Cross broadcaster collaboration for 2021 Census 

March 2021, London: The Office for National Statistics (ONS), in partnership with MG OMD, are amplifying the digital-first, once-in-a-decade survey with a cross-broadcaster collaboration where Channel4, ITV, Sky, C5 and S4C will come together to amplify the importance of the survey in one, significant cultural moment.

Launching across the 20th and 21st of March, the collaborative Census 2021 TV campaign will be co-branded with each of the broadcasters’ logos and each channel will air special channel-endorsed introductions bespoke to their viewing audience viewing.

Featuring contributors from all over England and Wales, the Census 2021 Weekend TVC, which was conceived and bought by MG OMD’s OmniGOV, and created by The Outfit with visual cues taken from the main Census TV campaign created by M&C Saatchi, will broadcast at a high-frequency throughout the 20th – 21st of March including key spots in The Voice final, an ITV special one-off during Sunday Peak – All Star Musicals, Channel 4’s The Circle, and in Wales on S4C during the Six Nations Final. Additional digital activity will also feature on hit shows including Dancing on Ice and The Voice apps, plus an ITV Hub takeover during Census Weekend too. In these cherrypicked spots, the broadcasters will proudly introduce the ad to show their support and emphasise the importance of filling out your census across England and Wales.

Alongside the collaboration, celebrities and influencers will encourage viewers to fill out their census. With appearances from Alan Titchmarch, Angelica Bell, Ade Adepitan, AJ Odudu, Steve Jones, Denise Van Outen, plus former British & Irish Lion and Wales rugby international player Jamie Roberts, in a Welsh language edit, showcasing real life use cases of why the census is so important and impacts the things that they care about.

In addition, Channel 4 will air an exclusive entire Gogglebox ad-break takeover on the 19th of March, produced by Studio Lambert, to further raise awareness of the importance of this survey with viewers. Six of the much-loved Gogglebox households including: The Sidiqquis, Jenny and Lee, Stephen and Daniel, Pete and Sophie, David and Shirley and The Plummers will discuss  the importance of Census 2021 and how easy it is to take part in the digital-first survey. The partnership was planned and bought by MG OMD and 4Sales.

Gogglebox family

Alex Pilcher, Executive Director, Head of Clients, OmniGOV at MG OMD adds: “This once-in-a-decade campaign is crucial for shaping the country in years to come and will help ensure that the big decisions are made on the best/correct information. By making the survey a cultural moment with some of the UK’s most loved shows, we hope to convey the importance of taking part to the nation.”

Chris Braithwaite, Agency and Client Sales Leader, Channel 4 said: “We’re really proud of this collaboration with The ONS and our fellow broadcasters which uses our combined powerful reach together with Channel 4’s much-loved Goggleboxers to help raise awareness of this important campaign.”

Niall Murdoch, Founder, The Outfit said: “It’s not often a brief like this comes around - a chance to tell authentic, human stories from across England and Wales. We wanted to create a roadblock moment in time across broadcast and social on ‘Census Sunday’. Something truly representative, regional and relatable that would engage the public with genuine and compelling reasons why completing the census can result in positive change for everyone and give a nudge to go and fill in the form. The message is: “don’t be left out - be heard.”

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