123

Damon Stapleton: Judging D&AD, the hustle and strive

  • Voices
  • May 2, 2017
  • Damon Stapleton
Damon Stapleton: Judging D&AD, the hustle and strive

“First comes the sweat. Then comes the beauty if you’re lucky and have said your prayers.”
— George Balanchine

Where do you find inspiration?

As it happens, I found it on a windswept balcony overlooking Shoreditch.

It is a part of London that is made of grit and questionable glamour. A suburb that has urban decay and optimistic baristas in equal measure. And, with their neat haircuts and even neater tattoos, they will eventually win the day. One cup at a time. It is a home for the homeless and the hopeful. I was watching the sad, daily pilgrimage of hundreds of commuters with their arms folded against the biting wind walking straight past cheerful and hopelessly ineffective graffiti.

London is a place of contradictions. It is a place of endless, beautiful layers. Just put your fucking graffiti over the graffiti from yesterday. One voice over the next. It is a hard place where you have to push, scramble and fight to be heard. It is a place where you can never give up. It is a dance where you have to hustle and strive.

I was here to judge D&AD.

Mostly, however, I wanted some inspiration. Whatever that is. Inspiration. Where does it come from and where does it go?

D&AD is many things. Like London, it also has its contradictions and layers.

From the older creatives in fetching scarves who love the sound of their own voice to the younger uncertain creatives who don’t quite know what their voice is yet. Last year’s winners, looking at next year’s winners, standing next to this year’s winners. Ideas so great you are jealous for days and the average ideas that start to make you feel mildly smug.

More than all these contradictions and layers though, like London, D&AD has the highest standards. And that simple fact gives it value. The value of something rare and elusive. The value of something you should never just automatically expect.

Let me explain. I think I judged well over 700 entries. From that, there were six Graphite Pencils. That is less than one percent. From that, there were two Yellow Pencils. That is way less than one percent. I would call that rare. There were only five Black Pencils awarded from 26000 entries. That is exactly 0.0192307692308 percent of all the entries to receive a Black Pencil. I would say that is beyond rare. Closer to impossible.

There are some things that can only be learnt when something is very difficult. You know that if you’re going to succeed in this arena you have to give it your all. You know you might fail or screw up because that path is very narrow. But, you also don’t want to be anywhere else. You want to know how good you are or could be. You want to test yourself. You want to find out what you are made of.

Inspiration doesn’t always come from a beautiful piece of music or sunlight dancing on the horizon. Sometimes, it comes from struggle. It comes from the hustle of trying. It comes from putting everything on the line. When I was standing on that freezing balcony I could see it on the walls and street corners of the unending story called London.

With every fibre of its being London shouts, 'get in the game son, you are alive, show us what you can do.'

And for a few days a year at D&AD, we get the chance to accept that challenge. We get to fight to be heard. We get to hustle and put it all on the line. We get to take our shot at the title. We remember why we love this business. We get hungry again. And, we suddenly find inspiration was there the whole time.

Thank you D&AD for making it so bloody hard.

  • Damon Stapleton (pictured far left) is the chief creative officer a DDB. This post originally appeared on his blog, Damon's Brain

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Chris Bleackley joins EightyOne

  • Advertisement
  • May 25, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Chris Bleackley joins EightyOne

Creative shop EightyOne has appointed Chris Bleackley as creative director. While Bleackley has long been part of the picture at EightyOne, he's now joined to take the helm and is helping to run the ship.

Read more
topics
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...

What's over the page? 2018 MPA Conference explores innovation in magazine media, international expert John Wilpers to give keynote

  • StopPress + MPA
  • May 25, 2018
  • StopPress Team
What's over the page? 2018 MPA Conference explores innovation in magazine media, international expert John Wilpers to give keynote

Necessity is the mother of invention, and there's plenty of innovation happening in the magazine industry at the moment. That's the theme of the Magazine Publishers Association's upcoming conference, which will feature internationally renowned speaker John Wilpers sharing the findings of his 2018 FIPP Innovation in Magazine Media World Report, TRA's Colleen Ryan discussing the role of culture in changing media consumption habits and plenty more on the industry’s future from those best placed to predict it.

Read more

The Blunt + Idealog + Generator Umbrella Experiment unveils its winner: Bonnie Brown’s Blooming ‘Brella

  • Design
  • May 25, 2018
  • Elly Strang
The Blunt + Idealog + Generator Umbrella Experiment unveils its winner: Bonnie Brown’s Blooming ‘Brella

To showcase the talents of its design community, Idealog magazine teamed up with Blunt and Generator to launch the Blunt + Idealog + Generator Umbrella Experiment. It asked Kiwis to submit an umbrella design and winner Bonnie Brown of Studio Bon will now see her design turned into a limited edition Blunt umbrella. Watch this space for details on how to buy one in the near future, or get your pre-order in now. In the meantime, Idealog chats with Brown and takes a closer look at her winning design.

Read more
voices
Sponsored content

Joining the digital and data dots: JustOne is driving success by solving business problems with specialisation

Ben Goodale sits in the JustOne open-plan office on Auckland's College Hill and says: "Agencies will say they can do everything but that's like saying you can drive a car - but the difference is, one driver is Mario Andretti and another is Mr Bean."

VTNZ appoints FCB as its new creative agency

  • Advertisement
  • May 24, 2018
  • StopPress Team
VTNZ appoints FCB as its new creative agency

VTNZ has appointed FCB New Zealand as its new creative agency, effective immediately. The win follows a three-way pitch initiated by VTNZ with a view of refreshing its current creative work.

Read more
news

Communicating heritage without sacrificing a contemporary feel: Monteith's campaign shows how it's made for the past, present and future

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Monteith's has released ‘Brewed for Right Now’, a campaign by Colenso BBDO watching how its brews have ingrained themselves in Kiwis lives. We speak to DB marketing director Sean O'Donnell and Colenso executive creative director Dan Wright about how the campaign showcases the brand's heritage while moving it into the future.

Horse's Mouth: Martin Yeoman and Jamie Hitchcock

  • Horse's Mouth
  • May 23, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Horse's Mouth: Martin Yeoman and Jamie Hitchcock

It was April last year Martin Yeoman and Jamie Hitchcock announced their departure from Assignment Group to start their own agency The Enthusiasts. They’ve since gone on to pick up project work for Ti Ora tea from JDE (formerly Brew Group), 2degrees, 1Above and Al Brown’s Fresh Catch, and clients including 3 Wise Men and Goodman Fielder. Earlier this year, they sat down with NZ Marketing to reflect on the year that’s been and how their history in the industry is carving their future.

Read more
Sponsored content

From micro to macro: Adestra on turning emails into conversations

Adestra looks at how emails can spark conversations with consumers that deliver measurable results beyond open rates.

Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit