A marketing firm in South Dakota has created an unusual new pitch to encourage young people to move to the state: It’s more habitable than Mars.
“Mars,” the ad intones with great seriousness. “The air: Not breathable. The surface: Cold and barren. But thousands are lining up for a chance to go and never come back.” The ad is referring to the high-profile Mars One project, which has gained attention by recruiting candidates for a one-way colonization trip to Mars.
Then, the ad radically switches gears, contrasting the forbidding surface of Mars with the somewhat less forbidding surface of the Badlands.
“South Dakota: Progressive, productive, and abundant in oxygen,” it says. “Why die on Mars, when you can live in South Dakota?” The ad then ends with a graphic touting that the state has “plenty of jobs” and “plenty of air.”
According to The Argus Leader, the new ad was created by the South Dakota-based marketing company Lawrence and Schiller, and comes after the company conducted several focus groups in other states that found people associated the state primarily with the cold and with a lack of economic opportunity.
Comparing the state with lifeless surface of Mars might seem like an odd way to excite people about South Dakota, but Lawrence and Schiller says the ad is intended more to use current events as a way to draw people’s attention and get them thinking about the state.
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