D&AD's First Wave Yields 430 Pencils; Africa, AMV BBDO Lead Agency Tally With 12 Apiece
A scene from Bodyform/Libresse's #wombstories which garnered three D&AD Yellow Pencils
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During the first of its two digital ceremonies, D&AD 2021 unveiled Pencil winners across the Craft, Next, Advertising and Side Hustle categories. A total of 430 Pencils were awarded last night (5/26)--44 Yellow, 132 Graphite, 241 Wood, 9 Next, 2 Side Hustle, and 2 Collaborative Pencils.

A second ceremony takes place this evening (5/27) in which D&AD will announce the winners of the Black Pencils, the President’s Award and the Companies of the Year. 

The first wave of winners included the Collaborative Pencil recipients. The Collaborative awards celebrate long-lasting relationships between clients and their design, advertising and/or production companies that have led to the creation of noteworthy work in recent years. The first for advertising agency was awarded to Brazil’s AlmapBBDO for its continued work with Alpargatas and the second for design agency was awarded to UK based Superunion for its work alongside The London Symphony Orchestra.

Leading the agency tally during D&AD’s first night were Africa and AMV BBDO with 12 Pencils apiece, followed by Droga5 New York with nine and AKQA Sao Paulo, Publicis Italia and Saatchi & Saatchi New York each with seven.

Among the varied notable multiple Yellow Pencil winners were:

  • AMV BBDO London’s #wombstories for Bodyform/Essity, recipient of three Yellow Pencils--in Film, Animation and Art Direction. The work confronts a damaging etiquette that women live with every day, one which dictates what they should – and shouldn’t – feel about their bodies. #wombstories pushes back against the single, simplistic narrative girls are taught from a young age: start your period in adolescence, repeat with “a bit” of pain, want a baby, get pregnant, have more periods, stop periods, fade into the menopausal background. The reality is, of course, much messier, but society doesn’t encourage women to talk openly about the highs and lows of their intimate health, especially in times of global uncertainty. A new research study of women and men by Bodyform & Libresse found that two thirds of women who experienced miscarriage, endometriosis, fertility issues and menopause said that being open with family and friends helped them cope. #wombstories encourages an open culture where everyone can express what they go through without fearing they won’t be properly heard or believed and without feeling shame that they are somehow less than what they were taught to be. The pleasure, the pain, the love, the hate. It’s never simple but it all needs to be heard. Because keeping it in or leaving it unheard comes at an emotional and physical cost both at an individual and collective level. For #wombstories, Bodyform & Libresse worked with Golden Globe winning and Emmy-nominated director, writer and producer Nisha Ganatra, a predominantly female crew and an all-women team of animators and illustrators who have imagined the life of wombs. Ganatra directed via Chelsea Pictures. Framestore provided animation and live-action visual effects. #wombstories also earned Ganatra a DGA Award nomination earlier this year.
  • The DGA winner in that commercials category was Melina Matsoukas of PRETTYBIRD for Beats By Dr. Dre’s “You Love Me” from agency Translation which took three Yellow Pencils--in Cinematography, Writing for Advertising, and Social Commercials Over 30 Seconds. “You Love Me” honors and celebrates Black culture, includes Black stars in sports and entertainment, and shows us how while mainstream society embraces Black culture and celebs, it fails to embrace Black individuals. The short opens with the familiar “You love me, you love me not” refrain, underscoring the mixed message that is a part of systemic racism. “You love Black culture. But do you love me?” musical artist Tobe Nwigwe narrates. “You love how I sound: My voice, these beats, this flow. Not me though, right?” He continues, “You love how I look: My hair, this skin. But me? Nah. We don’t get to exist. We’re forced to survive. We still fight. We still play while the world burns, on fields that ain’t even level.” Matsoukas’ piece ultimately asks us to look inside ourselves so that perennial injustice can finally be addressed and changed.
  • Production company Smuggler New York won two Yellow Pencils for The Whole Working From Home Thing for Apple--for Direction (Mark Molloy) and Editing (Neil Smith, Stewart Reeves of Work Editorial). In the piece, a group of underdog co-workers take on a daunting project from home during the pandemic lockdown. They navigate the new normal with the help of Apple, enabling them to unleash their creativity and productivity remotely. Collaboration doesn’t miss a beat thanks to iPad, iMac, MacBook and other resources.

Here’s a rundown of the Pencil count in each category:

Craft: 171 Pencil Winners 

  • Animation: 3 Yellow, 7 Graphite, 8 Wood
  • Art Direction: 2 Yellow, 8 Graphite, 12 Wood
  • Casting: 1 Yellow, 3 Graphite, 9 Wood 
  • Cinematography: 1 Yellow, 1 Graphite, 3 Wood 
  • Direction: 3 Yellow, 7 Graphite, 6 Wood
  • Editing: 1 Yellow, 4 Graphite, 4 Wood
  • Illustration: 2 Yellow, 5 Graphite, 10 Wood
  • Photography: 3 Graphite, 5 Wood
  • Production Design: 1 Yellow, 1 Graphite, 3 Wood
  • Sound Design & Use of Music: 4 Graphite, 15 Wood
  • Typography: 1 Yellow, 3 Wood
  • Visual Effects: 4 Yellow, 3 Graphite, 3 Wood
  • Writing for Advertising: 2 Yellow, 3 Graphite, 3 Wood
  • Writing for Design: 1 Yellow, 6 Graphite, 10 Wood

Advertising: 246 Pencil Winners

  • Digital: 3 Yellow, 11 Graphite, 19 Wood
  • Direct: 2 Yellow, 9 Graphite, 20 Wood
  • E-Commerce: 1 Yellow, 3 Graphite, 8 Wood
  • Experiential: 3 Yellow, 5 Graphite, 11 Wood
  • Film: 5 Yellow, 6 Graphite, 14 Wood
  • Integrated: 1 Yellow, 4 Graphite, 4 Wood
  • Media: 2 Yellow, 8 Graphite, 23 Wood
  • PR: 2 Yellow, 15 Graphite, 25 Wood
  • Press & Outdoor: 3 Yellow, 12 Graphite, 17 Wood
  • Radio & Audio: 4 Graphite, 6 Wood

Collaborative: 2 Pencil Winners

Side Hustle--2 Pencil Winners
The Side Hustle category reflects the increasing number of creatives applying their skills and personal passions to side projects, something that has become even more apparent during the pandemic. From creating new businesses to developing initiatives to address social and environmental issues, this category aims to spotlight world class creativity beyond people’s day jobs.

Next--9 Pencil Winners
The Next categories award emerging creatives, designers, directors, illustrators and photographers to recognize the next generation of creative talent. The awards seek to recognize their work and showcase their ideas to creative influencers, mentors and agencies.

  • Next Creative: 2 Next Pencil
  • Next Designer: 2 Next Pencil
  • Next Director: 2 Next Pencil
  • Next Illustrator: 2 Next Pencil
  • Next Photographer: 1 Next Pencil

Country rankings
Across these categories, the top ranking countries by number of Pencils are: 

  • United States - 147  Pencils
  • United Kingdom - 77 Pencils
  • Brazil - 28 Pencils
  • France - 24 Pencils
  • Australia - 16 Pencils

Dara Lynch, CCO at D&AD, commented, “While the pandemic has kept our peers physically distant from each other, the power of creative excellence has remained as strong as ever. We hope the first of our two virtual ceremonies has provided an opportunity for the industry to come together to view, be inspired by and celebrate the immense talent across the creative community. We have taken many of the learnings from last year’s digital awards and implemented them this year to create an experience that holds true to the value of our awards and celebrates every single pencil winner as they truly deserve to be. We are looking forward to our second ceremony to once again reveal more outstanding work as well as the winners of our highly coveted Black Pencils, the President’s Award and Companies of the Year.”

All 430 Pencil winning entries are showcased here.



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