MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

A Show Of Hands

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I just opted-in to the national census. Since the last census in 2001, Statistics Canada has developed an online survey tool. There’s nothing groundbreaking in the technology – simple multiple choice and fill in the blank forms. But while sluggish beurocracy stains many government functions,this process was simple and quick. It took 20 minutes at best to answer questions that would have taken twice that time (if I was lucky) to fill out on the paper forms.

I’m not sure how common online census taking is globally. Some quick surfing suggests that neither Britain nor the U.S. collect census data through the web.

Canada seems to be doing something rather unique. I’m inclined to applaud this move. If the government is there to serve the needs of the people then part of its mandate includes delivering services in the most efficient way possible.

The government marketing machine is in full force. There has been print, tv, radio, online, and out of home (transit) advertising. The early stages of the campaign featured ads threatening an assault of pesky census takers if we didn’t comply. Focus groups hated preliminary concepts that concerned privacy and the legal requirment to participate. Sadly, we’ve been thudded on the head with those at the tail end of this campaign.

The census advertising was a little heavy handed, but it appears by the book and couldn’t help be noticed. Fittingly, the trial of Gomery inquiry villain Chuck Guite heard testimony (link tip – click on the ‘people’ link and then scroll up to the next story) last week that the work Groupaction did for the sponsorship program wouldn’t pass a marketing 101 class.

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Written by Jonathan Dunn

May 25, 2006 at 11:12 pm

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