Simon Langley's D&AD report - Day One

simon1.jpgSimon Langley, executive creative director and partner of 303Lowe Australia is a judge on the D&AD outdoor jury and writes exclusively for Campaign Brief.

Wow, what an amazing venue, unlike any award show I've ever seen before.

The Olympia Grand hall is an absolutely stunning backdrop to over 10,000 pieces of work that will be judged by juries throughout the week. You can't help but be inspired and excited to get underway.
si3.jpgWe assemble as a jury and meet each other for the first time, before being ushered into a little igloo-like structure to start judging the case study videos for Ambient and Digital.

Around 2 hours worth we're told. Sounds like a nice way to ease into the day...
Well, over 200 videos and about 8 hours later...yep 8 hours...we pull up stumps, not even having judged a traditional poster outside our igloo.

This whole case study thing has gotten out of control. Many resembled highly polished TV ads and major productions, banging you over the head with the idea. It becomes insulting after a while and the jury starts to get annoyed. Quickly. Most would have been better off just submitting a board with a few shots, an explanation, and let the idea do the talking.
As for the work, I think it's fair to say we haven't been blown away by too much just yet, although there were a few gems mixed throughout.

si2.jpgI lost count of how many projections onto buildings we saw, most lacking any real idea. Claiming 'world's largest', 'world's first' and other amazing facts does not make it great. Or get you into the book. You have to do better to make the cut here.
The other recurring theme in ambient was 'amazing mirrors'. Again, unless you can do something better than showing people (probably agency creatives) amazed at how their reflection has disappeared in the bathroom, move on and think of something else.
I'm not telling you anything new here, but technology isn't an idea, and it's amazing how many agencies still throw hundreds of pounds down the toilet thinking it is. And, people don't always enter Outdoor ideas into Outdoor. Sounds basic, but you'd be surprised by some of the things you find yourself judging.
The ones that did stop us were usually simple, powerful ideas that made you think or feel something, and used technology to make the idea bigger. Funny that. And believe me if you can do that you really stand out amongst a lot of crap.
It looks like a few pieces from Oz and NZ are in with a shot but we haven't even started discussing work yet, so fingers crossed. Tomorrow we step outside our igloo and into the judging hall to start judging posters.


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