There is no such thing as bad publicity. That phrase in various forms is trotted out when people are talking about you in a bad way.

Two South Dakota state agencies have put together media campaigns that have pressed against that notion. Both of them coming with mixed reviews.

In December of 2014, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety launched the “Don’t Jerk and Drive” campaign to encourage drivers to not be rash in their winter driving habits. Some lauded the effort on its face as a means to teach a proper driving skill.

Others thought it meant to not sexually satisfy yourself while driving. Obviously the unintended message got more attention and the campaign was “deep sixed”.

Five months later a message arrives to entice young people to move to South Dakota in the never ending quest to develop the workforce in the Rushmore State. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development feels the 25-44 year-old demographic will relate to a message entitled “Why Die on Mars when you can Live in South Dakota.”

Pat Costello who is the Commissioner of the GOED says in an interview with KDLT News, "We think Mars has what South Dakota wants, thousands of people lining up to live there. So we decided to have a little fun with it."

The early buzz in some circles has been negative because those who are already here think South Dakota is already better than Mars. If you are not sure of what I speak you can scroll down to get video evidence.

The true test will come when we hear from those outside the borders who would consider coming to the prairie and give up on their dreams of colonizing the Red Planet. Only then will we learn if we have an egregiously bad campaign that the state will have to live down or if the GOED is correct about what grabs the attention of a new generation of potential South Dakotans.

First the Jerk and Drive thing.


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