The only obvious trend in press this year (once again) was for very visual-led advertising. You know the sort of thing; funny or quirky bit of photography, logo in the bottom right corner. The work that made it into the book had one thing in common. Beautifully simple concepts, beautifully crafted. There was little in the way of disagreement amongst the jury. Harvey Nichols, VW, Quality Street all stood out above the other two thousand entries. But overall it was a fairly disappointing year in press. Nothing too surprising. Nothing that "shook" the category. There was no "Cog" equivalent. All of the work erred on the safe side. Maybe we need to be a little braver? A bit more adventurous? Dare I say it? A bit more creative?
TV & Cinema Advertising-Paul Silburn,TBWALondon
Take one weak year's work. Add one tough jury. Leave to debate in a darkened room for three of the hottest days of the year. That's the simple recipe for "TV and Cinema Advertising 2003-served with a drastic reduction." Only 39 entries in the book. Only five nominations. Only two pencils. There's no denying that the jury spent a lot of time deliberating over their decisions-particularly when it came to two particular pieces of work. Firstly, "118 118 The Number" which, despite being the most memorable campaign of 2003, found itself under heavy attack from some quarters for being "irritating" and "stupid". In the end it survived only as a campaign of what were deemed to be the three best examples. Secondly, Honda "Cog." The controversy surrounding this ad is well documented and some felt it unworthy of even a nomination. One jury member made a brilliant, impassioned, speech against it. This time, however, they were in a minority. Were we too tough? Perhaps a little. Being a member of the TV and Cinema jury is not for the faint-hearted; 25 brilliant people, with differing points of view, came together and opined over every ad. Being the foreman, trying to ensure all those points of view were heard, should come with a week of recovery at The Priory as part of the deal.
Graphic Design-Lynn Trickett, Trickett Associates
I don't think that there was anything amazingly new this year, however, we did feel the overall standard was pretty high. As ever, the real difficulty is to reach above that standard. Our jury was looking for a wonderful idea, beautifully executed and bang on target. We certainly felt that there was a bit of this, especially with a few of the posters that we voted in. The two that we all felt best about were "Brain" for The Economist because it fulfilled all of our selection criteria, and also the smashing Volkswagen "Superman" poster, it was one of those ideas where you say to yourself "Why didn't I think of that?"
Non-English Language Press Advertising-Michael Jansen, Result DDB
After two decades of "we can photo-manipulate anything," a welcome trend seems to be the return of illustration in advertising. Another, although isolated to Germany, is the use of penises. I spotted a handful. For a variety of products. The good news is, two were illustrated. But Germans can also think with their brains, as the brilliant Bild-Zietung "Kidnapped" and Ecover "Jellyfish" ads prove. The last, deserving of more than a place in the book. Saatchi & Saatchi /Thailand had an entries blitzkrieg (must be that booming Asian economy) for client Indosport, with their campaign for the Streamlight flashlight receiving a Silver Award. The beautiful Medicos Sin Fronteras campaign, which combined magnified photos of diseases with strategic war charts, the minimalistic Spanish Jeep ads, as well as the intriguing Brazilian Eyecare Foundation campaign, would all do well even in the English Language Press Advertising category. But in general, many of the best non-English press work seemed to miss the genuineness of the top English pieces. Although there's always room for a bit of "if-you-let us-produce-this-idea-we'll-do-it-for-gratuito" work, the Non-English Press category will only attain the level of prestige of its English counterpart when enough "genuine" work takes its top awards.
Posters-Andy McLeod, Fallon/London
This isn't a hard category to judge, it's easy. They're posters. You walk round the aisles and the ones that stop you are the good ones. That's how posters work. I think we walked round something like 1200 entries. About a thousand of those really should have spent the money on something else (you can get a very nice pair of trousers for the price of a poster entry). A couple of hundred passed as proper posters, with a recognisable idea, relevant to the product, succinctly expressed. About twenty-five managed to do all those things and do them in a way that was memorable, striking and powerful. After that, it's all down to personal preference and subjectivity. Do you like funny powerful, or shocking powerful? Special build powerful, or keep it simple powerful? Words powerful, or pictures powerful? All the posters you see here are very good posters. Some of them were great for some of us, others were great for others of us. But no pencils were awarded, so evidently, none of them were great for all of us.
Interactive and Digital Media-Florian Schmit, Hi-Res!
While it has been an incredible honour to be foreman of the 2004 D&AD Interactive Jury, it has also been quite a challenge. A challenge, because we found ourselves confronted with a lot of work that had little and little that had something. Where has the excitement gone ? What happened to innovative use of interactive media ? What happened to interactive narrative ? Is opening a viral mpg and pressing play interactive ? Certainly not. Should we get excited about actually being able to turn pages of online brochures ? Didn't think so. Positive exceptions were there, for example in the Trojan Games site. The videos are what it's all about, but there is a context which continues the narrative, sustains the illusion and thus the joke. And it's a campaign which could only be done online, nowhere else. At the other end of the spectrum, the Mooch site is a great example of delivering content in a straightforward, yet novel way. Some may feel we have been harsh with only two nominations and no pencils, but if we want to raise the bar, we have to be honest. We work in such a young medium, yet it sometimes feels like the equivalent of someone telling Gutenberg in 1460, "Stop printing novels and bibles, the Argos catalogue will do." It's about content as much as innovative use. And it's best when the two meet. There's plenty of it out there, let's hope more enter next year.
Graphic Design-Dana Arnett, VSA Partners
The work that we looked at I would primarily term as fun stuff: self-promotional, letterheads etc. The hardest category to be creative in - designing stuff for yourself. The trend that we noticed was simplicity and purity in itself. We saw a lot of understated and restrained expressions, where the idea came through as strong as the design. The jury got a great kick out of the Fruit & Veg Stamps. Postage stamps have been the same for 100's of years and the thought of having an interactive and creative experience with a stamp was compelling. It had so much clever wit and charm to it. The Spiritualised album comes from a long line of great work for that group; it really stood out in the pure essence of thought through the idea and letting the photography tell the story as much as the graphic design. The Pet Shop Boys album cover was another very simple idea that had so much power in its pure form. It's doing something simple and restrained and is original and beautifully executed. Maybe it is the best time to design, but only a few managed to get through the pervasiveness in the world.
Television & Cinema Advertising Crafts-Kim Papworth, Wieden + Kennedy/U.K.
Does the direction have to feel like an ad?
Does the cinematography need to be framed like an ad?
Does the animation have to look like in an ad?
Does the music have to sound like in an ad?
Does the writing need to be spoken like in an ad?
Does the editing need to cut like an ad?
Does the sound design need to be mixed like in an ad?
And do the special effects need to appear like in an ad?
Well, according to this jury the answer was defiantly, no.