My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘ad campaign’

MyTwoCensus Editorial: My Mad Men moment…What 2010 Census ads should have said…

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I’m a few years behind the rest of the world as I only recently started watching Mad Men, the hit TV series about the world of advertising. The show got me thinking about many things related to the 2010 Census ad campaign. Rather than advertising with “Portrait of America” themes, Christopher Guest nonsense, and other ads that seem to be unclear, unpointed, and uninteresting flops. Why not go straight to the numbers? The simple ad campaign I would have created for the Census Bureau would have gone as follows:

Cost to mail back your census form: 42 cents.

Cost to send a Census Bureau employee to your house if you fail to return your form: $57.

Amount of federal money at stake if you aren’t counted: $1,333.*

Total amount of available funding that you are community should get its fair share of: $400 BILLION.

2010 Census – Mail it back and Participate.

(Back in February, Census Bureau Communications Director Steve Jost told readers of this blog — see the comments section — that the Census Bureau and Draftfcb were in the process of creating a 2010 Census ad competition for the public to compete in…clearly that never happened!)

*The Census Bureau uses the term $400 billion for the total amount of money at stake. $400 billion divided by 300 milli0n people (an approximation of America’s population) is $1,333 per person. Some estimates determine that it is about $3,000 per person missed. Shelley Lowe of the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office said of the per person figure, “We don’t calculate that, but other organizations have attempted to.”

In Focus: How your $timulus package money is being $pent by the Cen$u$ Bureau

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

H/t to Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporting outlet Pro Publica for sharing the following data with us. Here are some screen captures that depict how your taxpayer dollars are being spent (…interestingly, Census Bureau Communications Director Steve Jost’s former boss Carolyn Maloney represents New York City and the areas where $125,000,000 in stimulus money is headed in communications contracts!). The amount of money being spent on partnership support is particularly disturbing as I have received multiple reports of partnership materials being DISCARDED by the palette!

Census humor is so rare, but a new YouTube video strikes gold…

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The last funny video about the Census was an old Christopher Walken sketch on SNL, but now, for 2010, we have Hitler’s take on the 2010 Census advertising campaign (not offensive and safe to watch at work, don’t worry):

Congressman says minorities are not counted equally

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

We came across the following blog post written by Sean Rose of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. MyTwoCensus has made inquiries to Asian-American elected officials about their opinions on what Rep. William Lacy Clay has said:

WASHINGTON — Minorities and urban neighborhoods have long been under counted by the U.S. census and officials are hoping that a $312 million ad campaign can reverse the trend for the 2010 tally.

But Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, is wondering if the Census Bureau is spending all of that money wisely.

After hearing testimony today before the House Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee, which Clay chairs, the congressman took exception to the amount of funds targeting Asian-Americans, which have been better represented than other minorities in past census data.

“What was alarming was that in the Asian communities in America, they have tended to be historically over counted,” Clay said.

Of the money headed toward advertising, $27 million will specifically target Asians-Americans, while $36 million and $39 million will target blacks and Hispanics respectively.

Asian citizens were actually over counted in the 2000 census while the numbers from the last two census attempts have consistently under counted blacks and Hispanics. The 2000 census missed an estimated 3 million people.

None of the spending amounts are final and Clay said he expected to see revised numbers at the next subcommittee hearing.

“It’s a work in progress,” Clay said.

This funding from the bureau is meant to increase the response rate among these communities by stressing the importance of the census through ads and school programs. The bureau is also planning to increase spending to $280 million on partnerships with community groups and leaders in places that have a low response rate to better address problems of finding residents and getting a response.

As a whole, Missouri’s 69 percent response rate was higher than the 67 percent national average. In contrast, St. Louis, home to many minorities that the census has not traditionally reached, had a 53 percent response rate in 2000.