An obsession with winning a D&AD Pencil might be something one
would normally associate with the traditional advertising industry.
Well, take my word for it when I say that it also the ultimate fantasy
of new-media creatives out there to possess the hallowed creative
accolade. They might be younger, more fashionable and 'krazy' than
traditional creatives, but when it comes to awards, D&AD is still the
Nominations for interactive and digital media this year covered quite a
diverse set of projects and, significantly, there was a 90 per cent
increase in new-media entries for the awards. Submissions increased from
334 entries last year to 636 for the 2001 contest, although none of the
digital submissions made it to gold.
However, on the whole the judges seemed underwhelmed by the majority of
the entries. Adrian Shaughnessy, the creative director at Intro, was on
the team of judges. He said: "Ultimately, I was disappointed. Most of
what we saw was formulaic and predictable. For such a young industry, it
is extraordinary how quickly a one-size-fits-all approach has developed.
So much of what we saw was samey. Of course, what was good was very
good. We saw some wonderful experimental and daring work."
One of the awards for best consumer website went to Hi-Res's work for
the online presence of the Artisan Entertainment film Requiem For a
The site is cryptic from the word go and it all went a little over my
The other winner in the consumer website section was the site for Levi's
and Philip's ICD+ clothing range, which merges Levi's clothing with
Philip's wearable technology such as MP3 players and mobile phones.
Built by Tomato, the site combines orange and light grey simple graphics
to describe the thinking behind the functional clothes. I concede that
the site is a sturdy, simple idea - easy to navigate and pleasing to the
eye. However, it also seems distinctly uninspired. It doesn't scream
originality, innovation or excellence - unlike the nominee MTV2 by
Digit, even though it was last year's work.
Studio AKA's Caffeine Society was another of this year's winners. The
shockwave animation was commissioned by the Hong Kong-based e-zine IDN
and the work really is striking. All of the animation is interactive and
depicts many different characters going about their daily business. The
illustrated execution is simple and brilliantly stylised. Studio AKA won
a yellow pencil in last year's D&AD's for its Compaq Bird Game.
But does D&AD get new media? Shaughnessy is far better placed than I to
judge: "I think there is a problem with the traditionalists within D&AD.
Too many members apply the same critical criteria to new media that they
apply to traditional media. New media requires a whole new critical