January 13, 2012
North Dakota is the least visited state in the country. Alaska, which is a frozen tundra roughly as far as Europe from the East Coast, gets more tourists than North Dakota. So it’s not surprising that you don’t see much on Jaunted about the Peace Garden State (actual nickname). The most prominent post we have about North Dakota appears to be this 2008 thing on ancient and dried out dinosaur bones. Very metaphorical.
Trying to fix the dearth of tourism is proving to be something of a problem for the Flickertail State (also actual nickname). North Dakota doesn’t really have any tourist attractions, so the state’s tourism board had to brainstorm something creative. Naturally, they turned to sex. Because when advertisers have something to sell and no real reason people should buy, they turn to sex.
North Dakota was already in the midst of a rebranding effort that tied several different campaigns under a single “Legendary” brand. So the tourism board duly produced a poster more or less promising men and women that they could become “legends” in the state by getting laid. It wasn’t particularly clever or original but it conveyed what it was supposed to convey, which was sex. Cookie-cutter advertising.
The tourism board soft-launched the new poster on Facebook, however, and the reaction was deeply negative. ”Really sickening,” said one outraged commenter. No “decency and class” exclaimed another. And another hundred in a similar vein. The objections were enough to get the poster withdrawn.
Poor North Dakota. All they wanted to do was tell tourists that there are exciting single people in the Roughrider State (also an actual, and in this context perfect, nickname). Then the Internet morality police arrived and ruined things. No worries though. Now that the poster has been taken down, men and women will undoubtedly stop making travel decisions based on the whether they can hook up at bars and clubs. Problem solved!