Engaging the Next Generation – the D&AD New Blood Awards

​8 July 2016: Group Innovation’s Ed Whatton talks about his experience at the D&AD New Blood Awards, where Nationwide recognises the next generation of creative talent.

How do you make banking and finance appealing and accessible to young people? We set the world’s best and brightest young creatives that very challenge: to find ways to shake up the financial sector to really meet the needs of 16-25 year olds.

I recently had the privilege of attending the 2016 Design & Art Direction (D&AD) awards for New Blood. Supported by Nationwide, the D&AD New Blood awards are open to 16-25 year olds worldwide to showcase their creative talent and work to real business briefs set by UK organisations. The awards are internationally recognised by advertising agencies and give young talent the best possible start to their careers.

160 teams from 59 countries entered, all fighting to win the coveted D&AD Pencil Awards. Of these we picked the best eight and ranked them in terms of ‘quality of pencil’, with the iconic Yellow Pencil being awarded only to the best and most innovative designs.

"It makes me proud that Nationwide sponsors this worthwhile charity as every penny goes back into helping drive forward the creative industry.

The first winner was “Nationwide for Messenger” by Jordan Amblin from the University of South Wales. His team’s idea was for an interactive 24/7 robo-assistant for all banking enquiries. Whether you want to know your balance or want to pay a friend, you would simply text your assistant and it would immediately solve your needs. Maybe you want to know how much you spent last week? Or need suggestions for saving money? Or need to freeze your card after losing it? The Messenger bot would automatically do this for you.

Our second Yellow Pencil winner was “YouTube Stock Exchange” by Lukas Bruhn, Aditya Sunilkumar, Hana Ovčina and Ryan Leckle from Miami Ad School Hamburg.  Their idea was to float successful YouTube channels on a stock exchange, pricing shares based on the channel’s performance in terms of views and advertising revenue. Young investors could then buy and sell shares, applying realistic stock exchange mechanics to one of the most popular and relevant consumables for this audience. The better the channel does, the more the shares would be worth, and the greater dividends the young investors would get from advertising revenue from the channel.

As you can see, we had some fantastic ideas again this year, and it was really hard to choose the winners. I have over 14 years of experience in digital design, and I’m genuinely impressed with the quality of ideas we have seen. It makes me proud that Nationwide sponsors this worthwhile charity as every penny goes back into helping drive forward the creative industry. It is important to nurture and encourage the next generation of creative talent, and we have started to explore the potential to implement some of the ideas within the Innovation Lab. I’m already looking forward to next year’s competition.

A full list of our eight winners, and their designs, can be found here

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