Why die on Mars when you can die in South Dakota?

We have to muster our inner Minnesotan to properly evaluate South Dakota’s bizarre new marketing theme.

Well, it’s different.

AdWeek says the campaign is worth the gamble because nothing else has made South Dakota attractive.

However cavalier their attitude may be, the campaign is based on research into the general perception of South Dakota, which itself can be summarized as a “barren wasteland.”

One response even compared life there to “living in a mental asylum.” Yet the state has an unemployment percentage well below the national average and is seeing growth in a couple of different industries—plus it has none of North Dakota’s oil-shale boom towns driving up crime and other unpleasantness.

Seeing that the more serious tone of past campaigns hadn’t really changed anyone’s perceptions (including the one touting the state’s lack of income tax), Lawrence & Schiller decided to gamble on a looser tone that plays on a currently trending news item.

South Dakota has a recent history of weird marketing and public service efforts.

  • “Great faces, great places” must not have been cutting it.

  • Gary F

    I love South Dakota. Both Sioux Falls and the Black Hills. My wife doesn’t want to move because of family, so I’m stuck. There are two places I could easily get an equal job to what I do now and make good money. The fishing and pheasant hunting is good. After living in the city for the last 25 years I need to get out.

  • DotWonder


  • Noelle

    Funny thing about South Dakota, their teacher salaries rank 51st in the nation.