2020 Marketing Campaigns
"Great Places are Waiting" COVID-19 Recovery


The COVID-19 pandemic brought the entire world to a halt, and one of the industries most impacted was travel. The U.S. Travel Association calls it "The Great Travel Depressionas travel-related job losses represent 38% of all job losses nationwide through April 2020. In South Dakota, where tourism is the state's second-largest industry, a quick rebound helps protect the more than 55,150+ full-time jobs the industry supports. 

Launched in late March 2020, our “Great Places are Waiting” is a three-phased campaign to help spur recovery of our industry in 2020. Phase 1 encouraged people to stay home, stay safe and that great places will be waiting. Phase 2 lets people know if they're ready to travel, South Dakota is open, and our great places are waiting. Phase 3 sees a return to more short-term action and immediate bookings with calls-to-actions like "Let's Roadtrip!" and "Book now."

To break down our phases, our shifts in message, tactics and markets — plus the criteria we base our decisions upon from one phase to the next — please see our "Great Places are Waiting" one-sheeter

The campaign incorporates TV, out-of-home (OOH), digital, social, email and radio. Target markets align better with the shorter drive distance that COVID-related research shows people are comfortable with traveling. Denver, Des Moines, Omaha and Minneapolis are primary markets with in-state and Chicago as secondary. 

Luckily, some of the state's greatest assets, like the many great places and wide-open spaces that draw 14.5 million visitors annually, are what people are looking for as they get back out into the world. People may have had to shelter-in-place, but they showed through it all that they never stopped dreaming about travel and the stay-at-home efforts across the nation created pent up demand.

Great Places are Waiting Creative Examples


Great Places Are Waiting July_August South Dakota Magazine Full Page

South Dakota Magazine (July/August 2020 issue) // Full page // Phase 1 Effort


Great Places Are Waiting July_August Country Living Magazine Full Page

Country Living Magazine (July/August 2020 issue) // Cover Three // Phase 2 Effort

Digital Banners

Great Places Will Be Waiting Phase One Banner

Great Places Will be Waiting // Targeted Banner // Phase 1 Effort


Great Places Are Waiting Phase Two Banner

Great Places Are Waiting // Targeted Banner // Phase 2 Effort


Great Places Are Waiting Phase Two Rich Media Unit Panels

Great Places Are Waiting - Early Version* // Rich Media Unit // Phase 2 Effort

*Additional panel to be added for Falls Park or eastern outdoors. 


Out-of-Home (OOH)

Great Places Are Waiting Custer State Park Out of Home Billboard

Great Places Are Waiting Travel at Your Own Speed  // Minneapolis Billboard // Phase 2 Effort


Great Places Are Waiting Phase Two Denver Train Wrap

Great Places Are Waiting  // Denver OOH Train Wrap // Phase 2 Effort


TV and Video

Great Places Are Waiting When it's Safe to Travel // Phase 1 Effort


Great Places Are Waiting Are You Ready? // Phase 2 Effort



Hear Great Places Are Waiting It Feels Like Forever // Phase 2 Effort