CENSUS 2021

MAKING THE CENSUS MEANINGFUL

Every ten years, we are asked to do our national admin: the Census. But the government has asked us to do a lot of things this year.

So we were challenged by the Office of National Statistics to make the Census feel important and relevant – to achieve a huge target of 96% completion.

Our solution was to make the Census not a national event, but a community one. We’ve all spent more time in our local areas this year, and appreciate more than ever the importance of local services like parks, transport and healthcare.

What people don’t know is that Census data is used to make decisions about every single one of these things.

From casting through to our choice of music, we made this a campaign about people, not a government programme.

The Census reflects the times we live in, and the same had to be true of the work. It has a sense of measured optimism which feels appropriate given the challenging times we’re living in, and the growing solace provided by vaccine roll-out.

The campaign is unique in its scale and breadth. Designed to reach all adults in England and Wales, irrespective of age, location, race, sex, religion or living circumstances, the inclusive push features nearly 200 members of the public from across England and Wales. It has been developed in 44 languages, with activity running across TV, radio, audio, social media, digital, out-of-home, press and PR. This is supported by student communications, a primary and secondary school education programme, commercial and public sector partnerships, and community outreach.

Working in partnership with the ONS, we have been responsible for all elements of the push – a truly massive integrated programme that befits its once-in-a-decade status. The entire project was successfully completed from pitch to delivery, under the constraints of lockdown.