What: The U.S. Census Bureau awarded its 2020 decennial census integrated communications contract to Young & Rubicam (Y&R), the global marketing and communications firm.
Why it matters: The decennial census takes place every 10 years and is used to determine the number of seats each state is allotted in the U.S. House of Representatives and the amount of federal funds distributed to local communities.
The U.S. Census Bureau awarded its 2020 decennial census integrated communications contract to Young & Rubicam (Y&R), the iconic, award-winning global marketing and communications firm. Y&R will lead a diverse group of companies, Team Y&R, focused on successfully executing the first-ever digital census designed to efficiently reach every household in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Team Y&R will be responsible for providing services in multiple communications areas to support building awareness and to promote self-response for the 2020 Census. To do this, Team Y&R will introduce new targeting technologies and digital innovation that will tailor messages to a degree never before contemplated and made possible by the team’s unique structure and makeup.
“The Census conducted a full and open competition, which included a range of rigorous written and oral presentations. Young & Rubicam ranked first, their overall proposal presented a technically superior approach to meeting the requirements of the 2020 Census Integrated Communications Contract (ICC) at the lowest cost to the Government,” said Kendall Johnson, Program Manager, 2020 Census ICC Program Management Office, U.S. Census Bureau.
“The census is often referred to as the nation’s largest peacetime mobilization, and we are honored to raise the bar in 2020 to count an anticipated 350 million,” said David Sable, global CEO of Y&R. “We believe that the 2020 Census will reach an unprecedented number of people, giving it the potential to transform the relationship U.S. residents have with their government. And we intend to do so with the most leading-edge marketing and activation in the world.”
Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the decennial census takes place every 10 years and is used to determine the number of seats each state is allotted in the U.S. House of Representatives and the amount of federal funds distributed to local communities. The data collected through this effort impact all communities because this information is used to determine policy, funding, and aspects of local government such as where to build schools, hospitals, and emergency services.
By harnessing the power of digital dissemination, the goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place, and to conduct the count at a lower cost per household than the 2010 Census, while maintaining high quality results. Y&R’s Alex Hughes takes on the new role of Program Director for Team Y&R.
“In this increasingly noisy communications environment, where survey response is declining across the board, we are committed to engaging every household while offering internet response options that meet modern standards and save taxpayer dollars,” said Hughes. “It’s time for digital access to join mail, telephone and in-person outreach for fast, accurate, and safe enumeration.”
Team Y&R created an innovative and highly efficient integrated team model based in Washington, D.C. designed to expand and collapse as needed throughout the process, and with a robust project management foundation. Team Y&R taps into the expertise of 17 agencies, covering the capabilities and expertise needed for such a complex outreach effort:
- Bravo, market-leading specialists in Hispanic in-language communications and outreach.
- Burson-Marsteller has outstanding qualifications in earned media; pioneered the practice of crisis communications; will perform stakeholder and influencer outreach.
- Carol H Williams, one of the first multicultural agencies in the country specializing in strategic integrated campaigns tailored to African-American audiences; a previous decennial advertising program contributor.
- Civis Analytics, a national leader in predictive models and data analytics for large civic engagement campaigns.
- Culture ONE World, a proven leader that has developed, tested, and delivered nearly 100 fully integrated advertising campaigns to the U.S. Hispanic market for almost every branch of the federal government and private sector corporations.
- The District Communications Group, a specialist in outreach to service members and veterans
g+g Advertising, a nationally recognized leader in tailored outreach to American Indians and Native Alaskan audiences, and a veteran of two previous decennial advertising programs.
- The Kālaimoku Group, a Honolulu-based communications firm, specializing in outreach to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
- Hogarth supports transcreation and in-language adaptation in more than 50 languages across 200 markets.
- Maxus executes paid media planning and buying, trafficking, monitoring, post-buy analysis, and reconciliation; will serve as overall channel strategy/paid media lead.
- Penn Schoen Berland directs a research approach that drives strategic recommendations and measurement.
- PwC, the world’s leading professional services firm with unparalleled expertise in program management support and managing complex government projects.
- Reingold, a recognized leader in digital engagement for federal agencies; currently supporting the Census Bureau on related tasks such as the American Community Survey and Statistics in Schools.
- TDW+Co, a minority-owned full-service advertising agency, with expertise in tailored outreach to Asian-American populations.
- TMP Government, an innovative leader in recruitment of federal employees with successful engagements across a multiple of government agencies.
- Wunderman, a market leader in events and promotions representing multiple top U.S. consumer brands, e.g. United Airlines, Nestle, Microsoft, Xbox, AARP, and Navy.
- Y&R brings extensive world-class marketing and communications expertise, team leadership, strategy development, dynamic creative development and execution, operational systems, and financial stewardship.
- Future Partners – There will continue to be additional subcontracting opportunities throughout the census, adding more companies to the team moving forward.
“The Census is a large and complex undertaking, so bringing the right people to the table was essential,” said Sable. “We are poised to hit the ground running with the talented Team Y&R, whose professional acumen brings the large-scale, data-driven, multi-cultural and civic approach needed to engage all residents like never before. In the tradition of Y&R, this team reflects a “Best Alone, Better Together” philosophy – each of the team members is a top-flight company in their own right. But working collaboratively makes Team Y&R and its innovative approach possible.”