ASK
Develop a tourism campaign for Pikeville, Kentucky.

 
 

 

THE QUICK PITCH

 

 
 

PIKEVILLE FAQs

  1. Small city in eastern Kentucky, located in the rural mountain territory of Appalachia
  2. Known for playing a central role in shaping Appalachian culture: pride in the gritty lifestyle of the locals
  3. Continued industrial growth over the years has made Pikeville a symbol of progress in Appalachia - a region stricken with poverty, unemployment, and crime

KEY LEARNING
Pikeville's success would not be possible without the perseverance of its pioneers.

  • Appalachia has garnered a tough reputation, but Pikeville's resilient citizens have flipped the stigma.  Pikeville isn't just tough - it makes you stronger.

OPPORTUNITY
Pikeville can showcase the strength of its pioneers.

TARGET
Everyday pioneers who embody the hard-working Appalachian spirit in everything they do

STRATEGY
Embrace Appalachian grit.

 
 

 

THE DEEP DIVE

 

 
 

Pikeville is a small city in eastern Kentucky on the West Virginia border.  It's a rural, isolated city in the Appalachian mountain range.  The Appalachians span the east coast, but central Appalachia - considered the heart of Appalachia - only covers a small region.  This is where Pikeville sits.

 
 

FAST FACTS

  • Pop. 7,000
  • Rural Appalachian territory
  • ~3 hours from any major city
  • Accessible by car or regional transit
 
 
 

PIKEVILLE'S STORY
Over the years, Pikeville has come to embody the bold spirit of Appalachia.  This is the pride in the tough, gritty, sometimes lawless lifestyle of the rural mountain region, dating back to its first settlers.  Pikeville played a major role in shaping Appalachian culture, and it can be traced back to three events in the city's history:

 

1824

Miners founded Pikeville

1863-1891

Lawless Hatfield-McCoy families feuded

1973-1987

Pikeville moved a mountain

Pioneers laid ground in unchartered territory, founding Pikeville as a coal mining town and quickly establishing it as a center of industrial development in Appalachia.

An epic 30-year feud between families. The McCoys lived in Pikeville, making the city the center of their drama. These families became a prime example of Appalachian grit.

The Cut-Through Project moved a mountain in the city to avoid flooding. Citizens could either move their homes or move the mountain. They chose the mountain.

 
 

PIKEVILLE TODAY
Continued industrial growth has made Pikeville a symbol of progress and resilience in rural Appalachia - a region stricken with poverty, unemployment, and crime. Pikeville has been called a "lush oasis in an otherwise decaying desert."

Here's why: 

 
 

This is what Pikeville looks like:

This is what towns directly outside Pikeville look like:

 
 
 
 


KEY LEARNING
In a region that's struggling, Pikeville is thriving.  The city's success would not be possible without the perseverance of its pioneers.  Appalachia has garnered a tough reputation, but Pikeville's resilient citizens have flipped the stigma.

Pikeville isn't just tough - it makes you stronger.
 

OPPORTUNITY
Pikeville can showcase the strength of its pioneers.
 

 
 
 

TARGET
Everyday Pioneers

  • They embody Appalachia's hard-working spirit in everything they do
     
  • They are always looking for ways to pay homage to their ancestors
     
  • They believe the best way to celebrate the local culture is to emulate the rugged Appalachian lifestyle
 
 

 
 

STRATEGY

EMBRACE Appalachian grit.

 
 

 
 

CREATIVE CONCEPT

 

LEAVE TOUGHER

The frontier hardens you.  If you're looking for a relaxing vacation, Pikeville isn't your place.  Pikeville's wildness is just the type of "therapy" you need to make sure you leave tougher.

 

 

New mountain logo symbolizes the Cut-Through Project and the delta sign - a sign of transformation

 
 

TV + Pre-ROLL

 

BILLBOARDS

Located in nearby "cities" to remind folks what's right outside their door.

 

PRINT

Pieces of Pikeville become inserts in local magazines and newspapers.  Each piece is an artifact from a recent Pikeville traveler's experience, with a testimonial on how it toughened them.

 

click to enlarge

 
 

FRONTIER GUIDES

The locals' guide to Pikeville, located in rest steps along major roads + highways and shops in the city.

 

click to enlarge

 
 

Rest stop poster

 
 

Postcards

Pikeville proverbs, available in rest steps and shops in the city.

 

click to enlarge

 
 

EXIT SIGNS

Pikeville doesn't have welcome signs - it has exit signs.  "Leaving Pikeville" signs remind you what you're leaving behind, and what you're leaving with.

 
 
 

METHODOLOGIES

1-1 Interviews
Talked to people who had been to Pikeville and/or grew up in central Appalachia

Social Listening
Dug through Crimson Hexagon, Facebook, and Reddit to find out what people are saying about Pikeville

Research Reports
National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine,
PBS, National Review

 
 

 
 

what I loved most about this case study was

...being able to reset the story on a tribe of misunderstood, and often forgotten about, people.

 
 

 
 

Strategy  Katherine Gannon  |  Copywriting  James Gross  |  Art Direction  Maria Kouninski