D&AD's Black Pencil Winners: AMV BBDO’s #wombstories, McCann NY's “True Name,” FCB Chicago's “Boards of Change”
A scene from Mastercard’s “True Name” spot, part of a D&AD Black Pencil-winning campaign from McCann NY which promotes an initiative whereby Trans and Non-Binary people can display their chosen name on their credit or debit card.
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In the second of two digital ceremonies on consecutive evenings (5/26 & 27), D&AD has unveiled three Black Pencil winners, alongside the President’s Award, companies of the year, and the remaining Pencil winners across the Culture, Design and Impact categories. 

Reserved for truly groundbreaking work, D&AD’s highest honor, the Black Pencil, was presented to:

--#wombstories, AMV BBDO, Art Direction, Film
Women animators from across the world aiming to open up the many narratives and break taboos around the experiences of people with wombs. The project for client Libresse was directed by Nisha Ganatra of Chelsea Pictures, with animation from Framestore.

--True Name, McCann New York, Experiential, Community
A collaboration with Mastercard to support the rights of transgender and nonbinary people to use their chosen names on credit cards. 

--Boards of Change, FCB Chicago, Spatial Design, Public Spaces
Turning plywood boards used to barricade storefronts during the Black Lives Matter protests into polling booths, empowering Black Americans to use their right to vote. 

Donal Keenan, awards director at D&AD commented, “D&AD Black Pencils are an incredibly special and rare industry accolade. I am delighted that this year we have three projects that are driving real behavioral change, from helping empower communities, to increasing freedoms and smashing taboos. The discussion in all three Black Pencil juries was insightful and rigorous this year. D&AD would like to say thank you again to all our fantastic judges in making these Black Pencil choices.”

President’s Award 
This year’s President’s Award, reserved for true industry heroes, was awarded to Kim Gehrig, Director at Somesuch, for her outstanding contribution to creativity.

Naresh Ramchandani, D&AD President, commented: “For me, creative excellence is work that acts both for the brief and for the world, putting social purpose at the heart of commercial success, and showing us that great creativity lifts everybody up. Kim Gehrig’s work lifts so many people up--women trying to get fitter in the case of 'This Girl Can,' men who stand against toxic masculinity with 'We Believe,' and people unafraid to speak up about periods with 'Viva La Vulva.' Kim is not just an ‘issues director’, because when she addresses issues, they’re not issues at all--they’re national and international provocations and celebrations that touch the hearts of everyone who cares and many more who didn’t know they did. For this reason I believe she couldn’t be more deserving of this year’s President’s Award.”

Companies of the Year
AMV BBDO won Advertising Agency of the Year while COLLINS was named Design Agency of the Year, and DDB Worldwide Network of the Year.

DIVISION earned distinction as Production Company of the Year, and Apple as Client of the Year. 

Here’s a rundown  of the top three in the best company of the year categories:

The top ranking advertising winners of the year are: 

  • Publicis Italia
  • Africa

The top ranking design winners of the year are:

  • John Knowles Ritchie
  • Superunion

The top ranking production winners of the year are: 

  • Somesuch London 
  • Stink Films 

The top ranking clients of the year are: 

  • Apple
  • Essity
  • Academy

Alongside these special awards D&AD also announced the Pencil winners across the Culture, Design and impact categories. Across these, the top ranking countries by number of Pencils are: 

  • United States - 59 Pencils
  • United Kingdom - 53 Pencils
  • China - 13 Pencils
  • Canada and France - 11 Pencils each

The top ranking companies for these categories, by number of Pencils are: 

  • John Knowles Ritchie, COLLINS and Superunion - 5 Pencils each
  • Adam&EveDDB, Africa, Apple and Google / Google Creative Lab - 4 Pencils each

The total number of Pencils in each category are: 

Impact: 24 Pencil Winners 

  • Impact: 6 Graphite, 13 Wood
  • Future Impact: 5 Future Impact pencils

Culture: 41 Pencil Winners 

  • Entertainment: 3 Yellow, 7 Graphite, 5 Wood
  • Gaming: 1 Yellow, 3 Graphite, 6 Wood
  • Music Videos: 6 Graphite, 10 Wood 

Design: 166 Pencil Winners

  • Book Design: 1 Yellow, 3 Graphite, 6 Wood
  • Branding: 6 Yellow, 12 Graphite, 36 Wood
  • Design Transformation: 1 Yellow, 2 Wood
  • Digital Design: 2 Yellow, 5 Graphite, 6 Wood
  • Graphic Design: 1 Yellow, 7 Graphite, 21 Wood
  • Magazine & Newspaper Design: 1 Yellow, 2 Graphite, 17 Wood
  • Packaging Design: 2 Yellow, 3 Graphite, 15 Wood
  • Product Design: 1 Graphite, 7 Wood
  • Spatial Design: 1 Yellow, 2 Wood
  • Type Design: 3 Graphite, 3 Wood

Big picture tally
The total number of Pencils awarded for the D&AD Awards 2021 by level are as follows:

Overall Total - 664 Pencils

  • Black - 3 Pencils awarded
  • Yellow - 63 Pencils awarded
  • Graphite - 190 Pencils awarded 
  • Wood - 390 Pencils awarded
  • Side Hustle - 2 Pencils
  • Future Impact - 5 Pencils
  • Next - 9 Pencils awarded
  • Collaborative - 2 Pencils awarded

Pencil Winners, Top 5 Countries

  • United States--355 winning entries, 1087 points
  • United Kingdom--296 winning entries, 836 points
  • France--90 winning entries, 255 points
  • Australia--51 winning entries, 156 points
  • Brazil--49 winning entries, 151 points

The full list of winners can be accessed here.



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