A branding faux pas by DGCA – and why crowd sourcing may not for everyone


I am a staunch believer of Crowd Sourcing or the power of many. The potential of tapping into the minds and creativity is huge and can bear fruits. More so, if the initiative is for defining the Brand who better than the end user/customer.

In the end, it is the customer perception that defines the brand at large. Unilever was the latest to use the power of the crowd to define its brand identity, Pepsi has been using it too.


But, then why isn’t everyone doing it? it is because the Brand Identity is a very crucial element of any organization, and more often , companies prefer leaving the brand identity part to professionals. The one’s who successfully uses the power of crowd do enough groundwork and ensure they channelize / promote the campaign in a subtle way to get the maximum out of the crowd sourcing exercise.

We have a lot of success stories about how companies world over are utilizing Crowdsourcing to better their brand presence. For a change, lets see How a certain organization has got it completely wrong in their Brand building exercise.

I chanced upon the recent announcement by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which is aimed at restructuring its brand identity. According to the official announcement,

Directorate General of Civil Aviation intends to coin a “slogan” and create a “logo” reflecting its role, functions and motto which can be easily comprehended by the common man.

A first ever move of sorts by a government firm of the DGCA’s stature to re-visit its brand identity and trying to get it from the common man. So far so good , the idea looks good enough. But, the next part of the writing is what makes it interesting.

Hence, it is requested that those who are interested to coin a “slogan” and create a “logo” in respect of Directorate General of Civil Aviation, may send their slogan and logo to this office at the earliest.

Now, this is where it all goes haywire!

A clear branding faux pas and a probable worthless branding exercise of sorts. The DGCA has clearly not their groundwork to ensure they get the result out of this exercise.

You can’t expect the common man to have a vision for what DGCA stands for , can you? I consider myself Mango (aam) man and can’t define what DGCA stands for. They should have defined certain parameters for the common man to define the company on.

The target audience is too huge to expect a fruitful result of the brand exercise. Given the bureaucracy that government organizations are in-famous with , is DGCA actually going to monitor and analyze each and every application that comes to them as a part of this exercise.

I am not a brand or a market expert , but this definitely does not make any sense to me. The motive of DGCA might have been noble but the way the execution roadmap has been defined looks weak to say the least.

Wouldn’t it better if a more conventional approach would have been taken by DGCA. With a possible reward for the best design , DGCA could have at least ensured that people put in their best efforts to define Brand DGCA in the best way possible.

The official Source is here DGCA plans to coin slogan, create logo

What are your thoughts ? Is DGCA going to get any positives out of this branding exercise?

[This post is written by Ankit Agarwal, an ERP Consultant by profession, a wannabe entrepreneur and stock market stalker by passion]

  1. bottleHeD says

    For something like this, I suppose getting chosen is a reward in itself, since it’s a prestigious project to have in your portfolio. However, their announcement is completely amateurish, and sounds totally haphazard.

  2. Sabine Stork says

    Really interested in this one … and of course you’re right, crowd sourcing, as Ideabounty (of Unilever Peperami fame) admitted at a conference a few weeks ago, really does not lend itself to complicated briefs or when the strategy isn’t clear. I have argued in the past that it’s quite likely that some clients who don’t know much about marketing (and don’t get me wrong, I DON’T think this applies to Indian clients in general – but government departments the world over often don’t have much of a clue) will use crowd sourcing in a naive way. Let’s face it, they might even be quite happy with the results. Sigh! But anyway, am quite interested as I’m doing a little research project on this at the moment – how much of a hot topic is crowd sourcing in India?

  3. Ankit says

    LMAO at the nephew part..But then its the hard truth..Indian government offices can do better than that and atleast save their faces by not coming up with lewd gimmicks!!
    And even if its a joke, its a bad one at that.

  4. Manish says

    Complete Fail! I love how official Indian government announcements look like they are created by my nephew. No exisiting logo or anything, it could be a joke for all I know.

  5. Keshava Ram says

    I think the idea of crowd sourcing is very poorly executed in this case.
    1. They haven’t mentioned their website. They might expect people to google and find out themselves. They have mentioned their postal address and not email address, expecting people to take troubles in printing and posting their answers.

    2. What is in it for me? Why should I come out with a name/logo for them? How will I benefit? There are no rewards for the best design. I have no guarantee that whatever I have sent will even be seen OR I am sure it will not be seen.

    3. Brand Name/Elements are created based on the Vision and Positioning. How are we supposed to know them?

    4. Ultimately whatever be their slogan/logo, brand is much more than slogan/logo and it is of no use if they don’t change the way they work.

    1. Ankit says

      @keshava Perfect, my thoughts exactly.Its a total fail exercise as far as i am concerned.No thought process at all.
      On top of the points u mentioned, is the DGCA expecting its employees to sort through all the entries that they receive and who will decide which is the best logo.
      But then that s what we get when government firms try to ape what is HOT without putting in a proper thought process

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online