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How to make your D&AD New Blood entry stand out

Learn how to improve your chances through six previous winners

Competition for the D&AD New Blood Awards is fierce. Your entry is up against some of the best and brightest up-and-coming creative minds, so it's essential it makes a splash.

Break with convention

Want people to take notice? Turn your disadvantages into an opportunity for something unexpected. This pair of Sunderland students used the “ass-numbing” seven-hour Megabus journey to London for an intensive portfolio session, basing campaigns on articles from a Metro newspaper. Using social media to spread the word, the sheer nerve of the pair was enough to earn them a placement within a few hours of arriving in London, followed by offers from five more agencies. If that's not standing out from the crowd, then what is?

Credits: Make Your Mark, open brief
Awards: Yellow Pencil, D&AD New Blood Awards 2013
Students: Callum Prior and Marc Rayson at University of Sunderland
​Tutor: Keith Nevens

Upgrade an existing idea

Getting people to pay attention isn't always about making something new; occasionally it's about reworking what's already there. This entry to 2014's DCM brief is a class on how to take something that's already working well – like the DCM ident, which is a familiar sight for film-goers – and bring it to the next level. Big, beautiful imagery and a clever 3D twist is all that's needed to step up the game, and stand out to cinema lovers.

Credits: Bringing Cinema To Life, DCM brief
Awards: Yellow Pencil, D&AD New Blood Awards 2014
Students: Richard Teahan and Samantha Wilkinson at University of Central Lancashire UCLAN
​Tutor: Rachel Mozley

Go all out

Sometimes, you need to think big. Really big. This entry to 2015's Pantone brief suggested bringing some much-needed colour to the rainy streets of Seoul during monsoon season, by painting the road in huge 'secret' illustrations using water-activated paint. The proposal not only caught the eye of the D&AD Jury, but also the attention of the national press – proving that it pays to think beyond the page.

How to Make Your D&AD New Blood Entry Stand Out

Credits: Project Monsoon, Pantone brief
Awards: Black Pencil, New Blood Awards 2015
Students: Seunghoon Shin, Yoonshin Kim and Nu Kim at School of the Art Institute of Chicago
​Tutor: James Lee

Get personal

If you're prepared to delve a little deeper, you can turn your New Blood entry into something that goes above and beyond the brief. Tom Watkins' When I'm A Dad children's book set out to inspire, but proved that it wasn't afraid to get personal along the way. Beautifully executed, its heartfelt message carried just as much weight with the Judges as any commercial campaign would have done. Want to stand out? Then be prepared to bare your soul.

Credits: When I'm A Dad, WeTransfer brief
Awards: Black Pencil, New Blood Awards 2016
​Student: Tom Watkins at University of Lincoln

Tell a story

If there's one way to persuade people to pay attention, it's to engage them with a narrative. This entry set out to change up how people use Airbnb, by introducing a feature that lets users search by who they want to be, rather than where they want to go. Want to live like a king? Experience life as an eskimo? Browse through the Featured Beings, and voila.

Credits: Be Someone Else, Airbnb brief
Awards: Yellow Pencil, New Blood Awards 2015
​Students: Kimberley Ong, Akarad Tachavatcharapa, Zarina Mendoza and George Widodo at Art Center College of Design Pasadena

Be bold

If you need to make noise in a crowded sector, it can pay to take a risk. This campaign for WWF snagged the attention of future generations by borrowing on the language of video games. The retro-style platformer took serious subject matter, showing animals being carelessly eliminated from the landscape, before reminding people to donate.

Credits: Game On, WWF brief
Awards: Yellow Pencil, New Blood Awards 2016 ​
Student: Simon Eden at Portsmouth University
​Tutor: Eva Palacios

Feeling inspired and confident enough to tackle your New Blood entry? The New Blood Awards 2022 briefs are now available to download, from brands such as Netflix, Disney and Google. Don’t forget to submit before 23rd March 2022. 

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