When I was a nipper and all round here were fields, I used to have an unhealthy obsession with my D&AD annuals.
I had a pretty good collection, only missing one of the last thirty, and was nerdy enough to know them inside out.
Now I don’t really give a toss about them. I read my last one once then gave it away to a young creative who I thought might have more use for it than me (having said that, I do use the online annual a bit. It’s much more convenient and you can view the films).
I think I’ve written about this before so I’m not going to go on about it again, but what I wonder is whether or not there are junior creatives out there who regard the annual in the same way as I (and Chris Palmer, Mark Denton, Dave Dye, Peter Souter and many, many others) used to?
Are you a junior creative who has pored over and memorised the annuals?
Do you wait for each new collection of in-books and nominations with bated breath?
Are you dying to get your first entry?
Did you get your first entry this year and do a little wee of excitement?
I do understand that D&AD has suffered, through no fault of its own, from the fact that much of the work in it has already been seen in Archive or any one of a dozen other shows around the world, each trying to hoover up the entry cash from agencies and networks desperate for those Gunn Report points. But then D&AD might also have to blame itself as its awards have become homogenised with the others through the mandatory inclusion of foreign jurors who like the same kind of ads that win at Cannes.
Is there now a generation of up-and-coming ‘talent’ who don’t have much respect for what has gone before, condemning us to repeat the past through ignorance of it?
Is the fact that this is the third mediocre year in a row in UK creative advertising point to an onward downward trend that is bound up to a degree with the lessening of D&AD’s status?
And can anyone under 30 complete this headline: ‘If you can’t tell if it’s a Bechstein or a Steinway then it isn’t a…’?
I’d be really keen to find out because the mystique D&AD used to have must have been bloody hard-won. If it goes, how and when will it ever be regained?