Home On The Range, or South Dakota

This week for class we were given a state and our job is to analyze their traveling promos and see what people think about the state as a whole. I asked my classmates what the first thing that comes to mind when they think of South Dakota, here are their answers:

  • Not much
  • Rough/Boring
  • Farm land
  • Tiny Towns
  • Fun name to say
  • They laugh
  • Very conservative

Ok. Its funny how no one mentioned that South Dakota is the home of the great Mt. Rushmore… haha

Now, I researched the traveling promotions that South Dakota produces and on the main South Dakota Travel page, the first thing they advertise is of course Mt. Rushmore, then their wild buffalo at the state park, then the great Corn Palace, and then Winter sports. The main attractions that they promote are a lot of hikes in forests, rivers, and landmarks. Basically, the pictures are beautiful… but my classmates are right… theres farm land, and not much but walk around. BUT!

South Dakota knows this and plays into it. They play off how there isn’t really much to do but farm, sight see, and hike, so they make these main attractions ‘destinations’.

Then I watched their promotional video from the traveling department and the first thing that came on was the “America The Beautiful” song. Since South Dakota is really known for the Mt. Rushmore… and honestly its AWESOME… they are sticking with the patriotic theme. The video highlights, again, all the beautiful scenery and the farm lands there.

Its a 3 minute promo video with no words, just the theme music and images someone filmed from a helicopter.

Very interesting to see them kind of playing into what people think of them.. not a whole lot… farming… Mt. Rushmore… nature… pretty neat.

There also was another promo video called “South Dakota Family Vacation” and it was like the first one but with people. You see a family walking around, sight seeing, seeing a rodeo, farm lands, Mt. Rushmore of course, and everyone is having a good time. At the end of the video was their slogan, “Great Faces, Great Places, South Dakota.” And again, they are playing into their claim to fame, Mt. Rushmore, and the places to see.

Very interesting, very fun to see travel ads.


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