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South Dakota Department of Tourism Wins Three Top Travel Industry Awards


The state earned Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Adrian Awards among a record-breaking 2,000 entries.

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism has won three major awards in an international marketing competition.

The HSMAI Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing organizations for innovative sales and marketing efforts in advertising, public relations and digital marketing.

The department won three Adrian Awards for its efforts including a gold award for a CBS Evening News segment, a gold award for the social media campaign, “Good Times, Great Places” and a silver award for the “My Great Place” mailer.

“We are honored to be recognized among the record-breaking 2,000 entries HSMAI received this year,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “The marketing efforts of our staff and agencies of record--Lawrence & Schiller, NJF and MMGY Global--have found successful ways to share the South Dakota story and contribute to the economic impact of travel and tourism to the state.”

GOLD - CBS Evening News Segment

To position South Dakota as the ultimate All-American escape ideal for those with a flavor for outdoor and adventure, the state chose to promote the Buffalo Roundup and invite broadcast media to experience the event. CBS Evening News was offered the exclusive opportunity to capture the 51st annual roundup for the nation to witness on-screen.

Highlighting South Dakota as home to the country’s largest bison herd and featuring the state’s scenic backdrop, the 2.5-minute Buffalo Roundup segment reached more than 6.9 million CBS viewers nationally. The segment syndicated to several broadcast and digital outlets including CBS Morning News, CBS Overnight News and MSN, totaling more than 41 million impressions.

GOLD – “Good Times, Great Places” Social Media Campaign  

To inspire target market audiences to travel to South Dakota during peak season and beyond, the department drove social media engagements, website referrals and overall awareness of South Dakota leading into peak season through an integrated social media approach. Expanding upon the established “My Great Place” messaging, the “Good Times, Great Places” campaign was launched to further drive the message that there's more to South Dakota than eight great places. Influencers, a social media sweepstakes, social media advertising and a series of themed interactive guides generated online inspiration and drove consumers further into the travel planning process with the ultimate goal of helping them find a great place to have a good time in South Dakota.  

The campaign resulted in 26 million social media impressions, 190,000 social media engagements, almost 27,000 sweepstakes entries and more than 20,000 eNewsletter sign-ups. 

SILVER – “My Great Place” Mailer

Research indicated that South Dakota visitors felt a powerful connection with the state after their vacation. The “My Great Place” campaign showcased the people and places that make South Dakota so memorable. To help drive home the message and invite people to find their “Great Place” in 2016, the Department created a unique direct mail piece that gave visitors a magnetic frame to not only remember their “Great Place,” but also to proudly display photos from their South Dakota vacation. The mailer was targeted to select zip codes in and around the Chicago area, an area the Department has been targeting with messaging. 

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.


Media Notes: For downloadable files of the creative which won the awards, please see the below link. Images can be credited to the South Dakota Department of Tourism.


Katlyn Richter, Global Media & Public Relations Director
South Dakota Department of Tourism
Phone: 605-773-3301