TikTok-Style Census Video Contest


The 2020 Census is a constitutionally mandated once-a-decade count of our nation. A complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States is essential, and Asian American communities have been hard to count in the past. For information and talking points about the importance of the 2020 Census, please refer to the 2020 Census Resources Guide and 2020 Census Website. 

To help promote a complete and accurate count of the Asian population in Missouri, EARLY Missouri and Asian American Civic Scholars have banded together to host this TikTok-style short video contest. We believe it is critical to entertain and/or humor Asian audiences, while simultaneously educating and convincing them to complete the 2020 Census.

Your Challenge

Make a 15-second to 2-minute video encouraging the Asian-American community to fill out the 2020 Census. 

Examples of videos are here. Video submissions posted on TikTok will be featured on AACS’s TikTok page, as long as you tag us @asiansinstl in your video.


A total of $400 will be awarded to eight contestants. There will be two sets of winners.

  • Judge’s Choice: Four winners will be chosen by a panel of judges consisting of community leaders. They will evaluate videos based on the rubric (listed below). They will allocate prizes as follows:
    • $100 will be awarded to a Grand Prize Winner;
    • $50 will be awarded to a Runner-Up;
    • $25 will be awarded to each of two Honorable Mentions.
  • Popular Vote: An additional four winners will be chosen by a popular vote. All video submissions will be posted on the AACS Instagram (@stlasians). The most popular videos will be awarded the following prizes:
    • $100 will be awarded to the most popular video;
    • $50 will be awarded to the second most popular video;
    • $25 will be awarded to the third and fourth most popular videos.


Videos must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be between 15 seconds to 2 minutes in length;
  2. Target at least one category or dimension of Asian culture. You may appeal to a specific aspect of Asian culture/tradition. For example, you could target:
    • an ethnicity (ex. Vietnamese, Indian)
    • a religion (ex. Buddhist, Hinduism)
    • a subcategory (ex. South Asian, East Asian)
  3. Contain no misleading or false information;
  4. Meet community guidelines. Vulgar content will not be accepted.
  5. Be digital and available online. Your video must be accessible via a web link or as a downloadable attachment in an email. Ideally, videos should be designed for or available on platforms such as TikTok or Instagram. 

EARLY Missouri and AACS will determine whether videos meet these requirements.


Four winners will be chosen by a panel of judges. They will evaluate videos based on these criteria:

  • Appeal to Asian American Audience: This category focuses on the video’s ability to reach an Asian population. You could focus on appealing to a specific ethnicity (ex. Vietnamese, Indian), religion (ex. Buddhist, Hinduism), subcategory (ex. South Asian, East Asian), or Asian Americans as a whole. Judges will use considerations such as:
    • Does the video effectively communicate your message to your Asian American community?
    • Does the video accurately utilize specific cultural, historical, or lingual assets to strengthen messaging?
    • Will your targeted Asian American community find the video meaningful?
  • Level of Engagement: This category focuses on the video’s ability to engage its audience. Judges will use considerations such as:
    • Does the video occupy and attract the audience? Would the audience want to click on the video and watch it all the way through?
    • Does the video have viral potential, meaning is it possible for the video to become popular among your targeted community?
  • Creativity: This category focuses on the overall creativity of the content of the video. The highest scoring videos will find innovative ways to inform, inspire, and incite action among viewers of the nation.

Video Guidance

Here are some ideas and suggestions to help you create a successful video submission. 

  • Humor is not a requirement but is certainly welcomed. 
  • Appealing to an Asian American audience is an important criterion and will help your video succeed in promoting the Census. This should be done in an authentic way; perhaps try to relate to your audience and inform them of the consequence of not being counted by the Census. Small details such as cultural background music or meaningful characters/symbols can leave a meaningful impact. Having captions in a second language would expand your video’s outreach as well (note: The Census is available in 13 languages. Let them know if their language is available).
  • Appealing to emotion can be highly effective in convincing your audience of your message.
  • Let them know of the benefits of completing the Census.
  • Creative videos often perform better; coming up with original ideas and content will keep your audience engaged.

Who is eligible to enter?

All secondary and high school students who live in the state of Missouri and identify as Asian American are welcome to enter. Submissions are limited to one video per person. You may partner with one other person to create your video (prize money would be split evenly). 

Members of the AACS leadership team and immediate family of the judging panel are not eligible to enter.

How to submit your entry:


To enter,  participants should email the required information to aacsstl@gmail.com at any time during the submission period with the Subject Line: “Census Video Submission: [Name]”  

The email should include: 

  1. A way for us to access your video. Methods include:
    1. A link to a public TikTok, unlisted or public Youtube video, an IGTV on Instagram, or post on Twitter or Facebook.
    2. A link allowing us to the view video from your Google Drive
    3. An email attachment or through iCloud sharing
    4. *If you face difficulties or are unable to share your video, email us and we will try our best to help you.*
  2. Additional information. Copy and paste the following form and enter the appropriate information:
    1. Name(s):
    2. Grade(s):
    3. School(s):
    4. Ethnicity(ies):

You will receive a confirmation email when your submission is received and we are able to access it.

Point of Contact

Have feedback or questions about this challenge? Contact us here


Submitting your video to the Asian American Tiktok-style Census Video Contest means that you agree to give EARLY Missouri and Asian American Civic Scholars permission to distribute your video for evaluation and promotional purposes.

This contest is sponsored by EARLY Missouri and Asian American Civic Scholars (AACS).