Census Bureau counts on Super Bowl ad

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Census Bureau is advertising in the Super Bowl, trying to convince as many people as possible to participate in its once-a-decade nationwide head count.

The bureau is spending $2.5 million on its 30-second spot, which will urge Americans to answer its questionnaires that will be sent out in the next few weeks, according to bureau spokeswoman Kendall Johnson.

The ad's cost is a tiny portion of the bureau's $133 million advertising budget -- which itself is part of a total $340 million budget for a communications campaign that includes public relations, a road tour, recruitment, Web site development and other costs, the bureau said.

Most of the Census Bureau's campaign will be focused on "local, ethnic media," conducted in 28 languages, according to the bureau.

The bureau seeks to convince people of the need to participate in an accurate population tally for 2010. If it can get people to fill out the questionnaires, then it can avoid sending out staffers on house visits. The bureau estimates that it saves $80 million to $90 million for every one percentage point of the population that mails back the completed forms.

The bureau recognizes the effectiveness of the Super Bowl's reach after advertising in the game for the first time in 2000, said Johnson.

Last year was a record high for viewer volume, according to The Nielsen Company, with 98.7 million people tuning in to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals.

This year's game, featuring the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, will be played Feb. 7 at Sun Life Stadium near Miami. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,279.74 13.75 0.08%
Nasdaq 4,579.79 -13.64 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.04 -1.60%
Data as of 12:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Yahoo! Inc 40.93 -1.16 -2.74%
Microsoft Corp 47.52 0.84 1.80%
Bank of America Corp... 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
Oracle Corp 39.80 -1.75 -4.21%
Facebook Inc 77.91 0.91 1.18%
Data as of Sep 19

Sections

7,000 Ravens fans traded Ray Rice jerseys for one with another player's name. The team gave vouchers after it ran out of replacement jerseys. More

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given more money than many western nations. More

As Occupy Wall Street goes on its debt-abolishing tear, thousands of people across the country are begging them to forgive their loans. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.