North Dakota tries to market itself as hookup haven, fails

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NoDak: Not exactly known for its nightlife.
Earlier this week, North Dakota's tourism department spent a couple days trying to market the state as a Las Vegas-style hookup destination.

That went over about as well as anyone who has spent five minutes in Fargo would imagine. Within 48 hours the ad, which was meant to run in newspapers and magazines throughout the upper Midwest, disappeared.

Fortunately for those of us who like to laugh and snicker, the ad has been preserved in the fossil record, despite the tourism department's best effort to eliminate any trace of its entertainingly bad idea.

Here it is:
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Legendary North Dakota: Top 8 Reasons No-Dak is So Damn Sexy!

Apparently, for these fellas, a legendary evening begins by finishing off beers and making a pass at the young ladies suggestively smiling at them while enjoying a night on the town in one of North Dakota's thriving metropolitan areas.

That seems clear enough, but one question remains -- with three gals and two guys, how will the flirtation game proceed? Maybe one of the dudes will end up with a lady for each arm? Now that'd be the stuff of legend.

Anyway, backlash against the ad was fast and furious. A report from the Inforum of Fargo-Moorhead shared some of the social media reaction:
Among the Facebook comments seen before the ad was abruptly deleted:

"This is actually really sickening," Anna Cioffi said.

"Welcome to North Dakota: We Put Out (the Welcome Mat)," commented Mike Natale.

"The marketing department who created this ad should be shot ... with a dose of decency and class," said Audra Highley.
The ad was savaged by Maggie Koerth-Baker, a contributor to Boing Boing, who characterized the ad as sleaze "designed by people who have no idea what sleaze is supposed to look like." She writes:
Somehow, North Dakota has managed to create a tourism ad that is simultaneously offensively sleazy and desperately uncool. It's trying to make a wink-wink, "women are objects" lad mag joke. But it looks like your really dorky, incredibly square uncle's idea of a wink-wink, "women are objects" lad mag joke.
The ad was removed from the tourism department's Facebook page yesterday afternoon. Shortly thereafter, Sara Otte Coleman, director of North Dakota's tourism department, told the Inforum that the ad was removed because "it was going pretty negative."

But instead of apologizing for the ad's ill-conceived come-here-and-maybe-get-laid message, she actually took a dig at the haters.

"Clearly people have way more time on their hands and watch a lot more reality TV and 'Jersey Shore' than I do, because I certainly didn't read any of that," she told the Inforum.

"Dinner, drinks, decisions"? Maybe next time, they'll go with "What happens in Fargo... stays in Fargo."
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13 comments
MNmen
MNmen

Yeah objectifying men, again :/ Gee wiz.

Jumpy
Jumpy

God that state sucks. Arrive a douche, leave with a fat chick.

Anna Gulbrandsen
Anna Gulbrandsen

Looks like someone's been watching too much How I Met Your Mother.

Ch_Ch_Channing
Ch_Ch_Channing

I like the UN rainbow of girls; a Caucasian girl, a girl with brown skin who could from any number of groups of people with brown skin, and an Asian girl. Because that's what I think of when I think of NoDak, groups of very diverse people.

vitajex
vitajex

If this ad wanted to be realistic in its depiction of your romantic opportunities in North Dakota, those colorful dresses would be on cows.

(And I swear to God if anyone makes a crack about the women in that ad, you are a tool.)

Research2
Research2

Thanks for a laugh.  I can't believe that this actually passed someone's approval.  Also, I doubt Tebow (on the right) would be down for legendary activity.

Jason Carle
Jason Carle

If those are the ladies ND has to offer, I will stay right here in Minneapolis...

T Blackford
T Blackford

Beat out their first draft: 'North Dakota: Come Here on Purpose and Spend Money.'

Research
Research

Don't see how it's offensive to woman.  It's dudes smiling while ladies smiling.  If anything the guys are in the glass case while the woman are free.  Looks like they are some amsterdam objects.

vitajex
vitajex

30 seconds is too much How I Met Your Mother...

Broadway
Broadway

I do find this funny, but as someone who spent plenty of time on Broadway in downtown Fargo and at the HoDo (the bar they are sitting in), this is not an accurate representation.  Note to 20-somethings and prospective college students: the Fargo-Moorhead area houses 3 major universities, 2 of which have 60% or greater female student populations...

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