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.