It all started when...

"Snapshot of America" launch campaign. An eccentric, over-ambitious director is hell-bent on capturing every single American on film at once.

The Advertising Research Foundation honored the U.S. Census Bureau with two prestigious David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising Research at its annual awards ceremony March 22 in New York City.

The 2010 Census communications campaign was named a gold winner as the nation's best multicultural advertising effort in 2010. The campaign also was given special recognition as the nation's best in research achievement.

The 2010 Census communications campaign was one of the most far-reaching marketing and outreach efforts conducted in the country. The principal objective was to motivate every person in the U.S. to participate in the national count. The prime contractor for the 2010 Census communications contract, Draftfcb, developed the paid media plan with partner media agencies to ensure that 2010 Census messages were seen and heard by the public -- especially by populations traditionally harder to count.

By the time the 2010 Census was completed, 74 percent of the nation's households participated by mailing back the questionnaire. Twenty-two states, 1,553 counties, and 278 cities and townships met or exceeded their 2000 Census participation rates. Overall, the 2010 Census was on time and came in $1.9 billion under budget.