A night out at the D&AD Awards

D&AD Awards 2008

Below is the article I that I wrote for the BizCommmunity blog after last’s nights awards party:

It’s the morning after the D&AD Awards and my head is telling me I should have stayed off the white wine last night.

The twitter posts from my mobile were a plentiful (see here and here), but alas the Internet at the event was non-existant and I was unable to live blog the event. Below is a summary of the night out.

At 6.45pm my colleague and I joined the queue of elegantly creative dressed folk on the yellow carpet outside the Royal Festival Hall, only to discover 15 minutes later we could have bypassed the whole thing if we had used the “Press” entrance. We were then presented with a press package which included an all access pass, a program of the night’s activities and even the winner’s sheet, two hours before they were even announced. I felt quite important.

Needless to say we went straight to the VIP room, on the 5th floor, to enjoy some expensive champagne whilst admiring the view of the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Waterloo Bridge and the River Thames.

After the pre-drinks we were summoned to take our seats in the Royal Festival Hall. Trust the advertising crowd to be called three or four times before they actually made a move and left the various champagne bars for their seats.

Sitting in the designated press area I was quite glad I was unable to live blog as it seemed the trendy press crowd around me seemed a little too cool for laptops and live blogging, instead opting for traditional pen and paper.

Simon Amstell, of T4 and Never Mind the Buzzcocks fame, managed to keep some form of order over the awards preceedings, all the while ridiculing the importance of “Yellow Pencil” awards. The D&AD awards CEO handed out the pencils to the various winners wearing a suit littered with pencil cutouts. A full list of the winners can be seen on Bizcommunity.com.

What I found quite surprising was how many awards that irritating Cadburys Gorilla advert won; apparently it is a shining example of great advertising… Sony managed to win quite a few pencils with their big budget colourful Bravia adverts, and Apple picked up two Black Pencils in product design for their iPhone, iPod and iMac designs.

One of the highlights of the night was seeing BBDO Cape Town winning a Yellow Pencil in the radio commercials category. The “Drums” advert for Marshall Music was played to the audience, fromwhich it received great applause.

Once the awards were done the after party commenced in the ball room. The venue was surrounded by cut out illustrations by Le Gun which made for quite an interesting landscape.

D&AD Awards 2008 - Beardyman PerformingShock and horror, the drinks were not free as most people were expecting and the queue for the bar was at least half an hour long, seeing the bar staff had forgotten to check the paper in the card machines.

The live music was awesome, with Beardyman wowing the crowd with his mind blowing beat boxing skills and The Cuban Brothers bringing some funk to the party with some latina rap music.

All in all a great night out which ended at 1am for me, just in time for the last train home. Thanks for the experience, Bizcommunity.

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