2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/07/2006  First Issue
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July 14, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

TV presenter Ernie Dingo to feature in 2006 Census advertising

TV presenter Ernie Dingo will be the focal point for 2006 Census advertising, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced today. The national Census will take place on 8 August and the television commercials featuring Ernie will go to air on 25 July.

The Australian Statistician, Mr Dennis Trewin, announced this at a Census campaign preview in Sydney today. Mr. Trewin said Ernie Dingo had a uniquely broad appeal across the entire Australian population and the ABS believed the public at large would quickly identify with him "as he invites us to do our bit for Australia's future by completing the Census form."

The ABS selected Euro RSCG Australia as their advertising agency for the 2006 Census campaign, which will feature Ernie in television, radio and print.

"Ernie Dingo has the credibility to help all sections of the Australian public realise just why it is important for them to fill in their Census forms. Data from the Census is used for planning vital community services including education and health services.

"We believe that Ernie will help maximise public participation when it comes to filling in Census forms. This is essential to a quality Census which depends on a very high count,” Mr. Trewin said.

Mr Trewin added that the selection of Ernie Dingo to present the Census advertising was consistent with the central communications strategy of the ABS. This involved a more 'humanised' approach to getting out essential Census messages.

According to Euro RSCG Australia CEO Brendan Tansey, the strategic and creative challenge was clear. “We needed to maximise participation across geography, demography and culture.

“In the campaign development, our research showed we should focus on people’s sense of responsibility to the future of Australia. So, we told people there’s something in it for them, completing the Census form is their duty to Australia, and the information they provide will remain confidential. Ernie Dingo was the perfect choice for delivering those messages in a personal, credible and motivating way.”

Mr Trewin added, "The previous Pins campaign was very effective for the period in which it ran, but it was time for a change and the ABS is very happy with Euro’s selection of Ernie Dingo in helping us inform the public about the Census."

Euro won a competitive pitch involving several agencies in November last year.