LBi causes a debate over its D&AD New Blood Campaign

Every year the D&AD puts on an exhibition for graduating students to showcase their work to members of the creative profession. This years event has been launched with an integrated campaign by LBi, the work was released to a number of online (and paper) publications, including Creative Review's website.

So far the work has got a big reaction and it's not all good. In fact it would seem the campaign images have caused more than a few designers to react very negatively towards the D&AD.

I've read through the comments and watched the reactions from D&AD and LBi, so here is my take on the discussion...

I think Laura's response was great and i fully agree that the New Blood event is one of, if not the, most important part of the D&AD's work. It truly gives students a unique launch pad for their careers and I've picked up at least a handful of students for junior design roles in the past. The quality of the event and the purpose of the D&AD should not cloud the issue of this campaign. It's true that not everyone agrees with the D&AD's approach, but it's important to remember it's a charity that has served and promoted our industry for a long time.

However looking at this campaign in isolation i can see where the criticism is coming from. The idea is brilliant the design is beautifully executed. But it's the photos that just aren't pitched right. Reading back through the negative comments on the CR blog, it seems to all stem from those photos. The body language and the facial expressions are devoid of any warmth, which coupled with the tagline creates the wrong impression of a group of very friendly people (ok i've only met a few of them, but i'm being nice.

The shots were done by Nadav Kander, who is a great photographer. I'm not knocking the quality of photos. But in my opinion it's the art director on the shoot who has taken a misstep. To be fair it must be a daunting task to art direct a photographer of such high regard.