Monday, May 17, 2010

7665: Award-Winning Cultural Cluelessness.

PRNewswire reported that Mediaweek named the 2010 Census advertising as Multicultural and Best Branded Campaign of the Year. Right. The lead White agency produced a series of spots that made Advertising Age critic Bob Garfield remark, “What a weird choice to build the ongoing awareness campaign around a troupe of well-heeled, middle-aged white people.” Black agency GlobalHue was accused of orchestrating a shakedown whereby minority newspapers were forced to generate Census-related editorial or face losing advertising revenue. Draftfcb President-CEO Laurence Boschetto was blasted for bragging about his company’s commitment to supplier diversity—despite the fact that the U.S. Census Bureau mandated a diverse effort from its agencies. Even the New York Times recognized cultural cluelessness in the content of the program. Oh, and the actual ads were downright awful.

2010 Census Advertising Named Multicultural and Best Branded Campaign of the Year

The U.S. Census Bureau is being recognized by Mediaweek, a leading advertising industry trade publication, for its 2010 Census advertising campaign — winning both the “Best Multicultural Campaign” and “Best Branded Content” awards in the publication’s Media Plan of the Year competition.

The primary purpose of the advertising efforts were to educate and motivate households to mail back their 2010 Census forms when they arrived in March — more than 72 percent of America participated by mail, matching the rate from the last census in 2000.

“The Census Bureau is pleased to be recognized for our efforts to communicate the importance of participating in the 2010 Census in an unprecedented 28 languages and across all segments of the population,” said Census Bureau spokesperson Stephen Buckner. “The American public met the challenge and responded beyond expectations to the census, despite a significantly larger and harder-to-count population, and a continuing decline of participation in other surveys over the last 10 years.”

The integrated 2010 Census outreach and promotional efforts brought together advertising, public relations, event support, Census in Schools, and social media on a national and local basis covering every market. The effort is the result of a close partnership between the Census Bureau and Draftfcb New York, which served as the lead agency of Team Census 2010, a collaboration of 14 partner companies: GlobalHue, GlobalHue Latino, D’Exposito & Partners, Allied, G&G, IW Group, Plum, Weber Shandwick, Jack Morton, Scholastic, Allied, Initiative, and Draftfcb Puerto Rico.

The advertising portion of the campaign resulted in more than 400 ads seen across all media — television, radio, print, out-of-home, digital, cinema, social media, events and sponsorships. Extensive research and input from internal and external stakeholders were integral in the development of the various campaign elements.

“When you think about how diverse this country is and the many different cultures and languages found here, targeting literally everyone living in America is no easy task,” said Bhavana Smith, vice president, group media director at Draftfcb New York. “We’re thrilled to see that the industry has recognized such an undertaking.”

Mediaweek’s annual competition celebrates the most innovative, original and effective plans of the year. The publication is hosting a special awards luncheon to honor all the recipients

June 16 in New York City. For more information, visit

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