Are you one of the many interested in a one-way trip to the red planet as part of the Mars One initiative? A new official ad campaign out of South Dakota would like you to reconsider.
The clever new promotion, brought to us from the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development, starts off listing the cons associated with living on Mars — including no air and extremely cold temperatures. It then pivots to beautiful images of South Dakota with the narrator adding, "South Dakota. Progressive. Productive. And abundant in oxygen. Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?"
It then ends with this priceless graphic — by far, one of the most humorous state campaign slogans ever conceived.
South Dakota's decision to embrace this unorthodox approach boils down to one big issue: image perception. Basically, millennials do not have a high opinion of the state, nor are they familiar with its various recreational, employment and tax benefits.
"They just don't think of South Dakota," state commissioner Pat Costello told The Argus Leader. "They don't think Sioux Falls or Watertown or Brookings or anything like that. So what that told us is they're not coming here on their own. So if we want them, we're going to have to go get them."
Part of that new offensive to raise awareness of the younger generation includes capitalizing on trending topics, such as interest in Mars.
"Older people thought we were crazy, and finally the governor said, 'OK, who here in this room has heard of this colonizing of Mars?' It was a stark contrast," said Costello. "Half the room raised their hands, and those people were 35 and under. That's the effect. We want to go after those 25- to 40-year-olds and that's where this hook works."
Costello adds that the state will continue to produce ads based on trending issues, as well as more conventional personal testimonials from South Dakota residents.
"You can live a life here. You can have fun here," he added. "You can have a great job and go fishing and biking and hiking. The opportunities are abundant."
Check out the state's Mars-themed promo below.