South Dakota tries new branding message: We’re better than Mars

South Dakota’s way of attracting millennials is, let’s say, out of this world.

In an attempt to re-brand the state, South Dakota’s government — with the help of a marketing firm — has launched a new ad campaign with a simple, albeit bizarre, message: Moving here is better than moving to Mars.

“Mars. The air not breathable. The surface: cold and barren,” the commercial begins. “But thousands are lining up for a chance to go there and never come back.”

But wait just a minute, would-be Mars rovers. Have you considered South Dakota?

The narrator makes the pitch: “South Dakota. Progressive. Productive. And abundant in oxygen. Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?”

While the ad is raising eyebrows, the Argus Leader detailed the painstaking process that went into this approach.

The goal of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development was to attract young people to a place deemed “boring.”

Commissioner Pat Costello said the “hook works” with the younger generation, whom they are trying to attract.

“You can live a life here. You can have fun here,” Costello told the newspaper. “You can have a great job and go fishing and biking and hiking. The opportunities are abundant.”

And hey, it’s better than Mars.

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FoxNews.com

Old Navy Says Farewell to Amy Poehler

Retailer Plans to Welcome New Spokesperson in December

By Ashley Rodriguez

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Old Navy ran its final spot featuring Amy Poehler on Sunday night — signaling the end of a yearlong relationship with the star who helped spur the brand’s focus in online video. The ad, promoting the retailer’s Black Friday deals, keeps with the theme of earlier spots — building a sense of urgency around the brand as Ms. Poehler rushes to get to a store.

“It’s been a great ride with her,” said Julie Luker, director of public relations at Old Navy. “It’s the perfect end to have her promote Black Friday, which is our biggest day of the year.”

Ms. Poehler may be leaving, but the push is far from over. Old Navy is eager to build on the campaign’s success, and it will usher in a new celebrity spokesperson next month.

“Even though the character is different, you’ll see the consistency of what we’re doing today,” said Ivan Wicksteed, CMO at Old Navy. “It’s going to feel very episodic in a way that you’re going to want to follow with us.”

Mr. Wicksteed did not say who will star in Old Navy’s next ad, which is slated to debut on December 3. “You’ll be seeing a lot of Old Navy during the month of December,” said Mr. Wicksteed, adding the holiday season is the most important time of year for Old Navy in terms of media weight and exposure.

In addition to acting, Ms. Poehler also had quite a bit of creative control over the current campaign, best Known for its outtakes featuring the “Parks and Recreation” and former “SNL” star. It called attention to the brand on TV and online, and pushed Mr. Wicksteed to shift the retailer’s reliance away from TV and towards digital video earlier this year.

“The outtakes that we get from shooting with Amy are always the things that people want to see the most,” said Mr. Wicksteed. “It’s more of a content play than a traditional advertising play.”

The main difference in the latest spot is that it focuses on a promotion and not a particular product, said Mr. Wicksteed. That’s fitting for Black Friday, which is a heavily promotional time of year. This year, Old Navy is bringing back its “Overnight Millionaire” push to give away $1 million to one person in line on Black Friday. Mr. Wicksteed says the odds are better this year, because only the first 100 people in line can enter. The ad also pushes the retailer’s 50% off sale.

The budget for this year’s Black Friday campaign is consistent with last year, said Old Navy. But the push has bigger placements — it will air during Thanksgiving Day football on CBS, a first for the brand. It will also have a presence on YouTube and Google Preferred, which puts the top 5% of YouTube content up for sale to advertisers. Chalendier Creative worked on the spot featuring Ms. Poehler.