Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,813.39 1.20 0.01%
Nasdaq 5,116.14 13.34 0.26%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.01 -0.49%
Data as of 2:18am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Pfizer Inc 32.87 0.90 2.82%
HP Inc 12.64 -2.00 -13.66%
General Electric Co 30.36 -0.30 -0.98%
Bank of America Corp... 17.44 -0.03 -0.17%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 8.10 -0.20 -2.41%
Data as of Nov 25


Looks like the Magic Kingdom is lacking some sparkle. Disney's cable channels have lost millions of subscribers in recent years. More

Brazilian police arrested a prominent senator and billionaire CEO for interfering in the investigation of Petrobras, which has pushed Brazil into recession. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Some of the coolest toys this year are from small businesses. Here are 10 hot toys that just might be a smash hit this holiday season. More

Facebook just increased the amount of paid time off new dads working at its international offices can take. More