The United States government is poised to launch a $340 million advertising campaign to help popularize the 2010 Census .

The promotional campaign, which USA Today calls "unprecedented," includes a road tour as well as television, print, radio and outdoor ads.


The official population count is conducted once every decade and is used to determine the allocation of congressional districts as well as the disbursement of billions of federal funds for states.

Conservatives and liberals last year accused one another of politicizing the Census. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in October accused Democrats of wanting to count illegal immigrants in the Census in order to boost their congressional majorities. Democrats have maintained they do not plan to count illegals.

Meanwhile, civil rights groups have long said that minorities have been under-counted because they say the Census is inaccessible to non-English speakers and the economically disadvantaged.

$80 million will be spent on ads targeted toward racial and ethnic minorities and non-English speakers. Some ads will appear in foreign languages such as Spanish, Arabic and Yiddish, according to USA Today.

The road tour will last through April and will hit major cultural and sporting events such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, San Francisco's Chinese New Year, the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 NASCAR race and the NCAA basketball Final Four.

The government will also pour $140 million into media ads, including $2.5 million for two ads set to air during the Super Bowl pregame show. The Super Bowl is known for its expensive rates for ads reaching an audience of nearly 100 million people.

A 30-second spot directed by Christopher Guest and starring Ed Begley Jr. will headline the campaign.