Destinations

South Dakota Tourism Takes Mount Rushmore Caricatures on the Road

May 05, 2014 2:30 pm

Skift Take

It is easy to forget how constrained state tourism budgets can be if you are not Florida or California, as South Dakota tourism has just discovered Milwaukee as an attractive inbound market. Perhaps Kansas City in 2015?

— Dennis Schaal

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South Dakota Department of Tourism  / Associated Press

Mount Rushmore Mascots posing at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, S.D. The mascots are playing a big role in South Dakota's efforts to draw tourists to the state this year. South Dakota Department of Tourism / Associated Press


South Dakota’s Department of Tourism has launched its peak-season advertising across the country.

This year’s campaign includes national and niche magazines, regional cable and network television, and other advertising methods including a social media campaign.

“One of the elements we’re especially excited about for this summer is our new television ads,” Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen said in a statement Monday. “We followed a family from Omaha (Nebraska) who had never been to South Dakota, and were able to capture their genuine reactions to the experiences they had. The way this plays out in our new ads is real, authentic and inspiring for families.”

Department officials also recently traveled to Chicago and Milwaukee, bringing the Mount Rushmore Mascots with them. The oversize caricatures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — whose faces are on Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills — have made numerous appearances, including at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and Major League Baseball stadiums.

“Both Chicago and Milwaukee are very new markets for us,” Hagen said. “We’ve been doing some digital marketing and media efforts in Chicago for the past couple of years, but 2014 is the first year we’ve placed any ads in Milwaukee. The response from people in each market was phenomenal, and reinforces our decision to add these two markets to our outreach.”

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