Agency: VML
Date: Jan 2020
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The US Census Bureau has launched a $500m public education and outreach campaign featuring more than 1,000 ads designed to reach 99% of all US households and communicate the importance of responding to the 2020 Census.

The Census Bureau conducted extensive research to create the ‘Shape your future. Start here.’ campaign to show that responding to the census is easy, safe and important, especially as this is the first census to go digital.

The Census Bureau, along with VMLY&R (Team Y&R) tackled challenges while putting together the campaign, from sorting through natural disasters in Puerto Rico to creating ads in 13 different languages to connect with multicultural populations. Culture One World worked on the Spanish language content and dealt with the problem of confidentiality and data security.

Ads reaching multicultural and historically undercounted audiences have already begun airing while ads for general audiences will begin running in mid-February. Beginning in mid-March, households can respond to the census online, by phone or by mail. An anthem spot, ‘Everyone Counts’, notes the diversity of the country and the importance of being counted.

The communications campaign includes television and radio commercials, digital, social media and print advertising and messaging on billboards and at bus stops. The massive public education effort encourages participation among multicultural and hard-to-count populations with ads in English and 12 other languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign will occur in three phases – the awareness and education phase is first, the motivation and participation phase second, starting in March, and the third reminder and non-response follow-up phase third starting in May.


VMLY&R (Team Y&R)

US Census Bureau

Culture One World (Spanish language)