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South Dakota: It's better than Mars, new advertising campaign says

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When it comes to strategies to attract millennials to South Dakota, state officials are on a different planet.

Mars, to be precise.

There's no such thing as bad publicity, so South Dakota's new advertising campaign from the governor's Office of Economic Development is already a success, as it's attracting all kinds of attention.

The ad features the hook of "Why die on Mars, when you can live in South Dakota?"

It draws a comparison between the 200,000 people who volunteered to be part of the one-way Mars One expedition and life in South Dakota – noting that the latter is "progressive, productive, and abundant in oxygen."

The Argus Leader reports the comparison is an attempt to move away from preconceptions of South Dakota being a "barren wasteland."

The tone of the campaign was settled on after focus groups conducted by South Dakota marketing agency Lawrence & Schiller found the state's image was suffering in comparison to some of its neighbors – particularly Minnesota, which was praised by respondents for its diverse opportunities, strong economy and outdoor lifestyle.

Fox News reports the governor's office hopes the campaign will help attract younger generations who deem the state "boring," with Commissioner Pat Costello saying: "You can live here. You can have fun here. You can have a great job and go fishing and biking and hiking."

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