Jackalope Airs First-ever Ad Entirely in Lakota, Launches Initiative to Preserve the Endangered Language

Share Article

Communications and advertising agency Jackalope recently aired the first-ever branded ad completely voiced in Lakota for the Black Hills Federal Credit Union on stations across South Dakota, a campaign that has won multiple AAF-Black Hills American Advertising Awards. The effort is part of a larger movement to preserve the Lakota language, place Lakota consumers on an equal plane and give greater representation to a voice often absent from the media or present only in controversy, like the debate over the Washington Redskins name.

Communications and advertising agency Jackalope recently aired the first-ever branded ad completely voiced in Lakota for the Black Hills Federal Credit Union (BHFCU), which is playing on stations across South Dakota. The campaign recently won Best of Show and a gold American Advertising Award at the AAF-Black Hills awards show. For Jackalope, the effort is part of a larger movement to preserve the Lakota language, place Lakota consumers on an equal plane and give greater representation to a voice conspicuously absent from the media or present only in controversy, like the debate over the Washington Redskins name.

Through a partnership, Jackalope will offer Lakota translation services for free to any business or organization seeking to translate its advertising.

According to the Lakota Language Consortium, of the hundreds of indigenous languages spoken in North America, only a dozen can be considered viable enough today to survive. Of the more than 6,000 languages spoken worldwide, over 43 percent are considered endangered, including Lakota, and more than half of all languages will become extinct in the next century at current rates. In fact only 2,000 first-language speakers of Lakota remain -- a decline of 66% in ten years.

“Jackalope, from its name to its work, is grounded in a sense of place, deeply rooted in South Dakota. I wanted to faithfully represent that sense of place in its diversity by celebrating Native American language and culture and speaking directly to a population that makes up 10 percent of South Dakota,” said Jason Alley, principal and head creative of the firm.

The two Lakota commercials, “Tiospaya Wicasa” and “Tiospaya Winyan,” focus on family, a central concept in Native American culture. This idea of family guided the ad’s creative development, which aimed to take a mainstream financial institution and translate its benefits through concepts familiar and important to Native Americans.

The Lakota commercial parallel the BHFCU ad running simultaneously in English, and joins other BHFCU efforts to increase financial literacy and services on the reservation through its new member service center on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.

Jackalope has won a total of five National American Advertising Awards in the last six years, alongside the likes of Coke, Nike and other major multinational organizations. Principal and head creative Jason Alley was also featured as one of the “People to Watch in 2016” by Graphic Design USA magazine, the only one from the Midwest. Alley is also the driving force behind the Lakota Voice Project, a nonprofit aimed at empowering Native American youth and preventing youth suicide on South Dakota reservations.

Watch “Tiospaya Wicasa” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI2Pm-aIt24), “Tiospaya Winyan” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dut7dahsVA), and the English version, “Road Trip," (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY_xo8NgXSU).

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Dani Mason
Launch Collective
+1 (605) 430-3612
Email >