Understanding the relationship between advertising creatives and the industry bible

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Unlike most other awards shows, D&AD is not for profit. So how does it survive? Masterclasses. Run by the best, to teach the next generation of award winners. But we had a massive problem. The budget to promote D&AD Masterclasses wasn’t just small. It was tiny.

We committed sacrilege. The physical D&AD winners’ annual is cherished by creatives. So, we ripped it apart. Sending those creative leaders the torn page of their own winning work with the message: You know where great work ends up. But does the rest of your agency know where it begins?

Someone tearing a page from a book

We needed to reach the creative training budget holders – in a dramatic, creative way. These are the creative leaders, ECDs and CCOs, who have more than likely won a D&AD award themselves – they would expect no less, right? We wanted to remind them what creative excellence takes, and how D&AD Masterclasses could help their agency attain it.

We sent direct mail two weeks before lockdown.

Two weeks before budgets started being slashed; training budgets being amongst the first to go. Despite that, we managed to get a 9.1% response with a projected ROI rate of 12.7 to 1.