Stressing out over your New Blood entry? Read on.

SCA Mentor and multi-award-winning art director, Alexandra Taylor shares her top tips on how to submit a stand-out entry to the all-important D&AD New Blood Awards. Take note for New Blood success.

The Idea is King

Always think about what will stay in the hearts and minds of the jury, long after they’ve left the room. What will stir their emotions, what will make them think and what will stir a reaction to keep you and your idea at the forefront of their minds and make it stand out against your competition.

The shock factor

Always remember to make your opening shot visually as shocking and as interesting as possible (But relevant to the idea of course!). You need to grab the jury’s attention immediately. The jury will have seen hundreds of case studies, you don’t want to be forgotten. Make sure you’re remembered from the second it begins.

Evoke an emotional response

Always choose a medium that will evoke an emotional response when it comes to submitting your case study. You have a choice of how its presented, so make sure it’s the right one. Will a series of still images portray the same effect emotionally as a video or music? The answer is, No.

Make sure they have time to read

If you’re presenting a case study with type on a screen, always make sure the jury has enough time to read it. It’s absolutely vital that they have sufficient time to take in the communication. This also applies to any print executions displayed within your video. Seek a second, or even a third opinion from a peer, ask them if they had time to digest the information and make sure they can relay the idea and messaging back to you.

Pick your music wisely

Fifty Percent of your case study is music. Therefore, this is important to get right. For example, pick three different tracks and lay them over your work, play it back and think about the different emotions provoked within you. You should be choosing a track that leaves the jury member “uplifted” as opposed to feeling a tad flat and unresponsive after viewing.

Remember the brand

If a brand has a strapline, use it. You’re not being asked to reinvent the wheel. Don’t ignore a brand’s positioning or messaging and always tie it back into the overall idea you are presenting. I’ve seen this mistake in lots of case study entries over the years. Don’t fall victim to it.

Seek criticism, not praise

Make sure you have the luxury of time to ask for feedback from your peers, friends or family members. Run your idea past them and make sure they ‘get it’. Think of them as your jury and ask the right questions to help you refine and build on your idea.

These should be:

  1. Did you get the idea?
  2. Were the titles/print executions up long enough for you to read and understand the message/idea?
  3. How can I improve?

Seek out criticism from them, NOT praise.

Good Luck with your entries!

About Alexandra:

Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most respected and acclaimed art directors, Alexandra Taylor has gained a reputation for her prolific award-winning work.

In 2014 Alexandra was honored with the most coveted award at D&AD – The President’s Award for her outstanding contribution to advertising.

Alex’s accolades extend to over 200 entries into the D&AD Annual, 7 silver D&AD pencils and 9 silver pencil nominations, plus the Grand Prix at Cannes.

Alex was appointed Head of Art by the late Paul Arden before becoming joint CD at Saatchi & Saatchi London.
With the experience, she has gained in her craft of art direction she now runs a number of masterclasses in Art Direction. Targeted at both art directors and management

Alex is a multimedia practitioner working in the fields of teaching, mentoring (including being a D&AD creative masterclass Trainer/speaker), and art director.

Her most recent agency post was as ECD at Revolt London.

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