The census is a comprehensive population survey, reaching 26 million households in England and Wales. Census results shape public policy for national government and local authorities for years to come.
If census response rates are down in certain areas, those parts of the country lose out on critical state funding. In 2011, the challenge was to overcome cultural and language barriers among black and minority ethnic groups to ensure they took part in the 2011 Census. Linstock was commissioned to design and deliver a campaign that reached out to millions of people in these hard to reach communities across England and Wales – the Government’s biggest and most prestigious campaign to target ethnic minorities.
Linstock advised the Office for National Statistics that its mainstream creative campaign would need augmenting in order to resonate with target audiences who hailed from South Asia, Africa, China and the Caribbean. Based on focus group research and community insight we designed a strategy and creative treatment to take advantage of the power of family values. We used language specific ethnic media, implemented culturally sensitive outreach programmes and a music-led new media campaign on You Tube, to reach the people least likely to fill in their census questionnaires.
We arranged design, photography, drafting, translation and distribution of over 200,000 leaflets and posters in 11 languages, each culturally sensitive to its target audience. We conceived and contracted a partnership with Grime artist Ghetts, who recorded a track and video in support of the census and played urban music events across England and we staged outreach events to target parents at inner city schools. We provided culturally specific outreach to ethnic minorities on a national census bus tour and staged a ‘family history’ competition to generate awareness through ethnic media. We managed ethnic media and media relations on ethnic minority issues in mainstream press.
Outreach at 60 schools reached 10,000 of the hardest to reach families and the Ghetts’ video was viewed by 83,000 people. Media coverage reached 12 million people and 94% of the population filled in the Census.