D&AD thinks Tony Kaye is the best commercials director of the last 50 years – are they mad?

The UK’s D&AD, once the world’s premier ad awards but now much diminished, has just celebrated its 50th birthday and dished out various gongs.

I can’t give you the details as D&AD doesn’t see fit to send them to us – so they can fuck off.

But I can’t help noticing that Tony Kaye (pictured), along with Frank Budgen, was given an award for the best commercials director in that period. Tony apparently crawled up to the stage to receive his honour, but that’s Tony.

This is absolute nonsense. Kaye is a crazy film maker who every now and then produces a film that coincides with what the agency and client wants. Mostly it doesn’t. One of his ads that was cited was Dunlop, back in the 1990s.

Well it’s a nice film and would have won an award for the best student film at Central St Martin’s any year. But it’s hardly advertising. What does it say about Dunlop?

The best commercials director of this period was undoubtedly Paul Weiland (not Tony’s best friend) with maybe Joe Pytka and Ridley Scott as other contenders.

But that’s just one reason why D&AD really doesn’t matter any more.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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