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The D&AD eye on India

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The D&AD eye on India

Advertising in India sure has come of age. In addition to international media houses, international bodies like D&AD (Design & Art Direction), too, are trying to attract India’s attention. At an evening organised by the Bombay Ad Club on November 8, D&AD officials spoke on ‘What can D&AD do for you’.

And D&AD officials had quite a lot to share with Indian advertising professionals. The speakers included Heloise Hooton, Awards Programme Deputy Director, Marketing and Development, and Laura Woodroofe, Deputy Director, Professional Development.

Hooton took the audience through the D&AD structure that revolved around excellence, education and enterprise. “We are a non-profit organisation and we are probably the biggest and the toughest awards to win. The objective is to drive creative excellence,” she said. And that is one of the first of D&AD’s working principals.

Hooton took the audience through the various ‘pencils’ that are won – Black being the biggest, followed by Yellow Pencils. There also are smaller Pencils for the students’ awards that the D&AD organises as part of its course.

Giving some statistics on the awards this year, Hooton informed that 2006 has been a record year for the awards with as many as 24,500 pieces of work coming in from 62 nations. The winners included 142 nominations, which became 54 Yellow Pencils and two Black Pencils. She stressed that Indian work, too, had found place in the nomination and urged the audience further to participate.

She also spoke on the elaborate judging process that includes 300 judges going through the entire work in a period of a week – Indian bigwigs like Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, Elsie Nanji and Agnello Dias too have been invited to judge the D&AD entries. Giving a tip here, Hooton said, “While submitting an entry, you should know whether you want it to win on idea, craft or both.”

Woodroofe spoke more on the education component of the D&AD. She informed that considering D&AD was a non-profit organisation, the revenues that came in from means like entries were utilised in the education programme of the organisation. “We have around 25,000 students and a yearly investment of $2 million,” she said.

She explained that there were awards for the students as well and hence, there were Pencils for the students. These awards are organised and judged in much the same way as the professional awards are judged.

Both spoke on the enterprise quotient, explaining more on the operations of D&AD and further discussed various options through which Indian professionals could be a part of the D&AD. The speakers encouraged the audience for feedback on what D&AD could do for the Indian professionals as well, which marked the culmination of the evening.

Needless to say that D&AD has been very active of late, more so after unveiling its new identity in September 2006. Designed by Garry Blackburn and Simon Elliott of London-based design consultancy ‘Rose’, it is the first major re-brand for the organisation since its inception in 1962.

The organisation was established to celebrate creative communication, reward its practitioners and to raise standards throughout design and advertising in the UK. D&AD is still UK-based, but has expanded to award excellence in creativity globally. It runs global awards schemes and education programmes and works with the business community to ensure that creativity is high on their agenda.


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