Saving Creatives from Plan B since 1962

May 14th. Just a month before D&AD’s premier student show (and awards) and they came to us for help (probably because Flo and I are on the board, and have been working with D&AD student projects for 10 years).
In D&AD’s 50th year, and in a climate where hiring grads is still tricky business, they needed some magic to make sure attendance was up.

So they challenged us to create a campaign to attract the toughest of audiences, the Creative and Design Directors from the UK, to the exhibition. It’s a tough gig, I should know after our campaign in 2009 at LBi.

with under three weeks from briefing to print, we threw ourselves at the challenge to create a talkable, shareable awareness piece to drive people to the show.

After a frantic round of concepting, @floheiss and I came up with an idea. At New Blood, careers are made and students that may otherwise end up in other professions they’re less suited to are given a chance to pursue the job of their dreams. D&AD has been “saving” creatives from that fate since 1962.  We would show well-known Creative Directors and Designers at around the age of 20, when they themselves were leaving college, along with the “Plan B” they were saved from.

We both had exceptionally embarrassing pictures of us at that age, and figured that the campaign would be relatively easy to create by collecting the silliest old photos from old hands in the industry, and captioning them with even sillier titles.

I was hugely concerned about using images of people after the reaction to the 2009 campaign (these people don’t represent us, why aren’t they smiling, they should be looking at the camera…) so we moved from a series of individual shots to a more postcard-like design for the poster where we could feature a greater range of industry bods. we thought if we could be provocative and funny enough then the campaign would be seen for what it is – a genuine contribution to geting people along and helping students. To that end we used our most embarrassing personal photos as the thought starter to attract other people to take part.

We also created a site, http://www.dandad.org/noplanb where anyone could easily post their own pictures and text describing their Plan Bs.

It seems to have gone down well, and the exhibition was rammed for its three days. I hope we helped somehow!

The poster – Flo and I are in the top row.

The winners of the 2012 Student Awards

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