“Why die on Mars, when you can live in South Dakota?”
That’s the question at the heart of a new ad campaign in which the state positions itself as a better alternative to a barren, lifeless rock.
The campaign — from the governor’s Office of Economic Development and first reported on by South Dakota’s Argus Leader, which ran a long story late last week about the tongue-in-cheek effort — is an attempt to shake the perception outsiders have of South Dakota as merely a tourist destination. What better way to disabuse the public of that view than contrasting the state with the hottest tourist destination around?
The campaign represents a shift from old selling points that failed to resonate, such as the lack of an income tax, in an attempt to jump on what’s current, the paper reported:
The young people being targeted by the campaign “are saturated with media,” said Mary Lehecka Nelson, director of marketing for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Something needed to hook them, and we know that demographic spends a lot of time talking about trending topics.”
Here’s a transcript of the state’s new Mars ad:
Mars. The air: not breathable. The surface: cold and barren. But thousands are lining up for a chance to go and never come back.
South Dakota. Progressive. Productive. And abundant in oxygen. Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?
South Dakota: You can live here.