New 'Bourbon City' Campaign Finally Makes Louisville Look Cool

May 15, 2023 at 4:51 pm
Louisville is a cool city, we're glad folks are finally showing that.
Louisville is a cool city, we're glad folks are finally showing that. Screenshots from Bourbon City Ads

It’s time for a new tourism push for Louisville and this time it’s “Bourbon City,” but not in a way that’s been done before. This time, Louisville is offered in direct contrast to the nearby rolling hills, bourbon barrels and horse farms. This “Bourbon City” is a classy, diverse, urban landscape with swanky bars and attractive drinkers. No sloppy bottoms here (nope, don’t even), just a city actually worth visiting.

The campaign is being shared in nearby markets like Chicago, Nashville, Indianapolis, Columbus, Cincinnati and Atlanta. The campaign is also being shared to other nearby “drive” markets — marketing talk for places you can drive to or from — and  “flight markets” — your not-too-far-away fly-able markets. The cities for the drive campaign are Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland and Charleston, WV.  The flight campaign cities are those with recently launched direct flights such as Austin, Minneapolis, Boston, Raleigh/Durham, and Jacksonville.

The ad spots will run over the next 18 months in these areas thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Screenshot from 'A Tasting in Bourbon City'
Screenshot from 'A Tasting in Bourbon City'

“Since first positioning Louisville as a ‘Gateway to Bourbon Country’ in 2007, the hospitality industry has thoroughly embraced the city’s Bourbon heritage with a record number of Bourbon-related experiences available,” said Michael Fetter, director of marketing for Louisville Tourism, in a press release. “Doubling down as ‘Bourbon City’ is a way to leverage a powerful brand that has set Louisville apart from vast competition. While the Bourbon culture might be the inspiration to travel, once here visitors are able to explore Louisville beyond Bourbon and all the city has to offer.” 

In 2019, Louisville had 19 million visitors. The goal of this campaign, and other tourism efforts, is to increase that number to 25 million by 2030. 

Of course, we know you want to see the ads…here they are and they aren’t terrible:

A Tasting in Bourbon City:

Cocktails in Bourbon City:

Louisville: Bourbon City:

Dinner in Bourbon City: