D&AD Judging Week 2015

Once a year, people in the creative industries gather to judge each other’s work. LS:N Global attended D&AD Judging Week to speak to jury panellists about the greatest disruptions in their industries and how they remain creative.

Mark Bonner: The power of D&AD

‘It is like being in the greatest sweet store for creativity – you are completely spoilt for choice.’

Mark Bonner, 2014-2015 president, D&AD

Creativity doesn’t exist in a bubble in the advertising, branding and design industries. Bonner believes that D&AD’s Judging Week, where work by creative directors, artists and copywriters is judged on its merits, is a showcase for just how integral design and creation are to completing a brand’s story.

Top five take-outs

1. Branding is not a dirty word. Good design in branding is a way to foster trust.

2. Creativity breeds creativity. The competition allows D&AD to educate and inspire the next generation.

3. Building a legacy is more important than selling a product. Coca-Cola has had the same bottle design for 100 years.

4. Serve your followers. Brands should be focused on messaging that inspire its fans.

5. Turn off and tune out. It is a diversity of interests that feeds the creative brain. 

Justin Tindall: Print advertising lives

‘I don't believe in 360-degree [marketing]. People have a hard enough time with the amount of media they have to consume.’

Justin Tindall, group executive creative director, Leo Burnett London

With hundreds of entrants to the press advertising category, Tindall’s jury had to wade through a lot of entries to reach the cream. The rules of print advertising haven’t changed – an attention-grabbing headline or visuals are vital to create an arresting piece of work – but the strongest entrants were those that had a grander message beyond pushing the product. 

Top five take-outs

1. Print advertising isn’t dead. There are still works that make readers stop turning the page.

2. Specialisation is the way forward for marketers. It is impossible to reach everyone with one strategy.

3. Be part of something bigger. The most effective campaigns are those with a larger message.

4. No matter what the medium, principles of communication haven’t changed – be arresting and engaging to stand out.

5. Stamina is as important as creative talent. Without it, you will be lost in the world of advertising.

Remco Marinus: Brands for good

‘A lot of brands have discovered that doing good is not only interesting, but can be profitable too.’

Remco Marinus, creative director and founder, Lemz

Advertisers have the power to be a force for good, according to Marinus. As the 2014 winner of a White Pencil, the award that recognises ethical and sustainable work, Marinus judged entrants on the criteria on which he was judged: the main one being, will this piece of work positively change people’s lives?

Top five take-outs

1. The creativity of advertisers should be harnessed for campaigns with a cause.

2. The world isn’t changing as fast as we think. A lot of it is dominated by old thinking.

3. Innovation is occurring on the micro-level. Creatives must remember to step out of their bubble.

4. Make your work for other people, not yourself.

5. Stay interested in people. They provide continual inspiration.

​Pum Lefebure: Fail fast

‘Good design should please the eyes and activate the mind – something [that is] just beautiful to look at is not sufficient.’

Pum Lefebure, co-founder and chief creative director, Design Army

Judging graphic design can be difficult because everyone has a different idea of what makes good design, says Lefebure. The jury comprised nine panellists from around the world, so only the work that could communicate successfully across cultures was considered effective. 

Top five take-outs

1. Visual language needs to cut across cultural barriers.

2. Good design needs to stimulate the mind, not just look good.

3. Make mistakes. Forget about market research and just put it out there and see if it sticks.

4. Fail as fast as you can. The faster you fail, the faster you can try again.

5. Heritage is boring. Designers need to find new ways in branding to communicate their message.

Rei Inamoto: Micromedia's moment

‘The question you have to ask as a communicator and an advertiser is ‘why would anyone care, and what is more, why would people care consistently and in different ways?’’

Rei Inamoto, chief creative officer, AKQA

We are entering an age of micro-communication. Mass marketing is too broad and lacks the ability to resonate with consumers on a personal level. Marketers have to be able to come up with a consistent message that can be targeted specifically through channels such as Whatsapp, Snapchat and Instagram in a way that feels both personally relevant and universally emotional.

Top five take-outs

1. Be specific. The micromedia market is growing fast. Consider how your brand message translates across these specific platforms.

2. Matter to consumers. The big challenge for brands is to resonate in a way that feels personally relevant.

3. Stay ahead. Using innovative technologies for their own sake is not always a good thing, but prepare now to execute perfectly when it matters.

4. Communicate with consumers in a way that feels natural to them. Be part of the conversation rather than interrupting it.

5. Aim for more. As Inamoto says, the best way to matter to consumers is to help them realise their potential.

Andy Sandoz: Conscious communication

Andy Sandoz, Havas Work Club

Most car advertising is like you’ve never seen a car in your life

Andy Sandoz, co-founder and creative partner, Havas Work Club

Havas Work Club created the D&AD White Pencil awards to encourage conscious communication. Sandoz appreciates intelligent advertising that treats consumers as adults and promotes values as well as products.

Top five take-outs

1. Be a conscious communicator. Advertising can do more than promote products.

2. Brands must be more than sales. ‘Brands are public entities,’ says Sandoz

3. Work with reality. Too many car adverts expect us to be amazed at the existence of cars.

4. Be good in change. When we can’t predict, we must adapt.

5. Don’t get comfortable. Creativity is about openness and excitement.

Kai-Lu Hsiung: Defining branded content

‘Branded content is dominated by real-life stories where the narrative is weak. It’s refreshing to see some brands investing more in creating a strong story, executed with a proper script and actors.’

Kai-Lu Hsiung, managing director, RSA Films

An ad is only as good as its story. This is becoming lost in the world of branded content, where advertisers and marketers are mistaking authenticity for storytelling. As documentary dominates the medium, Hsiung questions whether branded content’s most captivating examples are those which allow the story to flourish.

Top five take-outs

1. Go native. The lines between advertising and content are increasingly blurred.

2. Be imaginative. For great branded content ensure the story remains the focus of your work.

3. Be collaborative. As Hsiung says, the most successful works are those where different disciplines have combined effectively.

4. Be mindful of your medium. Make sure you are matching your best content with the best platform.

5. Look to other disciplines for inspiration. The worlds of art, music and even travel are extremely fertile grounds for brands looking to capture the imaginations of their customers. 

Laura Jordan Bambach: Idea-first thinking

‘If you can’t write your idea down in a sentence, it’s not a good idea.’

Laura Jordan Bambach, creative partner, Mr President

When it comes to creativity, Jordan Bambach believes that taking time out to explore the world around us and to dabble in the world of speculation – looking at things that won’t be commercially available for another 10 years – is a powerful source of inspiration.

Top five take-outs

1. Creativity and profit can work together to make people see the magic in brands.

2. Consider how to cross the physical-digital divide as people now co-exist in both.

3. Bring a sense of play. In our always-on culture, people crave tactility.

4. Don’t be led by technology. The idea should always come first.

5. Be brave. Creativity flows when you let yourself go.

Freddie Powell: Advertising for the internet

Freddie Powell, Weiden + Kennedy

‘You start to see reams of advertising that feels similar.’

Freddie Powell, creative director, Wieden + Kennedy

Film advertising is very much alive, says Powell. If anything, it is likely to become more vital, as interactive elements are added to the mix.

Top five take outs

1. Stay off-trend. Work that bucks the trend stands out.

2. The internet didn’t kill originality. If anything, it enhances the prospects for it.

3. Accept fast-forwarding. ‘If people want to skip forward, they should be allowed to,’ says Powell.

4. Think short form. In internet time a second is an age.

5. Have a life. Staying creative means living outside the office.

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