PIERRE, S.D. – Following a 14-city tour across the Midwest with South Dakota Department of Tourism staff in May and June, the presidential mascots have settled back in to South Dakota.
The 47-foot bus made more than 60 stops in eight states and 14 communities all in 17 days. The mascots were on air with various broadcast stations across the Midwest, catching the eye of more than 420,000 potential visitors. Broadcast stations in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Omaha Fargo, Kansas City, Des Moines, Chicago and Eau Claire covered the tour.
The mascots posed for thousands of photos at key, high-traffic, family-friendly venues such as zoos, malls, events, and city and state icons. The Department of Tourism’s “Your American Journey” bus tour was intended to inspire vacationers to consider taking a trip to the great places in South Dakota.
Traveling on a tour bus wrapped in South Dakota imagery, team members handed out materials promoting a sweepstakes on South Dakota Tourism’s Facebook page. The online sweepstakes campaign garnered 2.5 million digital media impressions, more than 11,000 entries into the sweepstakes and nearly 20,000 new followers on the Department’s Facebook page. All four winners of the sweepstakes will take their first trip to South Dakota in the next year.
“This guerilla marketing effort could not have paid off in a more successful manner. The results of this trip surpassed our expectations regarding impressions, entries into the Facebook sweepstakes and just an overarching ability to communicate one-on-one with the people we are reaching through our digital and traditional advertising,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism.
Photos from the bus tour can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/south_dakota/sets/72157633575841498/.
The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council and the South Dakota State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.