldn't possibly broadcast it. There were just too many tighty whities, they said. Too much chest hair. Too many nipples. Too much potty mouth. Too many cocaine-eating bears. Too many rusty weapons. Too many Justins.


"Love the spot," went one response, "albeit a little edgier than we typically see. So I've sent it up the flagpole for approval to air."




And another: "Love the commercial but I will have to pass it through Master Control for approval. I am afraid they will love it too but not approve it for airing. Can you do something (hate to say it) without the **** yeah ya do!"




And another: "I'll need to get approval before airing the commercial. There are possible legal issues with 'cocaine bear' and 'ass'."




In the end, the ruthless gangsters at WLEX-TV were the only ones with the stones to make our dreams come true. Their only stipulations were that the commercial had to air after midnight and that we edit our original bleeps to make it a little less obvious that we were obscuring a lot of filthy F-bombs.


Fine by us. We just replaced the bleeps with some weird chicken clucks and finally got the response we were looking for.


"I think it's clucking hilarious."


We hope you agree.


Our beautiful baby airs for the next four weeks on WLEX-TV (LEX 18), the local NBC affiliate, during The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on weekdays and Saturday Night Live on, uh, Saturdays. We even snuck a little "Digital Short" bumper in front of the SNL version for an added dose of confusion.



After you watch it, don't forget to come on down to the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall, 720 Bryan Ave. in Lexington, to experience the magic in person. There's plenty of parking!

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