Every decade, the United States Constitution mandates we count everyone living in the USA to allocate seats in the House of Representatives and inform how trillions of dollars in government funding are spent.
Our target was everyone in the United States. But we couldn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.
We were tasked with building an extraordinary research program to develop a campaign that connected everyone with relevant, culturally sensitive, and effective messages to drive self-response rates and decrease undercounts.
The research would inform creative development, media planning, and campaign optimization.
Our foundational research included a quantitative survey with 17,500 responses in English and Spanish, 42 focus groups across 14 cities in five languages and with multiple race/ethnicity groups, historically undercounted segments, and hard-to-reach population segments.
To be effective in messaging and efficient in spend, we took our research and built a unique segmentation of the entire country. Further, we mapped these segments down to the neighborhood level – an effort matching the community-level impact of the census.
And that was just the beginning – In addition to foundational research, we conducted and analyzed a yearlong tracking survey as well as real-time response, social media, and media data during the campaign for the objective of on-going campaign monitoring and optimization.
The 2020 Census research approach led to modeling, segmentation, survey, and audience definitions that informed local media buys in each media market in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and Paid TV/radio campaigns in 13 spoken languages and digital ads in more than two dozen additional languages.
In the end, not even the year that was 2020 could get in our way of making everyone count
The campaign changed the historical decline in survey responses to positive growth compared to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Industry Awards and Recognition
Data Innovation; Social Responsibility; Government, Public Service, and Nonprofit; Grand Ogilvy: ARF David Ogilvy Awards 2021
GOLD, Government & Public Service: Effie Awards, United States 2021
BRONZE, National Strategy: 4A's Jay Chiat Awards