Posted by Tom O'Keefe, Executive Creative Director, Draftfcb North America
Friday night was SCAD’s Oscars, affectionately known as the “Scaddys”. The culmination of a year’s worth of work celebrated in one big award show gala extraordinaire. To give context to the growing size of SCAD, in 2007 they had about 200 student entries; this year they had over 2,000 -- in categories ranging from copywriting, design, motion graphics, production, digital, graphic arts and a host of others. What’s so impressive about SCAD, unlike many of the other “ad” schools, is how they ultimately feed so many different areas of the creative arts. Sure, top ad agencies are aggressively recruiting from here, but so are companies like Pixar and Disney and top-tier graphics houses like Superfad and The Mill. The school teems with creative excellence in almost every imaginable field.
Overall, the winning work was very strong, exceptional in some cases. I was most impressed with the design sensibilities that carried across everything -- the amount of detail and sense of aesthetic in composition was striking. For example, there was a promotional piece called “Hot Popsicle” that offered stationery paper products in striking fluorescent colors -- a brilliant flash of originality that even the most experienced designer could learn from. I have long believed that more than anything, it’s design that will set us free as an industry, regardless of medium or message - and these students truly grasp this. Design seems more second nature to them than something taught.
Of course, the highlight for me was the honor of presenting the first ever Draftfcb “Best of Show” Grant, which went to a very smart idea called “Rewind” for, of all brands, Sharpie. As rehearsed, I announced that this wasn’t just any grant, this was a grant that was going to send the winning team to Cannes, as our guests -- to take in the greatest work in all of advertising and mingle with its biggest stars. And as the audience went wild with appreciation and excitement, the two winners stood stone-faced on the stage. They had absolutely no clue what I was talking about. “You’re going to Cannes!!” could have been “You’re going to Jail!!” as far as they were concerned. As talented and advanced as they are, it’s nice to know they still have something to learn. And apparently, so do I.