Sweden & Miami Ad Schools clean up at D&AD Student Awards

Tonight was a great night for foreign colleges at the D&AD Student Awards. An amazing standard of work as usual judged by the industry’s best. Few would disagree that this is probably one of the worse years you could graduate with few if any jobs, but the mood was positive and upbeat.

One the big winners was Sweden’s Berghs School of Communication, based in Stockholm. The college has a two year ad course with just over 50 students on it, yet they were winning awards all over the categories. Recently the school was named World’s Best Ad School at Cannes and collected a One Show Grand Slam, 4 golds, 2 silvers and 3 bronzes and a Gold Medal at the global Clio’s. Seems Stockholm is the new creative generator, whatever they are doing there they are doing it right. Must be all that Omega 3 in the fish.

The Miami Ad Schools did very well too with US, Germany (Hamburg) winning awards but Spain (Madrid) doing exceptionally well. I for one have always rated the Spanish, they are brilliant designers, perfectionists, very visual and that Latin sensitivity means their work always has a passion about it. Their weakness is being self publicists.

Another American based school, Creative Circus, found an inventive way to pay for their trip to London and one that’s generated a lot or chat about them. They set up a website called The London Project and invited agencies to help ‘pack our bags for London’ to sponsor their trip. In exchange they’d take any object (the odder the better) over to the UK send them back a photo of it in any London location they wanted. The six young creatives managed to get agencies on board, despite the recession, and all made it to the ceremony to pick up their award.

There were the usual British colleges winning, St Martins (28 finalists), Buckinghamshire New university (10), Kingston (10), Northumbria (10), Chelsea (9) and Middlesex (8) but the foreign colleges stole the show. Miami Ad Schools got 30 shortlisted, Berghs got 11 and there were many other over sea colleges getting nominations too. Ironically we can’t dominate theirs as few allow us to enter their country’s ad awards.

My favourite UK entry was from Chester University, an amusing film of a kid lost in his mobile for Blyk. As he walks along his journey he is oblivious to things happening around him, all those things being references to ads – drumming gorilla, kid with Hovis, coloured balls, 118 118 runners, Tango Man, iPod. It makes a simple point, kids these days don’t notice traditional ads so you need to reach them via mobiles. Very funny. Check out the link below.

Judging the student awards is very different from the normal D&AD awards. As one of the speakers said, “normal D&AD is like going into a diamond dealer, you expect to see beautiful diamonds. But with the student awards you see the unexpected.”

I think this year there was a notable lack of traditional advertising style work but a notable number of brilliant ideas. I think it marks a turning point for our industry. There is a new order and the younger generation think in a very different way. Like music, styles change and we are seeing a transformation from the traditional approach of 40 years to a more technology influenced approach. I also think that foreign students are less influenced by the English style and are exploring pushing the boundaries more.

Students are also producing more business savvy ideas too. The ebay brief produced a very clever idea, ‘Find it’ created by students at Berghs. The concept is simple, you see something you want, you take a picture of it and post it on Find It on ebay and they try and find it for you. The ideas received a special award.

Between the awards they ran a few short films about collaborative projects like City Brand, Shellsuitzombie and Onedotzero. The common factor was bringing together kids from different disciplines. Not something many agencies have risked doing but personally I’ve found it highly effective as I believe Mother and W&K have too. One of my favourite ideas was an urban design project for street furniture (City Brand) where the item looks like it’s been peeled from the pavement, hard to describe but an awesome idea.

Even though job hunting will be tough (we’ve had over 500 people from 11 countries apply to us at Creative Orchestra since we launched in March) there is a lot of great talent out there. Recession or not, I’d urge every agency to take on at least one team as an investment in future talent, because without it we’ll just become a manufacturing industry rather than a creative one.

And finally, congratulations and high praise to all those at D&AD who worked so hard to make this event possible. It’s an important event, more so than the main D&AD Awards I believe because it’s cultivating the industry’s future supply of creative talent.

And well done to all those that got nominated, you are this industry’s future.

  • Catherine Drew

    Was a great evening (managed to gate crash it). The question, are UK colleges up with the times? Many of the foreign schools were private ones and aren’t restricted by UK government measures and lack of cash. The government don’t understand the creative industries and think everything has to be measured. They have turned British creative colleges into sausage factories. Three years, almost £20,000 we have paid for courses that don’t deliver not because of the tutors but because of civil servants and government meddling. Mr Brown, can I have my money back.

  • Catherine Drew

    Was a great evening (managed to gate crash it). The question, are UK colleges up with the times? Many of the foreign schools were private ones and aren’t restricted by UK government measures and lack of cash. The government don’t understand the creative industries and think everything has to be measured. They have turned British creative colleges into sausage factories. Three years, almost £20,000 we have paid for courses that don’t deliver not because of the tutors but because of civil servants and government meddling. Mr Brown, can I have my money back.

  • Lucy Hill

    Im a student and I think that it has becoming harder and harder to be creative.

    I’m currently studying at bournemouth and the course is great but the way the course and other creative course, are being controlled by the government.
    I’m now at a work placement in London, and being here is teaching me a lot about the industry which is what I should be learning at University. There are not restrictions in methods and how you present and it works. I pay just over £3000 to be at University and so far all I’ve felt is pressure about grades and full filling the brief because someone from the government (who is not creative and has no idea about the creative side) has set rules. Shouldn’t the tutors/lectures have control of what happens in their own classrooms.

    Most of the students that won that the D&AD have amazing work because they are not restrained, and these people will be the ones making a difference creating amazing piece. This is what we should be learning in our Universities.

  • http://www.creativeorhestra.com CHRIS ARNOLD

    The guys from Creative Circus paid us a visit today to Creative Orchestra. great guys.
    But compared to the US we in the UK get away with cheap education, students in the US
    can easily end up with debts between $100k and $250k.
    Of course once it was free but now students pay thousands for it.
    This opened up a debate in the pub, would it be more economical if students paid
    agencies for an apprenticeship rather than colleges?
    Logically it makes sense. A year spent at Mother, Fallon, W&K, Droga 5 or even
    a big agency would teach you far more than one at a college.
    Agencies would get much needed cash.
    Students much needed experience.
    A win win situation?
    What do you think?

  • http://www.thinklemon.co.uk laura

    I think that would be a great idea. Placements teach you things that education can’t. Perhaps a mix of the two would be a good idea, like a year of the course spent as an apprenticeship with your university fees for the year going to the employer. I’ve just finished uni and the jump between advertising student and junior creative seems quite a big one!

  • http://www.thinklemon.co.uk laura davies

    I think that would be a great idea. Placements teach you things that education can’t. Perhaps a mix of the two would be a good idea, like a year of the course spent as an apprenticeship with your university fees for the year going to the employer. I’ve just finished uni and the jump between advertising student and junior creative seems quite a big one!

  • Kevin Gordon

    Hi Chris,

    Yes, I went. It was great to see so much energy and enthusiasm. I happened to wander past a couple of stdents who were getting it in the ear from someone asking them “what’s the idea?” again and again, and it took me back. I really felt for the guys. Why is it that our industry always involves such sacrifice?

    The real winners out of everything at the end of the day are clients. Surely its time they put their hands in their pockets and started to help feed the industry that feeds them masses of profit rather than continually biting the hand of the ad industry that feeds them. Budgets keep getting cut, but the same amount of cloth still needs to cover the mannequin, and with more media options available
    than ever before, budgets should be going up, not down. Why does mum and dad have to pay for everything? The best talent does not necessarily come from the wealthiest families.

  • CHRIS ARNOLD

    Here are some links to Miami Ad School
    Miami Ad School: http://www.miamiadschool.com
    Miami Ad School, Hamburg: http://www.miamiadschool.com/locations/hamburg
    Miami Ad School, Madrid:

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