D&AD Festival 2017

When D&AD commissioned us to produce a content portal for their 2017 Awards Festival there was no time to waste and no room for compromise.

The D&AD Professional Awards are the pinnacle of the Design and Advertising industries and we knew that our work would be seen as representative of the organisation and the high standards that it promotes.

With less than a month to complete the work and a tight design brief it was a real challenge but the project delivered more value than expected and, when the festival was closed, the decision was made to retain the content portal as a way of maintaining and deepening engagement with the organisation’s membership and its wider following.

The premise was straightforward. The Award and Festival cycle generates high value content which has real relevance to the design and advertising communities. D&AD wanted to make this content readily available and to use it to gain further understanding of who, beyond nominees and attendees, was following the event.

Building out the platform on WordPress, and making use of staple community plugins such WooMemberships, Beaver Builder and FlowFlow, as well as our own internal themes and plugins, meant that we could deliver on time, on budget and integrate it as a natural extension of D&AD’s existing digital estate.

We provided D&AD with the tools they needed to quickly and easily publish content, including streaming video via Vimeo. This capability was essential to ensure that full value was obtained for the content generated by the Festival. Other items that we implemented included:

Organising content: A clear and clean structure allows all content to be tagged and categorised to make it easy to find, and to encourage engagement with related content and other upcoming events.

Smart and social authentication:  Implementing multiple authentication methods has decreased the barrier to sign up by allowing Facebook, Twitter and Google account holders to access content using those profiles. Integration with D&AD’s membership authentication service allows Single Sign On for organisation members with no need to maintain one more set of account credentials.

Insightful reporting: Tying together web analytics with the additional demographic information available from social profiles has really helped D&AD understand their membership better and the insights they gain help them maintain their relevance and engagement with the professional communities that they serve. Industry professionals see the organisation as a career resource and this became more evident with the implementation of social login, something that makes it easy for individuals to align their personal social profiles with the organisation, rather than registering with their – often transient – work-related email addresses.

We’re very pleased that the content portal has become an integral part of the organisation’s strategy. 6 months after launch the portal has supported the 2017 New Blood Awards and the new D&AD Impact Awards while the ongoing insights it provides inform the planning and implementation of future award programs and events.

If you have compelling content that you want to use to drive deeper engagement with your customers or followers then you might want to consider whether you are getting the most value from it. It really is possible to control access to content without discouraging your natural audience from getting involved, it just needs to be done carefully.  Do get in touch with us if you think we might be able to help.