UIDAI might rope-in brand ambassador



Mumbai: A brand ambassador for the Government's highly-ambitious Unique Identification Number (UID) project could be on the cards if a line of thought in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is any indication.

Given the complexities involved in the task, especially that of positioning of the project and relevant communication to 1.2 billion Indians, a well-known brand ambassador would be of great help, a senior UIDAI official said.

"We want to promote the campaign and make the masses aware of the importance of the UID. This would require marketing expertise. If need be, we would also think about hiring a brand ambassador for the drive," UIDAI's Head-Demand Generation, Communication and Awareness, Shankar Maruwada, told a news agency here.

There would be an extensive campaign to push the project and a lot of expensive and operational resources will flow into these campaigns, he said.

In April this year, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), headed by Nandan Nilekani, had given the brand name 'Aadhaar' to the project with its own logo.

Under this project, all the residents of the country would get a unique identity number, which would enable them to have access to a host of benefits and services.

"Communication about this project will require expertise in multiple areas such as marketing and creative communication," Maruwada said.

It is here that a brand ambassador could come in useful, runs a school of thought within the UIDAI.

Maruwada said that there would be several vendors and agencies whose services UIDAI would be hiring to execute the marketing and communication campaign on the ground.

"We want our campaign to focus on making the masses aware of the importance of the UID. A brand ambassador could help us in this but no decision has yet been taken," he said.

A brand ambassador for the UIDAI would not be a first for a Central Government agency, as various departments already employ such brand ambassadors, especially from Bollywood, to spread awareness about their initiatives.

The Ministry of Health, for example, has Bollywood's megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan -- promoting its polio eradication drive. Similarly, the Ministry of Tourism has appointed actor Aamir Khan for promoting tourism through its Incredible India! campaign.

PTI