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Friday, September 24, 2010

Heidepriem Buys Half-Hour Blocks for TV Documentary

Democratic candidate for South Dakota governor Scott Heidepriem is going big on TV time. On Thursday, October 7, is buying 30 minutes on Sioux Falls television stations KELO, KSFY, and KDLT and Rapid City stations KOTA, KNBN, and KEVN to tell South Dakotans why Heidepriem should be governor. The show will run at 6:30 p.m. Central on the Sioux Falls stations, then 6:00 p.m. Mountain on the Rapid City channels.

Now when I first heard about the broadcast, I thought maybe we were in for a good old-fashioned Ross Perot-style presentation, 30 minutes of the candidate talking directly to us and flipcharting his way through what's wrong with the status quo and how he'll fix it.

We might get a little of that, but it sounds like we're in for more of an exercise in creative marketing. Here's the campaign's description:

On October 7, 2010, our Campaign will make modern South Dakota campaign history when we air a powerful half-hour documentary on Scott Heidepriem and this fall's crucial South Dakota gubernatorial campaign. The documentary will air statewide on local networks -- KELO (KDLO and KPLO), KSFY and KDLT television in Eastern South Dakota and KOTA, KNBN and KEVN television in Western South Dakota.

The documentary centers on a very personal conversation Scott Heidepriem had last March with a small group of friends and family in his living room. In this wonderfully candid, funny and sometimes painful stroll documenting his life, Scott introduces himself to this small group of friends like he has never done before. He discusses his South Dakota roots and values, his father's war experiences in World War II, his life growing up in small town South Dakota, his experiences writing his book, on the history of Hand County, his family and the painful death of his brother, and finally, he talks about why he feels so strongly about the need to change the direction of politics and policy in South Dakota.

The group filmed the conversation not knowing at the time exactly what, if anything, would ever become of it. When the video surfaced several months later and they saw what they had, they wanted to share it with all of South Dakota. So do we.

The rhetorical/artistic concept sounds like good storytelling. I like the literary feel of working from one conversation and tying together the strands of a lifetime that lead a man to where he is. Given GOP opponent Dennis Daugaard's heavy reliance on his nice-guy hard-scrabble-farm story, Heidepriem is certainly entitled to weave personal narrative into his campaign effort. And while I prefer the policy debates, the reality of campaigning requires reaching a lot of people with the warm fuzzies.

Alas, unless the leaves fall and let the digital signal through the shelterbelt to my house, I probably won't get to watch. Will anyone else? If you do, let me know if Heidepriem breaks out at least one flipchart.


  1. Saw this at Heidepriem's get-together in Baltic yesterday. No flip charts, but is a pretty well made program. Heavy on the personal story stuff, but policy is mixed in as well. A lot of third party testimoney to Scott's talent and passion. I hope this can move some polls!

    Brett Hoffman

  2. I like the sound of the testimony. We need to hear more South Dakotans (like me and like you, Brett!) saying we are voting for Scott Heidepriem.


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