The television advertisements are part of a wider campaign that started on February 2 and will go upto February 28, the dates when the Population Enumeration Phase of the 15th Census will be held.
“Sachin is an icon and is very popular as far as young persons are concerned, and if he is spreading a message then everybody would like to follow. He’s a star in himself, so is Priyanka,” Chinmoy Chakravorty, Consultant to Registrar General of India, said.
The two icons are not brand ambassadors in the traditional sense, but they will spread the message that everyone should make themselves counted and cooperate with enumerators or the foot soldiers who will ask questions and collect data from households, he added.
The publicity campaign will be in 12 languages and has been built up with an approximate cost of Rs 38 crore for the second phase, Chakravorty said.
“Priyanka and Sachin both will be requesting the people that they have been part of the exercise and requesting them (viewers) to participate,” Suman Prashar, Consultant to RGI, said on the ads that will be telecast.
Chopra will also be seen engaging female viewers to talk about what work they do and that in addition to other details will be used to gather genders details in the Census’ result, something which is often “masked” by “biases”, she added.
“The enumerator should be given due importance and the questions they ask should be duly answered because Tendulkar has answered all the questions,” Chakravorty said on what the purpose of the TV commercials is.
“When one sees repeatedly on TV, or hear them on the radio or even in the print ads then they get sensitised. People think that ‘Yes, these are important issues I should correctly answer the questions,'” he added.
The national campaign is being complemented by local campaigns by state Census Directorates which are using local mediums like wall paintings and regional languages and dialects to spread the message.
Tendulkar and Chopra have not charged for appearing in the advertisements, they added.