2018 Marketing Campaign
2018 Evergreen, Peak, and Shoulder Campaigns
Great Faces, Great Places

In 2018, the Department of Tourism’s efforts will focus less on thematic campaigns and will instead capitalize on the equity that the state’s tagline “Great Faces, Great Places” has built up over decades of promotion since its creation in 1991.  Breathtaking scenery, world-renowned attractions and events, and the hospitality of our people are what makes South Dakota so unlike what most people ever expect. "Great Faces, Great Places" allows us to promote our residents and our destinations, to both share the known and introduce the unexpected through the use of double-exposure in our creative that also helps our marketing stand out from our competitors. 


Target audiences mainly focused on our four core audiences: Wanderers, Seekers, Families, and Outdoors. (See Brand Standards Guide for audience makeup.)

These audiences were updated in 2018 as we learned through our advanced data efforts the department's own Visitor Experience Program plus MMGY's Terminal audience-profile research  that some of our audience's demographics, media consumption, and travel preferences varied slightly from our previous target audiences. We found that our previous definition of the Active Couples audience needed to be updated to include solo travelers, soft adventurers traveling with friends, and travelers with a higher affinity for gaming. We also discovered growing subsets within each audience, so updating our core groups—while also defining the niche audiences within each group—allowed us to more accurately target those potential visitors.  


Because successfully targeting our core audiences across their preferred mediums is key to gaining market share, the Department of Tourism used data and audience learning to create integrated and consistent campaign messaging. In 2018, we distributed this messaging across a variety of media types, including television/video, outdoor/out-of-home (OOH), print, digital, social, radio, and podcasts. Consistent campaign messaging was also utilized via direct-mail, search engine marketing (SEM), on-site activations, and influencers as well as sponsorships with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Midwest Living, the Minnesota Vikings, Pheasants Forever, and South Dakota Magazine.


Introduced for Evergreen efforts in late 2017, this campaign was carried into both Peak and Shoulder 2018 efforts. Early out-of-home efforts incorporated an “Open Early/Open Late” concept that began with shoots in Fall 2017, but were later updated to match the “Great Faces, Great Places” double-exposure effect. Evergreen efforts ran November – January, Peak efforts ran from January – August, and Shoulder efforts ran from August – November 2018.


Markets targeted through traditional efforts included Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, and Madison. Primary digital markets included Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Madison, Green Bay, Des Moines, Kansas City, Omaha, Cedar Rapids, and Milwaukee. Secondary digital markets were LaCrosse/Eau Claire, Quad Cities, Wausau, Mankato/St. Cloud, and Fargo with the Tertiary markets of Lincoln, Portland, and Spokane. 

From the launch of evergreen efforts in November 2017, Vacation Guide requests from TravelSouthDakota.com are up 24% over prior year through November 2018.
Google Analytics (Nov.1, 2017-Nov. 30, 2018)
Creative Examples

January/February South Dakota Magazine Spread
South Dakota Magazine (Jan./Feb. issue) // Two-page spread / Evergreen 2018
Gas Pump Topper - Omaha
Gas Pump Topper example from Omaha market // Peak 2018.
Digital Display Creative Example
Digital Display Creative Example // Peak 2018.
South Dakota Tourism 2019 Programmatic Mailer Creative Example
Programmatic Direct-Mailer Panel // Evergreen and Peak 2018
Midwest Living 2018 Road Rally South Dakota proof
Midwest Living 2018 Road Rally - South Dakota (July/Aug. issue) // Opening spread
Scoutlook Fall 2018 Pheasant Giveaway
Scoutlook Fall 2018 // Pheasant Hunt Giveaway
South Dakota Vikings 2018 Scoreboard Creative
Minnesota Vikings 2018 Sponsorship // Scoreboard Creative

Past Marketing Campaigns

Take a look back and see how Travel South Dakota's efforts have evolved over the years. See what's worked well, what messaging or tactics may never go out of style, and how some trends quickly come and go.