D&AD Festival 2017

By Teamspirit on Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Last week the annual D&AD Festival took over The Old Truman Brewery, showcasing the latest examples of creative excellence across advertising. A few members of our creative team managed to pop along, take a look at their selection of highlights from the jam-packed line up:

George Ryder

Staying true to the spirit of Will Awdry’s ‘Writing Compressed’ talk, I’ll keep this brief. He talked about the importance of writing in pictures because it imprints more in the mind. For example, instead of saying ‘dependable’, you could use ‘rock’. He went on to compare the inaugural speeches of JFK and Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter spoke in very conceptual terms: “Let our recent mistakes bring a resurgent commitment to the basic principles of our Nation, for we know that if we despise our own government, we have no future.” However, JFK spoke in a way that conjured up images: “Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce. The end result is a far more evocative and powerful speech, and ultimately, helped result in better approval ratings for JFK.

Rich Cousins

I attended some amazing inspirational talks over the few days, highlights being the always fun Mr. Bingo and inspiring Stefan Sagmeister. A theme I noticed a lot of speakers talking about was the strive to bring more humanity into advertising and communications. Making sure we don’t just use tech for the sake of it. The idea should direct and define the media, the platform, the application. We’re in an age where programmatic is rife, and a lot of speakers spoke about using innovation and technology in a personal way and bring your audience wants and desires to the core of the idea.

“The methods have changed, but the thinking hasn’t” – Noriaki Onoe, Dentsu Lab Tokyo

Tim Glister

I’m a sucker for advertising that uses copy in new and inventive ways. In a year that saw a lot of the same themes crop up over and over (Trump, Brexit, brands prioritising stories over products), it really was the ones that took that little bit of extra care and attention to treat copy as an integral design element rather than a second thought or unwelcome add-on that drew my attention.

The Guardian’s typography-only adverts really stood out, and so did Honda’s fantastic, cross-platform and totally immersive Great Journey project.

Dylan Perryman

At some point in the last decade, design became really small. It turned in on itself, losing its ability to shape the world around us.

For Mike Rigby, VP and ECD at R/GA New York, this doesn’t sit right. In his talk at this year’s D&AD festival, entitled Design as a Transformational Force, this softly spoken Northerner examined the true value design can bring to the world.

Forget metrics, margins and KPIs, design was meant for greater things. It can be the catalyst for big changes. And small ones. It can make governments increase the funding to treat devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s. And it can help us revaluate the way we view love, gender and sexuality. It’s about using technology to tell stories. About bringing together message and medium.

Rigby’s point is clear. Design is more than a craft; it’s a way of life. It’s no longer enough to think in terms of the world of design. It’s time to think about the design of the world.

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