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We Strike Gold… Again: The 2023 Adrian Awards

January 11, 2024

Written By:

Jacqueline Wolles

At Karsh Hagan, we believe in moments, and some of our favorite moments of the year are when we get to display our hard work to the rest of the industry and find out what our creative friends have been up to as well. The HSMAI Adrian Awards is the largest and most prestigious competition in global travel marketing. This year there were over 800 entries submitted, and our work was judged to be exceptional by experts in hospitality, travel, tourism and media. This year’s theme, WanderLOVE, highlights the stories of remarkable ads, campaigns, and experiences that sparked a love for travel, igniting a desire for exploration among travelers worldwide.

So Much South Dakota, So Little Time

Client: Travel South Dakota

South Dakota: Home to… a single landmark? While many know that South Dakota is home to Mount Rushmore, past research showed that most travelers had negative misconceptions about the state’s accessibility or diverse offerings. So, how could we completely shift perception and tell the story of a destination that’s so much more than a one-stop wonder, and transform it into a place people want to know and love?

Strategically, we chose to own our differences and what they mean for increasingly jaded travelers. South Dakota isn’t your obvious or cliche travel destination. It’s undiscovered and uncomplicated. And unlike competitors, South Dakota still has the increasingly rare element of surprise that used to go hand-in-hand with travel.

Moreso, research showed us that those who did visit South Dakota found there was so much to love but not enough time to experience it all. This insight, paired with the strategic opportunity to position the state as a haven for mystery-starved travelers led to the bold, new campaign: “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time”.  

Creatively, we deviated from our old look and feel. Instead of montage visuals that rely on found footage, we used more intentional and curated imagery. We even implemented a new photo & video color treatment, dynamic hand-drawn iconography & graphic elements, and handwritten text to enhance our assets. We also developed a new media plan that uses TV & video, podcasts & streaming audio, digital, social, and traditional print & OOH. 

The campaign inspires a love for mystery-led travel and celebrates an undiscovered destination that’s rich in spirit, freedom, and optimism. It’s a promise that visitors will leave transformed, fulfilled, and as a more whole person than upon arrival with restored mystery. And behind it all? One key takeaway: Visit South Dakota!  

With this new direction, we were able to shift the way industry partners and state leaders advocate for South Dakota. The creative work resonated with travelers too, and a more expansive view of the state led to more visitors. 

The campaign proved successful with media performing above benchmarks by approximately 70% and garnering 180MM impressions. And with the campaign still live, these numbers are growing daily.

Gold President’s Award

Category: Integrated Campaign – Business to Consumer

Silver President’s Award

Category: Advertising – Connected TV/Streaming/Linear

Bronze President's Award

Category: Advertising – Print Collateral

Bronze President's Award

Category: Advertising – Brand Campaign

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If you could be anyone you wanted to be, who would you be? How exciting is it to think that you could start a new chapter in your life in a whole new world? Without the limitations of the physical world and human constructs that have been created around you?

Well that’s where the Metaverse comes in. There are whole new worlds being created out there that will remove the physical limitations of life and allow you to chase your dreams and be who you want to be.

Sounds pretty exciting right? Let’s dig in a little more to understand what this might look like.

SO, WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?

Simply put, the Metaverse is the convergence of all the digital things you do online into one virtual experience.

In a sense, it already exists. We sit on Zoom calls, research on the web, talk on social media, buy things on Amazon, watch streaming events and online video, and play games. The Metaverse is already here.

But think of tying all of it together and removing some of the limitations that still exist in your physical life when you access the web.

But how is this all of the sudden now possible?

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