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Can creatives change the world?

Kotoko Koya, Japan Representative of D&AD, inspired the FOI audience with how much power creativity can wield to make the world a better place. Koya declared. “There are no more borders anymore. It’s a most exciting time for creatives.”

Koya represents D&AD and as such, she took the time to talk about creativity and the pursuit of creative excellence from a unique organizational point of view. From 1962, D&AD has been inspiring creative thinkers towards the pursuit of creative excellence and stimulating the finest ideas in design and advertising. Recent years, however, has seen the blurring of the lines and engagement between design and advertising and because D&AD is focused on both industries the number of categories being judged continue to grow. Koya also made sure that the young audience understood that while the heart of D&AD is the Professional Awards, which are coveted and are recognized as the ultimate creative accolade globally (27 categories, 26,000 pieces of work, 72 countries, 250 judges, 749 winners, 66 Yellow Pencils, and two Black Pencils), the focus is also on the sustenance of a vibrant global community through a world-class training programme.

The past two years, however, saw a 300% surge in D&AD entries, which focused on social issues. “We’re witnessing a change in the industry,” Koya quipped, “We saw the need to take this to another level to highlight this area in creativity. We took the original concept which was part of the White Pencil awards …the same concept but we made it even bigger and diverse.” The judging is based on three criteria: 1. Does it have an original and creative idea? 2. Does it have clear and measurable impact? 3. Has it contributed to the success of business/organization? The awards will now be handed out as part of D&AD Impact – The Power of Creativity to Make a Difference. It’s where purpose meet profit and where ideas that have real impact towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future are celebrated.


Koya pointed out that consumer are changing and are demanding ethical as well as financial value from the service of the product. They are more aware of what’s happening in the world and they want to be engaged in any way that they can.  Brands recognize the change and they are now re-assessing the way they market. Designers, artists and creatives are also forced to change to address the different way that consumers now want to be engaged. To enthuse the audience some more, Koya presented two campaigns, which clearly illustrates what D&AD Impact is about.

One was ‘Inglorious Vegetables’ which was a campaign designed to address food waste. The world throws away millions of tons of fruits and vegetables just because they look imperfect. Intermarché and Marcel Worldwide joined forces to alter consumers’ perceptions of imperfect fruits and vegetables. The supermarket bought from its growers the products they usually throw away, and sold them with a 30% discount. Celebrating the beauty of the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange and the Failed Lemon, the campaign saw Intermarché’s store traffic increase by 24% and their sales of fruits and vegetables by 10%. The campaign was a national sensation, reaching over 13 million people in France, and many more through its online reach.

The second example was a campaign called Moms Demand Action.   A campaign against Kroger grocery stores’ policies that allow customers to openly carry guns in its stores — where moms and their kids shop every day. Numerous shootings and gun rallies have taken place at Kroger brand stores in recent years. The company policies that have enabled this to happen are not in line with its core values, which include creating a “safe and secure workplace and shopping environment.”


D&AD Impact is the result of a partnership between D&AD and Advertising Week.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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