UIDAI on the prowl for production houses for Aadhaar

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 07, 2011
UIDAI on the prowl for production houses for Aadhaar.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), headed by its chairperson Nandan Nilekani, has called for a pitch among production houses for its film production requirements for Aadhaar - a government initiative under UIDAI, to provide unique identity numbers to Indian residents. As reported by afaqs! in June 2010, Percept/H had been appointed as the creative agency for Aadhaar. The media duties are split between the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) and NFDC (National Film Development Corporation).

According to UIDAI officials, the entity currently has two options (DAVP and NFDC) for the execution of its ad films. However, it wishes to expand the number of production houses it will work with, and is likely to have a combination of 20 such production houses in its panel.

"We are casting the net wide as not all our films will be driven solely by creative ideas," says a UIDAI official.

This means that UIDAI is looking for two categories of production houses - large ones to handle its big creative films, and small production houses to create training videos, or demonstration videos, which could be in local languages for region-specific appeal.

Clearly, Aadhaar as a concept needs to be communicated and understood by the people, and hence, its ad film requirements may be slightly different from regular, conventional brands.

UIDAI hopes to work with about 20 production houses, assigning specific projects to each. These production houses shall work in tandem with the seven registered offices of Aadhaar across India.

The criteria for selecting the production houses are simple: UIDAI shall evaluate the number and kind of social films created by these production houses (should have produced at least one film for a social cause) to evaluate the sensitivity with which social issues are captured in the films. Also, the existing creative show reel will be evaluated on the basis of the quality and standard of work; an understanding of the heartland of India will help.

The pitch process is likely to conclude sometime in March. The Planning Commission (under which UIDAI operates) has earmarked a budget of Rs 200 crore for marketing purposes for Aadhaar over a period of four years (starting April, 2010).

Aadhaar aims to create equal access to opportunity as the brand hopes to be about entitlement and being recognised as an individual.

For the record, Nandan Nilekani, ex-chief executive officer, Infosys Technologies, is the chairperson of UIDAI. The Planning Commission, as an initiative to provide identification for each resident across the country, to be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services by the government, initially conceived this unique identification project. It will also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various government programmes and schemes.

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