SANTA FE – The New Mexico Complete Count Commission on Tuesday received international recognition for its media and advertising outreach efforts encouraging New Mexicans to participate in the 2020 Census. 

The Telly Awards recognized the commission with four separate awards; a series of commercials produced for the 2020 Census received Silver awards in the categories of “Local TV Campaign,” “Cinematography,” and “Remote Directing”; and a Bronze award for “Directing.”

Established in 1979, the Telly Awards honor excellence in video and television across all screens. Judging is conducted by the Telly Award Judging Council, a group of leading video and television experts from prestigious companies in entertainment, publishing, advertising and emerging technology; the competition comprised more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and across five continents.

The winning spots can be viewed at  

The state’s Census media and advertising campaign, which included both traditional advertising and grassroots outreach, was led by local creative agency, MediaDesk. “We’re proud to have led such an effective campaign for our home state,” said José Viramontes, MediaDesk chief executive. “Through effective strategy, creativity and collaboration this campaign will benefit New Mexico for years to come.”

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released data showing that New Mexico, despite being the most difficult to count state in the continental U.S., outperformed expectations. New Mexico is one of the few states in the region to have done so. While neighboring states experienced an undercount of population estimates, New Mexico participated at a rate higher than expected. 

The award-winning spots were produced during the pandemic with Mood (formerly JAK+FLUX), a New Mexico-based film production company.

“We support New Mexico with effective storytelling and were happy to play a role in delivery of important census messages,” said Phillip Torres of Mood. “The pandemic certainly created unique challenges for our filming. The number of shoots were trimmed down and strict COVID-safe protocols were followed by cast and crew.”

“These awards are a testament to a Census campaign that was both effective and creative,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The results of this immense effort will ensure that New Mexico receives every federal dollar to which we are entitled — for health care, for food assistance, for roads in communities all across the state and so much more. We rose to the occasion here – and New Mexicans will reap the benefits.” 

Gov. Lujan Grisham in early 2019 enacted the Complete Count Commission to ensure an accurate count in the 2020 Census, providing for the state’s apportioned share of federal resources over the next decade. The commission was funded by the Legislature and included all state agencies as well as members of the public. The commission was staffed by the Department of Finance and Administration and State Personnel Office.

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