South Dakota Office of Tourism
Gas prices were steadily climbing in 2006, and industry leaders were predicting a major slump in summer travel. Traditionally, South Dakota has been considered a drive market, and the high gas prices had the potential to hurt the visitor industry in the state. Instead of solely relying on the affordability of South Dakota, L&S sought a proactive strategy to gain positive attention from both visitors and the media.
"Twenty Bucks for the Road" is estimated to have reached 58,222,752 through readership and circulation.
Working with the South Dakota Office of Tourism, Lawrence & Schiller helped foster partnerships with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the South Dakota ethanol industry to offer visitors an ethanol fuel voucher.
"Twenty Bucks for the Road" travel promotion was meant to ease the burden of gas prices and also serve as a way to promote South Dakota as an affordable travel destination. Unlike a traditional gas card, this voucher was only valid in South Dakota, so visitors had to travel to the state to redeem it.
All newspaper, television and interactive marketing materials were branded with the “Twenty Bucks for the Road” logo, and visitors were encouraged to sign up for the voucher on the state’s website to capture valuable visitor data, including addresses,
phone numbers and email addresses.
An aggressive public relations effort helped "Twenty Bucks for the Road" garner national attention from publications like USA Today, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The coverage of these and many other media outlets is estimated to have reached 27,170,000 people. When combined with the paid media placement, "Twenty Bucks for the Road" is estimated to have reached 58,222,752 through readership and circulation.
Within three weeks of the campaign launch, 31,607 ethanol vouchers were requested and sent out to 15 states. Of the vouchers issued, 44% were redeemed.
A 2006 intercept study found that the daily economic impact of one travel party to South Dakota was $216. Also stated in the 2006 intercept study, the average length of stay for a visitor to South Dakota was 4.2 days. Using this multiplier, the economic impact of the campaign was $12,613,709.