Bohan Wants Tourists to Head for the Black Hills

The Rapid City (S.D.) Air Service Task Force has selected Bohan to promote fly and drive vacation travel to its region.

The Nashville, Tenn., agency topped co-finalists Carlson Marketing in Minneapolis, Masius of New York and Denver’s Barnhart CMI Marketing in a review that began with 15 shops.

Billings for the state-supported project are $4 million. The client, a consortium of advertisers in western South Dakota that includes the Rapid City Regional Airport, wants to increase tourism from untapped markets, according to Larry Thompson, chairman of the agency search committee.

“Bohan showed a depth of understanding of our needs and a level of creativity that far surpassed the other agencies,” said Thompson about the shop’s selection.

Bohan executive vice president John Sharpe said the shop’s spec creative presentation included executions targeting consumers, travel agents and economic development decision makers.

On the local level, the agency will work with Black Hills tourism specialist Tom Griffith of TDG Communications in Deadwood, S.D.

Sharpe said Bohan’s advertising efforts will target travelers interested in “experience” vacations such as rock climbers and snow mobilers, along with wildlife and American history buffs. The region of South Dakota is home to fivenational parks, most notably Mount Rushmore.

Another marketing approach for the agency will involve working with Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and United Airlines, which service the Rapid City Regional Airport from Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Denver.

The client has established a central reservations system that ties in with local attractions.

“Part of what we’ll do is put together fly and drive packages in the Southeast, Seattle and California,” said Sharpe. “Fares are very competititive.”

Advertising, primarily print in enthusiast and trade magazines as well as online, will launch in April.

Although air travel to the region is up 8 percent, the majority of the state’s 5 million annual visitors arrive in cars, recreational vehicles or on motor coach tours, according to the client.