South Dakota launches first ever national ad campaign

The ad buy comes as the state continues to be in the national spotlight, particularly Governor Kristi Noem.
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 9:03 PM MDT
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PIERRE, S.D. - You may have seen the commercials, ads touting South Dakota as a great place to visit.

The ads are part of the state’s first national ad campaign, and have aired consistently on Fox News channel over the course of the last few weeks.

The ads come as South Dakota’s governor, Kristi Noem, continues to put herself into the national spotlight.

”When she was asked to give a prime time address at the Republican National Committee we thought this would be an excellent opportunity to start with our first ever national cable television buy.” said South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen. ”We have had close to 85 million impressions just on Fox alone, but our website traffic has absolutely blown up... Organic traffic is up about 107% just since the ad has run, from metros where we usually saw very little traffic in the past our traffic has grown 200%, vacation guide requests are up from those metro areas where we normally hadn’t seen a lot of traffic again, up 200%.”

The ad isn’t solely aimed at trying to attract visitors to the state. Secretary Hagen says the ad’s long term goal is to bring new residents to the state of South Dakota.

“Its called the halo effect, so tourism is the front door we say to economic development. Often times people will say we are going to move here because of the quality of life, we are going to move there for job opportunities, expand our business, retire there, send our kids there to school because it is such a positive experience.”

People traveling and moving here may have many advantages, but during the coronavirus pandemic, there are drawbacks.

”Obviously people are coming here because we have wide open spaces, we don’t have the large crowds that other large cities have... and if they are coming in mass that may be counteractive... but obviously we want more business to come here, we want people to come visit, its only going to make South Dakota a better economy.” said Tia Kafka, Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce CBB Director.

When reached for comment, the Governor’s office offered up the following, “Lots of Americans appreciate Governor Noem’s respect for freedom and personal responsibility, and they’re looking to visit South Dakota as a result. We’re capitalizing on that attention to benefit our state’s second largest industry.”

If you haven’t seen the ad yet, not to worry. The state will be airing the ad on several other national networks in the coming weeks, including the History Channel, AMC, and TLC, amongst others.