Last week, I was lucky enough to be one of the five panellists at D&AD’s New Blood Pencil Panel. Our job: to help advise the students tackling this year’s New Blood briefs.

(Start watching at 13:41)

Quite a responsibility, really, and daunting in the anticipation. But the reality was a relaxed and hopefully quite spirited affair, with some great questions coming in via the social ether.

And given that this was the depths of the Tube strike, it was a pretty good attendance at the offices of our gracious hosts, the Moving Picture Company on Wardour Street. (Although we almost lost a panellist to the transport chaos.)

My fellow panellists were (L—R on the video):

Andy Sandoz of Work Club (Chair)

Iain Aitchison of Plan

Jack Renwick of Jack Renwick Studio

Charlie Sells of Jelly

Ian Wharton of AKQA

Some key thoughts I took away:

Listen to other people but also listen to yourself — and the brief

Repetition of an idea across channels does not = integrated

Nothing is more important than a brilliant idea, although levels of execution in student work now rival (or, as Ian Wharton revealed in an unguarded moment) surpass those at agencies.

Making a brand relevant doesn’t (always) mean changing it: what are the truths about the brand you can bring out for new audiences?

You can see the questions, and some responses from the panellists, by searching #pencilpanel on Twitter.