D&AD needs no introduction to the creative fraternity in India. But, as with the craft that it evangelises, the only way to move ahead is to refresh and grow. Earlier this year, it inked an agreement with design specialists Kyoorius to conduct the Kyoorius Awards. And now D&AD has yet again partnered with the Rajesh Kejriwal-led Kyoorius to promote the coveted D&AD awards.
Tim Lindsay, CEO, D&AD, was in Delhi and Mumbai to meet with the industry and reaffirm its commitment to give back to the industry. In this chat, Lindsay underscores the difference that D&AD brings to the table as a not-for-profit initiative.
We hear D&AD has big plans for India...
Yes, we do have big and important plans for India. We are not going to get everything done overnight; it’ll take us some time.
But India is Cannes-country...
Well, everyone is a Cannes-country but we are different from Cannes. If I could put it crudely, the money that we generate we put it back in the industry mainly supporting new creative talent coming into the industry. While Cannes is a wonderful effort – and I love going there –it takes money out of the industry and invests little through training, seminars etc, but D&AD is there to stimulate support and inspire creative excellence.
What’s the one thing that should convince the fraternity to send in more entries to D&AD?
D&AD operates at a number of levels. In terms of the awards, it is the global yardstick for creative excellence. We are not ashamed to say that it is harder to win a D&AD award than any other award; the quality and integrity of the judging process at D&AD is better than any other awards show and what makes that the case is the quality of jurors that we have. We have around 200 fantastic people from around the world and about 60% from outside the UK... so to be awarded a Pencil and be judged by that set of people is a huge accolade. The more important thing is that we reinvest all the money we make from our award show and the commercial activities. And because our awards income, which is the main part of our revenue, comes from all over the world including India we want to support creative industries in those places from where we derive our income.
In terms of the number of entries, what is the growth that you expect from last year?
Through our partnership with Kyoorius and because of the footprint they have in the design and advertising industry, we would certainly help raise awareness of D&AD. That will have a positive impact on the awards entries. We should be happy to get over 500 entries as a start this year.
The ad industry here faces two issues: one is scam ads and the other one is plagiarism. How do you handle that at D&AD?
The plagiarism thing is easier to answer. A lot of ideas get borrowed and sometimes ideas come up simultaneously in different places. What we do to tackle plagiarism is we choose the jurors and we do not interfere in any way and they make their own decisions. Also, at D&AD we do not have to give an award to any category so usually we do not give awards in 2-3 categories because the jury does not find the standard of work high enough. Scam advertising is a completely different thing. The questions we ask are: is it for a real brand, is it for a real client brief, did it run (in case of advertising), did it sell (in case of design) and did the client pay for it. The things that we think are not right we research and if the jury expresses any doubt on a piece of work, we check it out further. I think the level of awards for scam ads has gone down in the past 5-7 years because the shows have been more stringent and systematic about checking things out.
What has been your experience with the Kyoorius Design Awards this year?
I have only heard good things about the Design Yatra and I think we can surely help as we know how to run an awards show be it the entries, judging process etc we can only make it a smooth affair. I am sure it would grow only further.