No age group was undercounted as much during the last once-a-decade census as children under 5, researchers say. Sesame Street is hoping to use Count von Count to change that.
The Muppet best known as the Count is joining Elmo, Rosita and her mom, Rosa, in public service announcements filmed on the set of the long-running educational television show. The spots encourage parents of young children to make sure they and their children are counted in the 2020 census.
The public service announcements in English and Spanish started airing Monday. The headcount starts for most people this Thursday.
In the ad, the Count plays a census taker. Casting for the spots was purposeful, Sesame Workshop officials said.
“Rosita is a bilingual Muppet. Elmo is popular and connected to young children and families, and the Count is so logical when it comes to being counted,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact.
The Sesame Street characters join a growing group of celebrities using their influence to encourage people to be counted. Morgan Freeman made a public service announcement for census outreach efforts in Mississippi. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cut one for New York City.