DENVER, Colo. — Just two weeks after earning its first Shorty Award, Cornett is creating more space on the mantle. The Lexington, Ky., agency’s 2019 NeighSMR campaign for VisitLex earned an Impact Award from Worldwide Partners, a global network of independent advertising agencies.
The award was one of just five given across an association of over 70 agencies in over 40 countries.
“First a national award, now a global one!” Cornett president Christy Hiler said. “This is just further proof that our focus on making creativity a business advantage for our clients delivers results. The NeighSMR campaign capitalized on a trend, but in a creative way that was completely on-brand and delivered great results. I’m very proud of our team.”
The campaign inserted one of VisitLex’s biggest assets — horses — square in the middle of the quirky Internet trend of ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response videos. ASMR content features auditory stimulation of odd, day-to-day activities, like eating a pickle or popping bubble wrap.
VisitLex’s NeighSMR parody featured Hank the Horse eating apples, carrots, peppermints and more. The campaign’s fun, Kentucky spin immediately vaulted the video to viral status, collecting over 1.8 million views on YouTube and earning coverage from Fast Company, Yahoo Life, AdWeek and AdAge among others.
“That kind of impact is why we love having Cornett as our marketing partner,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLex, the convention and visitor’s bureau of Lexington. “Destinations have to stand out in a sea of sameness to attract visitors. Cornett’s creativity never fails to amaze us. We not only were a part of a fun trend with NeighSMR, we were out in front of it in our industry.”
The NeighSMR work was a major element in the overall annual campaign that was a finalist for a 2019 Shorty Award in the Travel & Tourism category. Cornett’s work with VisitLex also won Best in Show at the 2019 KTIA Traverse Awards for excellence in Kentucky tourism marketing.
The honor comes just two weeks after grabbing its first-ever Shorty Award win for its work with University of Kentucky HealthCare. That campaign also earned Best Online/Interactive campaign at the 2020 Lexington ADDY Awards. The agency also earned two other Best of awards, eight gold and six silver ADDYs.
The Impact Awards are the annual awards of excellence given to outstanding work by agencies in the Worldwide Partners network. Cornett has been a member of the association of independent agencies since 2018. The network provides its members with global resources and partners to enhance the breadth and depth of each agency’s offerings.