IDNYC entices residents to sample New York hotspots

The IDNYC initiative includes an integrated marketing campaign for the first six months of 2015 and an outreach component for the whole year.

Company: New York City government
Campaign: IDNYC
Agency mix: Marketing/creative: Better World Advertising. Comms: New York
City Department of Cultural Affairs; Human Resources Administration; Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; City Hall; Mayor’s Offices of Immigrant Affairs; Department of Operations; Department of Finance; and three NYC library systems, including New York Public Library; among others
In-house team: Commissioner of immigrant affairs Nisha Agarwal; director of operations Mindy Tarlow; and HRA commissioner Steven Banks
Budget: About $8.4 million

In January, New York City unveiled the largest municipal identification program in the US with the goal of enhancing residents’ quality of life, regardless of their immigration status.

The IDNYC initiative, which allows people living in New York aged 14 and up to apply for free throughout the year, includes an integrated marketing campaign for the first six months of 2015 and an outreach component for the whole year.

In addition to providing free memberships to cultural institutions in the city, such as zoos and museums, the ID cards are accepted as library cards and can be used as identification to open accounts at some banks.

To help engage New Yorkers, the city hired civil rights and immigration attorney Bitta Mostofi as campaign outreach director. The effort was also launched with the help of 47 enrollment specialists, 19 assistants, six outreach staffers, and 11 team managers. Creative work, which includes multi-lingual assets, is being handled by Better World Advertising.

"We wanted to reach a large section of New York residents across the five boroughs," says commissioner of immigrant affairs Nisha Agarwal.

"We learned from past campaigns how important it is to make information available in multiple languages and make sure that ads are not only translated, but also trans-created to ensure information is accurately conveyed," she explains.

Agarwal adds that the city also "made a big push to engage ethnic and community media."

Along with media outreach and marketing, the program is being leveraged through digital and partnerships with speaker and council members.

The initiative is also working with immigrant advocates and faith and business leaders. Information sessions and eligibility training will continue to be held in the next few months.

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