One Minute Briefs: Stand 18 at D&AD New Blood
A blog post to document our experience at the D&AD New Blood Exhibition in 2015.
Image courtesy of @Gazzamatazzzz
On the last day of June, I travelled down to London from Manchester for the opening night of D&AD New Blood. 'Twas scorching and, armed with a heavy suitcase and big banner filled cardboard tube on the Tube, I arrived an hour or so before the first people were set to arrive. Luckily, I had the lovely Aga (one of our loyal followers) with me to help set the stand up within an hour and we were good to go. Our banner was up, website/Twitter on show and we had stuck up the entries from our One Minute Brief to advertise New Blood that we had run the day before. With the tables and chairs set up and head to head Ad Pads/N50 markers at the ready, the stage was set for the OMBs to commence.
The opening night went brilliantly with lots of involvement from the graduates and visitors and a few free beers thrown in too! Although, I didn't get much time off the stand, it was obvious that there was lots of great work on show from the little bits I was able to see. Both the enthusiasm to get involved and quality of work stood people in good stead as I was on the look-out for some new talent with a view to giving them a paid placement at one of the UK's top ad agencies.
However, despite the fantastic response, I also found that a lot of the students/grads were showing fear of having a go at a One Minute Brief. They feared having a bad idea, or said that they're no good at this type of thing... but how do you know if you don't try? When some of these people were convinced to have a go, they came back time and time again as they realised that, not only was it a lot of fun, but they could also create interesting and unique ideas. When you stop fearing bad ideas, the good ones will come. This is one of the things I'm trying to change with OMB and I feel can really help free up creative minds. It's One Minute... who cares whether the idea is good or bad? The most important thing is to have an idea!
The next day was a big test for everyone with record-breaking temperatures turning Old Spitalfields Market into a greenhouse style sweatbox. The effects were obvious with people nearly melting as they checked out the stands and the D&AD booklets transforming into hand fans everywhere. That made it even more important for people to grasp the opportunity to put themselves in front of the members of industry and get involved in the workshops and stands around the festival. For graduates with the hunger to succeed, D&AD New Blood really does offer you so many opportunities and a lot of the graduates were getting involved in everything on offer and I'm happy to say that the OMB stand was absolutely non-stop throughout the day with funny, silly, brilliant and crazy ideas filling the walls. It was great to see some of the @OneMinuteBriefs followers (OMBLES) making the visit too and we got some great photos which you can see below.
I had been planning to spend the entire third day having a proper look around the stands but D&AD asked if I could do a third day on the OMB stand. After such a successful first two days, I agreed to do it as long as I was flexible to try and have a look around where I could. On a slightly cooler third day, there was no let-up on the relentless OMB stand as the walls were now being layered with ideas!! After lunch I decided to have a look around at the work. From their involvement on my stand and their attitude, I was keen to check out work from Stuart Foy (he bribed us with Irn Bru) Liam Bruce (who has excelled recently on OMB), Kate Isaac's (who was our next door neighbour and sold the idea of OMB to a visitor on the stand better than I do myself!) Dan Scott (who has been prolific on OMB and even took over the stand when I needed a break) and the guys at Newcastle 3 (these guys self-funded their stand, a courier for their work/furniture and travel/accomodation). All of this stuff doesn't go un-noticed and, as long as the work, is of a good standard, will set you apart from others. I was also impressed by @ldcircocreative who had created a book that they pitched, @Anyaa_Dev @SimoneMascagni for their moving stand and the @lionarses for creating a brand/product for themselves.
All of these guys are doing something different, going above and beyond to promote themselves and get ahead of others. And, at the end of the day, all of the graduates are competing against each other, so this is hugely important. As I walked around the stands, too many grads were sat on their phones in their stand and talking to each other rather than making an effort to talk to the people who could be giving them contacts and, potentially, jobs. On some stands, I couldn't even get close to the work as their were so many people in the chairs sat looking fed up as if they didn't want to be there. On the other hand, a lot of the stands were inviting and there were smiley faces and people were proud of their work and wanting to tell people about it.
Guess which ones I spent the most time at?
I think some grads are under the impression that they will walk into the creative industry at the top agencies, but that just isn't the case. Something I have been saying at some of my talks lately is 'The most important work you do is the work you do to get people to look at the work you do'. This is even more true at a place like D&AD New Blood where you have a fantastic platform to connect with the industry. Make sure you make the most of it.
Overall, I'm very happy to have been part of yet another fantastic event put on by D&AD, our stand was even more busy this year and it was great to see some of the great new talent on show at some very well-finished stands, as well as meet some very impressive graduates.
Hope to be back again next year!
Check out some photos of our stand below: