5 Things We Learned At D&AD Festival 2018

by Adobe UK Team

Posted on 05-01-2018

Last week, the UK’s biggest festival of creativity landed in the heart of Shoreditch, East London. Over the course of three days, the Old Truman Brewery was transformed into a hub of creativity, packed full of inspiring talks from some of the hottest names in the creative community and jam-packed with dozens of hands-on activities from some of the coolest brands and agencies in the industry.

As this year’s headline sponsor, we hosted the main stage where speakers including Kay Hsu, Global Creative Lead at Instagram and Creative Shop; Dave Sheldon-Hicks, Territory Studio, and more shared their inspiring stories and experiences with us.

While the Adobe Stage kept festival-goers enthused with a bustling schedule of speakers, the Adobe Make It Space gave guests the chance to get hands on with Adobe XD and Adobe Stock – and take part in bite-sized workshops on everything from animation to content creation and GIF making with Picture Smith, Tom Lenk and Shotopop.

For anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to be there in person, we’ve done all the hard work for you and rounded up five of the best bits of advice and inspiration from some of the shows headline speakers…enjoy!

  1. Creatives can change the world for the better

Sasha Markova, ex Creative Director of Mother London and now Executive Creative Director at LA-based Impossible Foods, shared her journey from working at one of the world’s leading advertising agencies’ to a 0% animal food brand that aims to put an end to meat consumption by 2035. She explained, _“I had to literally eject myself to create a new, nicer paradigm” _by asking _“What if creatives can take everything they know how to do to sell something meaningful?” _This led to Sasha launching her inspiring Save America’s Unicorns project which saw her putting horns on wild horses to stop the federal government passing a law which would approve the killing of wild horses in favour of using the land for mining. Sasha has since joined Impossible Food’s mission where she uses her skills and passions to create showstopping work to help save the planet. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it!

  1. It’s OK to break the rules every now and again

Dave Trott, Creative Director and Author of Creative Mischief: Predatory Thinking, gave everyone some tips on how to break the rules. In his talk he highlighted how these days “people are too scared to not get promoted, to not win awards, to offend people or make mistakes, that it’s very difficult to make good adverts.” His advice was to “Stay true to yourself”. Sometimes the best ideas happen when you don’t conform or when you make mistakes.

  1. Follow your passions

Tom Lenk, Actor and Content Creator, led a creative workshop around his popular ‘Hi Fashun’ Instagram series, where he recreates A-list red carpet looks using household products. Discussing how he came up with the series, he said, _“It forced me to create content that I want to see, and when I started out I thought to myself ‘I will just make this for me and if no-one laughs I don’t care’.” _Tom now has over 409k followers on Instagram; proving that following your passions can and does pay off.

  1. Culture is key to creative communication

Leila Fataar, Founder of Platform 13, spoke about the death of influencer marketing and the longevity of cultural influence. “There is an importance for brands to work with cultural leaders that are shaping and leading the mainstream, rather than buying into someone that just has loads of followers.” During her talk she noted, “The cultural solution is the first step in any campaign, and the problem these days is there is so much creativity that people are rushing ahead and not doing the first part, which is finding what makes a brand culturally relevant.”

  1. Keep experimenting

Kay Hsu, Global Lead of Instagram and Creative Shop, highlighted the importance of experimenting. Discussing some of the challenges Instagram faced when rolling out new features, she noted, _“The challenge that we often come up against is convincing people that the tools we launch are viable storytelling tools that brands and agencies want to experiment with.” _She added that, “the creativity is there but the biggest challenge is to get people to experiment, to understand they should play more, that it doesn’t have to be perfect and that people will accept their story as long as its authentic.”

And there you have it, five of the best bits from D&AD Festival 2018! Follow Kay Hsu, Dave Trott, Tom Lenk, Leila Fataar and Sasha Markova to find out what they are up to. Did you attend D&AD Festival this year? What were some of your highlights? Let us know in the comments section below.

Topics: Creativity, Inspiration, D&AD18, Dave Trott, Kay Hsu, Leila Fataar, Sasha Markova, Tom Lenk, UK, UK Exclusive, Creative EMEA