The 2020 Census is the largest collection of statistical information on everyone living in the United States and is required by the U.S. Constitution. Responses to the 2020 Census will shape how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to local communities each year.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s goal is to have a complete and accurate 2020 Census count. Paid advertising is a key component of the campaign, supporting and integrating with other components of the campaign including Partnerships, Statistics in Schools, Social Media, and the 2020 Census Website.
The 2020 Census campaign used lessons learned from prior decades combined with extensive research on the rapidly changing media landscape to understand and address new challenges and capitalize on new opportunities. For the first time, everyone can respond online. Highly targeted digital advertising is driving direct response, moving respondents from advertisements straight to the 2020 Census form.
The media environment in 2020 is significantly different than in 2010, allowing the baseline 2020 Census paid media campaign to:
Unprecedented political advertising levels, and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and its public health and economic fallout, caused the Census Bureau to move quickly and effectively to adapt to market dynamics and increase the overall 2020 paid media investment.
VMLY&R (formerly Y&R) secured the Integrated Communications Contract (ICC) for the 2020 Census campaign in August 2016. As the contract’s primary agency of record, VMLY&R created an integrated team for this project, Team Y&R, which includes PSB, Wavemaker, Carol H. Williams Advertising, Culture ONE World, G&G Advertising, The Kãlaimoku Group, TDW+Co, VMLY&R Puerto Rico, Wavemaker Puerto Rico, Reingold, BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), DCG, Guidehouse, PSB, Quantasy, Hogarth, and Subject Matter.
Team Y&R is leading and managing all media buying efforts with media vendors directly. All media negotiations and/or contracting with media vendors in support of the 2020 Census campaign are done with Team Y&R, not the Census Bureau. Team Y&R and the U.S. Census Bureau are involved in a collaborative process in making decisions on final plans.
Wavemaker is leading Team Y&R’s media planning and buying team, including national markets and channels. The media team also includes Reingold (digital direct/content channels), Carol H. Williams Advertising (Black/African American, Sub-Saharan African, and Afro-Caribbean audiences), Culture ONE World (Hispanic and Brazilian audiences), TDW+Co (Asian-American Audiences), G&G Advertising (American Indian and Alaska Native audiences), The Kãlaimoku Group (Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander audiences), and Wavemaker Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico audiences). The baseline campaign targets audiences in English and 12 non-English languages (Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese). Team Y&R includes small businesses, five of which are minority-owned.1
These media-buying partners are responsible for all the buying and contracting directly with media vendors.
1 Carol H. Williams Advertising, Culture ONE World, G&G Advertising, TDW+Co, and The Kãlaimoku Group (TKG) are minority-owned companies.
The 2020 Census Updated Paid Media Campaign will currently run until September 2020. Its objective is to motivate everyone living in the United States to respond to the 2020 Census in the mode they prefer. Initial budgets were based on media evaluation criteria recommended by Team Y&R plus the campaign goals.
*Breakthrough Initiatives – These are initiatives that will be unique and may cover multiple media channels, markets, and audiences. Breakthrough Initiatives were not originally a part of the advertising mix and focused on specific target areas.
*New Languages – See full list under Campaign Extension.
National efforts are designed to cover all markets. However, specific local markets have been identified to reach historically low-responding populations.
The 2020 Census paid media investment between national and local is currently allocated as follows:2
2 The 2010 National vs. Local Media Buy Chart represents the original paid media dollars plus the recovery.
|NATIONAL MEDIA BUY||LOCAL MEDIA BUY|
|/3 2010 paid media dollars have not been adjusted for inflation.|
|2020 Census Baseline||66.2%||33.8%|
|2020 Census Updated||58%||42%|
The 2020 Census paid media negotiations took place in multiple phases:
5. Paid Search Extension (began October 15, 2020) – Paid Search for Diverse Mass and Hispanic audiences will help to address misinformation, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and rumors regarding the 2020 Census.
Negotiations and commitments for all paid media for the baseline 2020 Census campaign were finalized in December 2019. Vendors not selected were notified.
As outlined above, media vendors had the opportunity to submit proposals for consideration for the baseline 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign. Team Y&R provided six RFPs (television, radio, out of home, magazine, newspaper, and digital direct/content) that became available on the 2020 Census Media Vendor Day.
The 2020 Census Media Vendor Day was held on April 3, 2019 in New York and April 5, 2019 in Puerto Rico, to educate potential vendors about the baseline 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign and answer questions about the RFP process. Media Vendor Day was held in-person and live streamed for media vendors. The April 3, 2019 event was recorded and accessible for those unable to attend in person or view the live stream in real-time. This recorded presentation was made available on April 10, 2019 via YouTube.
Team Y&R worked to ensure that all media vendors, including small and minority-owned businesses, had notice of the upcoming buy and had an opportunity to submit proposals for consideration in the paid media campaign.
The following standards were used to determine if a media vendor was eligible to participate in the baseline 2020 Census paid media campaign:
Additionally, each vendor needed to meet the following requirements:
Any new proposals submitted to the vendor portal also had to meet the same requirements as stated above.
The paid media campaign encompasses various media across traditional and digital media channels. The baseline 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign includes the following media channels:
The selection for the media plan that is based on the baseline 2020 Census paid media budget is final. Team Y&R has kept the vendor portal open throughout the campaign, and vendors have been able to submit their best proposal for the audience(s) they reach. Team Y&R will continue to review proposals from vendors that have been submitted to the portal for consideration if and when incremental investment is available. Vendors should not submit proposals directly to the Census Bureau, as proposals must be submitted through the portal for consideration at 2020.wmglobal.com.
Please see the contact information below for agencies managing the 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign. Media vendors should contact Team Y&R for all media buying inquiries, as the U.S. Census Bureau will not be directly contracting with any media vendors for the paid media campaign.
|Partner Agency||Point of Contact||Audience/Market|
|Carol H. Williams Advertising||David Scott Jr.,
VP, Grp Planning Dir
|email@example.com||Black/African American Audiences|
|Culture ONE World||Raul Aliaga,
|G&G Advertising||Gerald Gray,
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Alaskan Native/American Indian Audiences|
Dir of Digital Mktg
|email@example.com||Asian American Audiences|
|The Kãlaimoku Group||John Aeto,
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Hawaii/Pacific Islander Audiences|
|Wavemaker PR||Lourdes Ocasio,
|All Press Inquiries||Ann Davison,