Time and again, visitors share genuine surprise at what they experience in South Dakota. It's no secret that people generally tend to have a negative perception of the upper midwest. It's been shared anecdotally for decades, a late-night TV joke, a perception verified in numerous department studies and focus groups. And South Dakota isn't alone - to the south, neighboring Nebraska tells potential visitors that "It's not for everyone." In the early 2000s, an official group in North Dakota proposed dropping "North" and its negative connotations from the state's name. It wasn't the first time residents had proposed the rebrand.
But South Dakota is a land of variety, awe-inspiring landscapes, and deep Native culture & Western history. The state consistently delivers moments of wonderment and surprise. What a visitor experiences when they get to South Dakota surpass even their greatest expectations. It’s not just the parks, monuments, scenic byways, and backcountry roads. Visitors also share encounters with warmth and the welcoming nature of South Dakota’s people. That’s what truly makes the state great.
The Department of Tourism’s 2019 marketing efforts will build on 2018’s “Great Faces, Great Places” campaign to change any negative and uninformed perceptions that may still exist. Targeted viewers will see even more places and faces through impactful double-exposure creative efforts. 2019’s campaign also introduces new footage and a fresh “Great Faces, Great Places” jingle to existing markets as well as new markets to the south, east, and west. A whole new overhauled cooperative marketing program is also an exciting part of the 2019 campaign.
Target audiences mainly focus on the Department's four core audiences as updated in 2018: Wanderers, Seekers, Families, and Outdoors. SEE BRAND STANDARDS GUIDE FOR AUDIENCE MAKEUP.
Advanced data efforts — the department's own Visitor Experience Program with Lawrence & Shiller, plus MMGY's Terminal audience-profile research — provide deeper, actionable insight into audience demographics, media consumption, and travel preferences. This additional insight allows better targeting less confined by geographic constraints.
2019's campaigns employ a stacked-marketing approach, utilizing touch points across mediums, for targeted viewers. This multi-channel approach includes broadcast, cable, and connected television; online and interactive video, outdoor/out-of-home (OOH), national and large-circulation regional magazines, direct mail, digital, on-site activations, social, search engine marketing (SEM), traditional and online radio, and podcasts. 2019 will also see continued sponsorships with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Minnesota Vikings, Pheasants Forever, and South Dakota Magazine.
Community co-op partners in 2019 include Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association, Custer BID Board, Custer State Park, Deadwood Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Hot Springs BID Board, Pierre BID #1, Visit Rapid City, Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Spearfish, City of Sturgis, and Watertown Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Evergreen efforts for 2019 kicked off in fall 2018 with peak 2019 efforts implemented in January, ramped up in February, and continuing through June. Shoulder 2019 efforts for fall and winter roll out in mid-August and will continue through November 2019.
Markets targeted through traditional efforts include Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, and Omaha.
Digital and other regional efforts include Minneapolis, Chicago, Champaign, Denver, Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Omaha, Lincoln, Sioux City, Fargo, Minot/Bismark, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Kansas City, Columbia/Jefferson City, Madison, Milwaukee, La Crosse-Eau Claire, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Cheyenne, Casper-Riverton, Billings, Missoula, Phoenix, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Seattle, Portland, and Spokane.