The Bloodbank offers profiles and work samples of selected young photographers, art directors, copywriters, and designers. One of the main goals of the site is to help agencies with the "huge task of sorting the creative wheat from the chaff," explains David Kester, D&AD's Chief Executive. D&AD invites promising young guns (currently about 120) into the bank only after they've undergone a screening process via accredited programs such as the One Show and D&AD workshops. Then they must run the gauntlet past a judging panel of industry doyens.
The Bloodbank is a non-profit venture, with no fee required from donors or visitors. Funding for the project comes from three-year partner Gettyone.com, as well as other industry affiliates like the AIGA and the One Club. "The site evolved strategically out of our plans for education," says Kester. The D&AD spends 1.4 million pounds (almost two million dollars) annually on education and programming. The Bloodbank, Kester says, harnesses a lot of the group's current educational activities, which include workshops and exhibitions for the best young talent in Europe. The archive is the next step up from the D&AD's New Blood showcase (formerly Student Expo), an exhibition of graduate work from more than 40 D&AD-affiliated art and design colleges in the UK.
To promote the Bloodbank program overseas, D&AD and Gettyone.com started with a mini-tour of the U.S., stopping in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. In each city, the team got feedback from advertising pros and also checked out local talent, conducting portfolio surgeries on young creatives' work. "We have to make sure we build the site as a global resource," says Lewis Blackwell, VP of brand and creative direction, Getty Images Inc. "Obviously, America is a big [source], and it's important that we build on that feed of new talent from the States."
The site has been live for little over a month, and industry honchos see its promise. DDB Worldwide Chairman and CEO Keith Reinhard spontaneously piped, "It's fantastic!" after his first peek at the Bloodbank during the D&AD presentation at New York's MoMA in late October. Chicago event attendee Paul Kemp-Robertson, director of creative resources at Leo Burnett Worldwide, is also impressed. "It's useful for creative recruitment, like a monster.com for young creatives in terms of finding talent," he says.
The advantages don't stop there. "It's something you'd feel obliged to check out," Kemp-Robertson adds. "It's a good way of taking the pulse of what's out there." He also says that the D&AD's proven track record, as host of one of the most prestigious and toughest award shows, gives the site added clout. But the organization's sterling rep may also be the biggest drawback. "I think the problem will be that the talent that goes out there should be so good, it'll be snapped up pretty quickly," he half-jokes.