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.

Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

  • Media
  • February 21, 2019
  • Sarah Williams
Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

One of Aotearoa's biggest companies, Spark, is a firm supporter of the LGBTQI+ community through its annual Pride advertising campaigns, its partnership with charity OUTline, and its diversity and inclusion values within the company. Head of brand at Spark New Zealand Sarah Williams explains why the company chose to champion this social issue, how these campaigns attract both the loudest praise and the greatest vilification from New Zealanders, and why that it makes it the most important cause the company champions.

Read more

Sky fall: Competition swipes sales, subscribers

  • Media
  • February 20, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Sky fall: Competition swipes sales, subscribers

Sky Television's first half profit has dropped sharply as it battles tough competition, forcing it to raise prices.

Read more
Hey, Big Spender: Navigating the wild world of marketing technology
features

Hey, Big Spender: Navigating the wild world of marketing technology

Fun fact: The average CMO spends more on technology than many CIOs. Has the job of the marketer suddenly become complicated? And how do you know you're making the right decisions when it comes to all that tech?

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

topics
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
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 ...

Strategy Creative secures Canterbury Rugby account

  • Advertising
  • February 19, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Strategy Creative secures Canterbury Rugby account

Strategy Creative announced this week that they had won the Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU) account after a competitive pitch process.

Read more

NZME FY 2018 results: profit down and paywall on way

  • Media
  • February 19, 2019
  • Erin McKenzie
NZME FY 2018 results: profit down and paywall on way
NZME Chief Executive Michael Boggs

NZME’s FY 2018 results are out, showing a net profit of $11.6 million, down 44 percent on FY 2017.

Read more
voices

British comedian John Oliver offers solution to NZ being excluded from world maps

  • Media
  • February 19, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
British comedian John Oliver offers solution to NZ being excluded from world maps

New Zealand's so often getting left out on world maps, even the government is having a laugh - that is after appearing to have somehow missed us off too.

Read more

Ads of the Week: 19 February

  • TVC of the Week
  • February 19, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Ads of the Week: 19 February

A round of applause for The Edge, House of Travel, and Joblist.

Read more
Creative excellence: Shane Bradnick on the Axis Awards, creativity, and change
news

Creative excellence: Shane Bradnick on the Axis Awards, creativity, and change

StopPress speaks with Shane Bradnick about his move from DDB to take up a role at TBWA\New Zealand, his thoughts on award shows and his role as convenor at the 2019 Comms Council Axis Awards.

Identity crisis or brand evolution? Cigarette giant Philip Morris talks angling to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025

  • Brand
  • February 19, 2019
  • Findlay Buchanan
Identity crisis or brand evolution? Cigarette giant Philip Morris talks angling to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025

Philip Morris – the largest tobacco company in the world – has declared it will transform the tobacco industry in support of New Zealand's Smokefree 2025 initiative. In time, it plans to stub out its cigarette range – which includes Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia S and move towards a future of fruity, trendy vapes and e-cigarettes. It’s a tactical maneuver from the giant cigarette corporate as alternative cigarettes slowly receive validation by scientists, governments, and consumers – but is the move really a ploy for Smokefree 2025, or more of a smoke screen by Philip Morris? And in the midst of all this, has its sudden departure from cigarettes led to a branding identity crisis? We speak to the managing director, James Williams, who explains the company's foray into the smoke-free market.

Read more

Little Giant appointed digital partner for TVNZ's Re: web expansion

  • Media
  • February 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Little Giant appointed digital partner for TVNZ's Re: web expansion

Little Giant, Linked by Isobar has been announced as the digital partner for the development of TVNZ's Re: News channel, which has had a Facebook presence since 2017. Re: News will be launched as a new website in March.

Read more

MKTG announces Kimberly Kastelan as general manager

  • Advertising
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
MKTG announces Kimberly Kastelan as general manager
Fleur Skinner, Kimberly Kastelan

Kimberly Kastelan is the new general manager MKTG in New Zealand, a promotion from her previous role as the agency's group account director. The appointment follows Fleur Skinner’s resignation.

Read more

Movings/Shakings: 15 February

  • Movings/Shakings, brought to you by Marsden Inch
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Movings/Shakings: 15 February

Industry happenings at Perceptive, The Trade Desk, and Pead PR.

Read more

Tender love or chicken tender? Hell Pizza challenges Valentine’s Day tradition

  • Advertising
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Tender love or chicken tender? Hell Pizza challenges Valentine’s Day tradition

Yesterday, Hell Pizza and BC&F Dentsu challenged the idea of Valentine’s Day with a campaign promoting a night for one, rather than a night out with the masses at a restaurant or bar.

Read more
The Stoppies 2018: All winners revealed
features

The Stoppies 2018: All winners revealed The Stoppies 2018: All winners revealed

A rundown of those who walked home with a treasured doorstop last night.

FCB appoints Slade Gill as creative director

  • Advertising
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
FCB appoints Slade Gill as creative director

FCB has confirmed the appointment of Slade Gill as a creative director.

Read more
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!

©2009–2019 ICG 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