ABS and UM launch one of Australia’s most complex media campaigns

By AdNews | 4 August 2021

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and media agency UM have launched one of the most complex media communications assignments in Australia, the 2021 Census.

The campaign is designed to support the ABS achieve a 95% participation rate across the country with the roll out across every household and all people aged 18 plus, monitored and followed-up by about 20,000 ABS staff.

The campaign's theme, Every stat tells a story, emphasises the value and benefits of the Census to individuals, families and communities - along with informing planning for Australia's future in areas such as transport, schools, health care, business, roads and infrastructure.

The paid component of the campaign focusses on building reach and frequency over three distinct phases; "the Census is coming", "it’s time to complete your Census", and "it’s not too late to participate". During the third phase, the campaign will use responsive, targeted advertising platforms in postcodes with low response rates.

All channels of available media are being engaged across the three-month campaign, with communications messaging transcribed into 19 Indigenous languages and a further 29 languages other than English.

For the Census the ABS and UM developed two significant media-owner partnerships, with News Corp/Foxtel and Nova Entertainment, to take advantage of their extensive reach and abilities to deliver a long-form story-telling concept.

To achieve complete national presence, UM helped form a partnership between Nova and TRSN to leverage Nova’s metro driven content across TRSN’s regional network.  

“The Census is a very detailed and extensive project in partnership with the ABS,” says Rebecca Warton, Client Director at UM Canberra.

“It is an important snapshot of our nation that provides unique insights to help plan our next five years.”

The 2021 Census advertising campaign runs until Sunday, September 19. 


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