Vince Lagana's D&AD Diary Wrap-up

D&AD 0.jpgVince Lagana, executive creative director of Leo Burnett Sydney, is in London judging the Direct category at D&AD. Here is his wrap-up report, exclusive to Campaign Brief

Lynchy asked me to write an update a few times but jet lag got the better me. So here is my complete wrap up from the airport.

On Sunday, I walked into the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane and after a quick inspiring briefing, the judging panels were taken to their respective rooms. Each room in the labyrinthine building was surrounded by even more rooms containing array after array of amazing work. Throughout judging just going to the toilet became a 30-minute ordeal as it was impossible not to stop and take in some of the great work on display.
D&AD 1.jpgMy jury was made up of 10 people from all over the world. The perfect amount for a robust debate. It started well but it wasn't long before a number of us began to question if some of the work we were judging was truly direct. We were seeing a lot of great ideas but some were trying to retro-fit a direct mechanic. A small tacked-on call to action doesn't always cut it, not at D&AD anyway. And some ideas that have been winning big in other D&AD 2.jpgcategories and award shows were trying to blind us with their brilliance, but they simply weren't direct campaigns. Our head juror, Mr St├ęphane Xiberras (the guy in the middle who looks even more a Soprano character than me), made it clear that all the work submitted has passed the D&AD Direct criteria. So, with that in mind we studied criteria (1).jpgeach submission fairly but decided to really focus and award the ideas that truly had direct at their core.

D&AD comes with a certain prestige and you really get the feeling that everyone judging wants to protect that integrity dearly. We wanted to be proud of the work. We wanted people who see the Annual to be in complete awe. We pulled work out only to put it back in and vice versa. The truly brilliant work began to rise to the top and once the wood pencils were decided it was time to go again. Debates became more heated as we questioned absolutely everything. In the end, there were four truly standout pieces and, in my eyes, only one absolute gem. Beautifully simple, beautifully crafted and with Direct at its absolute core. The entire campaign was based around a phone number. I'm sure you can work it out.

Receiving a wood pencil is a major achievement and anything above that is work that really is the epitome of creative excellence. It's no secret Australia has done well across the entire show. Thanks to a handful of campaigns, we are the talk of Brick Lane. In a few hours, the ceremony will take place and you'll wake up to the winners. Be proud of the Aussie talent and agencies who helped raise the bar on the international stage. We dominated.


Pete said:

Good to hear a jury stick to their guns and only award work relevant to the category and not what's popular.

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