South Dakota’s ‘Mars’ marketing campaign drawing job-seekers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A workforce development campaign in South Dakota that sells the state as being a better place to live than Mars is generating traffic to the state’s workforce website, despite not-always favorable national attention.

The focus is a video ad about the desolate planet. The final graphic reads: “South Dakota. Plenty of jobs. Plenty of air.” Officials say it’s a light-hearted approach to getting young people interested in moving to South Dakota, using the trending topic of colonizing Mars.

“South Dakota. Progressive. Productive. And abundant in oxygen. Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?” the ad says.

It amused anchors on The Today Show and was lampooned by late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon. However, since May 1, the state’s workforce website has been visited more than 15,000 times, the Argus Leader newspaper reported ( ).

"We’ve been pleased with the results of the campaign," said Mary Lehecka Nelson, marketing director for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. "The early indications are that the message is resonating with our target audience and that they are doing exactly what we want them to - go to the Department of Labor and Regulation’s job site."

Many visitors are from North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, and many are young men - the demographic targeted by the campaign.

Last modified onFriday, 03 July 2015 08:09

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