PIERRE, S.D. – Travel South Dakota garnered five 2023 Adrian Awards as part of its prestigious international marketing competition, including two Gold and two President’s Award designations. The Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing organizations for innovative sales & marketing efforts in advertising, public relations, and digital marketing.

Travel South Dakota will be honored with other 2023 Adrian Award winners at the annual Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Awards ceremony for travel marketing excellence. The awards ceremony will be held in New York, New York, on February 13, 2024.

Travel South Dakota’s work was selected from the more than 800 global entries submitted for 2023. The designation of President’s Award means the entry received the highest score in its budget range. One President’s Award is given in each entry category for small, medium and large budget ranges. Gold award recipients are automatically entered for platinum award consideration to be awarded at a later date.

Travel South Dakota, in partnership with Karsh Hagan and Lou Hammond Group, won the following 2023 Adrian Awards:

  • Gold President’s Award: Travel South Dakota | So Much South Dakota, So Little Time Integrated Campaign (Business to Consumer)

    Travel South Dakota’s goal with the “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” campaign was to drive brand awareness and qualified traffic to through strategic, behavior-based placement and tactics designed to inspire mystery-starved travelers in their dream phase of vacation planning while influencing itineraries and trip-planning to South Dakota. The goal was also to stay top-of-mind with travelers by using intentional and curated imagery, including dynamic hand-drawn iconography & graphic elements and handwritten text.

    The campaign proved successful, with media performing above benchmarks by approximately 70% and garnering 180 million impressions to date. The campaign has already reported more than 2,100 flight bookings, more than 93,000 hotel bookings, and $22.6 million in hotel revenue, surpassing the record-breaking 2019 results for visitation and visitor spending.

  • Gold: Travel South Dakota | South Dakota Celebrates the Corn Kid

    When Tariq, “The Corn Kid,” gained global stardom following a viral interview that was made into a catchy social media song, the team at Travel South Dakota jumped into action to use this momentum to create media attention for South Dakota.

    Tariq and his family were invited to Mitchell so he could be named South Dakota’s “Corn-Bassador,” an honor that included a press conference, media coverage, social media content, an official proclamation from Governor Noem, and a “Corn-Bassador” itinerary developed for visitors wanting to travel like Tariq.

    The campaign had 46.6 billion impressions, 2,329 earned media placements across print, digital and broadcast outlets, 1.3 million likes and 7.1 million views across all social channels, and $69.7 million in media value.

  • Silver President’s Award: Travel South Dakota | So Much South Dakota, So Little Time Advertising (Connected TV/Streaming/Linear)

    Unlike competitors, South Dakota still has the rare element of surprise that used to go hand-in-hand with travel. By recognizing that the state’s perceived weakness is actually its greatest strength, South Dakota was positioned as a haven for jaded, mystery-starved travelers. The result? “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time.”

    Instead of montage and collage-esque visuals that rely on found footage, more intentional and curated imagery was explored. And rather than just listing things to do, scripts inspired a love for mystery and spontaneity in one’s travel. Tapping into the realm of storytelling, the campaign followed one family and one couple to help build a personal connection for the viewer. A brand-new photo & video color treatment, authentic-sounding VO & music, dynamic hand-drawn iconography & graphic elements, and handwritten text were all implemented to enhance Travel South Dakota’s creative.

    Throughout the duration of the campaign, videos generated 9,608,662 impressions, contributing to more than 28,590 hotel and flight bookings this summer. The video is also part of a larger integrated campaign that has so far generated $22.6 million in hotel revenue.

  • Bronze: Travel South Dakota | So Much South Dakota, So Little Time Advertising (Print Collateral)

    Celebrating South Dakota as an undiscovered and uncomplicated travel destination, print ads were designed to create a more personal connection with audiences, inspiring a love for mystery and spontaneity in one’s travel while daring audiences to take on a destination that lives outside their comfort zone.

    Throughout the duration of the campaign, the print ads helped bolster a larger, integrated campaign that generated more than $28 million in hotel revenue and helped to surpass the record-breaking 2019 results for visitation and visitor spending. Placements reached more than 6.3 million potential visitors nationwide through publications like Outside Magazine and National Geographic.

  • Bronze: Travel South Dakota | So Much South Dakota, So Little Time Advertising (Brand Campaign)

    Utilizing current data, the goal was to attract people to South Dakota who would stay longer, advocate for the state, and become repeat visitors. Using “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” integrated campaign elements like hand-drawn iconography and text, a media plan was executed involving TV & video, podcasts & streaming audio, digital, social, traditional print and more.

“Inspiring creative and effective engagement is the name of the game for tourism marketing,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “Our teams thrive on telling South Dakota’s story in innovative ways that resonate with our audience. It’s clear from these awards that we achieved our goals. We are immensely proud of the Travel South Dakota, Karsh Hagan, and Lou Hammond Group teams.”

“The Adrian Awards celebrate the innovation and ingenuity that fuel our success and recognize the marketing leaders whose extraordinary efforts literally ‘open the doors’ to exploration and excitement,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “Their work inspired the world to get out and create memories through travel, and HSMAI is proud to honor them.”

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Travel South Dakota and the South Dakota Arts Council. The department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.


Media Notes:
For downloadable image assets representing the winning campaign, please click here. All can be credited to Travel South Dakota.

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as the Commercial Strategy Conference, Sales Leader Forum, and Adrian Awards. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at


Katlyn Svendsen, Global Public Relations & Content Services Senior Director
Travel South Dakota
Email: [email protected]


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