7 Things 2016 D&AD Festival Taught Me



The 2016 D&AD Festival took place at the Old Truman Brewery in East London this April. It was the perfect combination of inspiration, fun and amazing people. Here are 7 Things the 2016 D&AD Festival Taught Me.

  • Simplicity will forever reign


I was absolutely blown away by the brutal simplicity of thought of most of the winning works at this year’s festival. They were practical, flat-out simple and ingenious.

  • Young creatives are not playing


To my surprise, the festival was flooded with young talents (mostly students) just about starting their careers. Their energy and level of thinking still gives me the chills and their entries in the New Blood category were breathtakingly inspiring. I even met a student who won a pencil this year. She forced me to up my game. Literally.

  • Cannes Lion has nothing on the pencils


It’s a fact! Very few Cannes Lions winners have won a D&AD pencil. That’s because of D&AD’s painfully high standards. There are times some works win Lions at Cannes but those same works don’t even get close to being selected for pencils at D&AD. This makes it in theory a more prestigious award. But that doesn’t mean I won’t strive to win a lion. I must and I will!

  • You can challenge the jury’s selection


Okay…slow down, you can’t out-rightly challenge them, but you get to sit with them and hear about their criteria for judging. These 45 minutes ‘Insight Sessions’ as they were called, allowed attendees probe further and gain perspectives about the winning works and how they push the limits of creativity in their various categories.

  • Radio is still largely unappreciated


Unfortunately, a lot of people still perceive radio as the ‘scum of the earth’, but thankfully more people are beginning to discover the unseen power of the medium.

As I expected, the turnout of participants at the Insight Session for Writing for Advertising (Radio/Print) was low. The fact that legendary designer; Paul Smith had a talk that coincided with the session also contributed to the poor turnout. But that couldn’t stop me from attending. Long live radio.

  • Take time off!


The creative mind needs time to rest and space to wander. Coming up with ideas 24-7, 30 days a month, 365 days a year is a gruelling process. Wieden + kennedy, London Creative DirectorsMico Toledo and Juan Sevilla talked about taking time off work.

Mico recently returned from a three months sabbatical; creating new experiences all around the world. Juan on the other hand doesn’t need that much time off; he’s an expert in maximizing one week holidays, weekends and lunch breaks.

They also shared some interesting ways they are trying to get their creatives out of the office, like fining anyone that opens their mails after 6pm. I move the motion that our agencies take such measures. Who’s in support?

  • D&AD Festival is quite affordable


For everyone in the creative industry, D&AD should be one of the festival experiences you bag alongside the Cannes Lion and the Clio’s.

The beauty of it is that the D&AD Festival is quite affordable and it costs way less than what the big festivals cost. The trick is to plan ahead. Book your plane ticket on time.

The festival is usually in April; book anytime from February, you’ll get cheaper tickets then. Book your accommodation early too or try airbnb; it doesn’t come cheaper than that.

The D&AD team put up a great show considering the fact that this was the very first time they organized an actual festival. Checkout all the pencil winning works on the D&AD website

Ayo Moore

Copywriter, DDB Lagos

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