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Mall of America targets North Dakota oil workers

  • Associated Press
  • August 22, 2014 - 10:12 AM

BISMARCK, N.D. — The largest shopping mall in the country is targeting workers in one of the nation's top oil-producing areas.

A YouTube advertisement for the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, depicts an oil worker from western North Dakota visiting the mall and an area hotel to meet up with his family for the weekend.

It's the first time the mall has used social media for a marketing campaign geared toward a specific audience, spokesman Dan Jasper told The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1trUC6T ).

The western North Dakota oil boom has attracted people from around the country. Jasper said the Mall of America already gets a lot of visitors from North Dakota, and it wants to attract even more.

"This (ad) puts it more into a human perspective," he said. "It's family ... You get to see some of the cool stuff we have here at the mall but it's about four people reconnecting who haven't seen each other in a while."

The ad has been running for about three weeks. Mall marketing officials are tracking the number of views, and hotels are tracking how many guests redeem a special offer in the campaign, Jasper said. The success of the ad could influence the mall's marketing campaigns targeting other states.

North Dakota's Tourism Division also has been working to reach new residents and temporary workers in the western oil patch, Director Sara Otte Coleman said. Studies show digital and out-of-home advertising works best in reaching the diverse group, she said.

"The hardest part of marketing to this group is their diversity," Otte Coleman said. "Every company is unique, and even the various positions within that company have different schedules and work scenarios."

© 2014 Star Tribune