Thoughts on this year's D&AD

A bit of time has passed since this year's D&AD and my first impressions formulated after an interesting day viewing and judging the TV & Cinema Communications section have faded away. I have now reflected once again on the somewhat surprising conclusions I reached initially...namely, the lack of "ideas" on show and "software overload".

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHkXk987pwE&w=425&h=344]

Perhaps this is not surprising...In fact, in discussion we all agreed with the jury panel that a possible key factor in the speed of change within the digital age is that too much time is spent crafting ‘eye candy’ and not enough energy is on ‘ideas’.

It certainly remains a worry, though, to realise - especially at a show like D&AD - that more and more creatives often immerse themselves in new technologies without putting in too much actual thought behind their projects. There’s a danger, as with some work I have judged, that the end result is often a pretty piece of "something" which looks nice but in effect means or communicates nothing in itself.

Having said that, nearly all the spots on offer came with fast cuts and bright colour. But forgetting the basics, that simple and clear ideas are behind the best work, is perhaps what I'd highlight as my key observation at the event. The hero in any spot, in my opinion, should shine out and not be buried under layers of software.

On another note the organization of D&AD, as expected, was spotless and a real joy to be a part of. With a great supply of coffee and refreshments we preceded on to the voting. This, unconventionally and in the spirit of embracing new technologies (sic!), took on the form of using iPods – good idea we thought and it all worked fine until …, (as you would have guessed it), with many sections yet to be marked the iPods failed and crashed out! We all ended up walking about within Olympia and waving them in the air trying to get some reception. The voting eventually took twice as long…so D&AD please award yourselves ‘pencils’ for next year:)