There were a record number of more than 12,000 entries across 40 categories in D&AD’s award scheme this year. Celebrating the very best creative work across advertising and design, the awards were presented at two ceremonies on 24 and 25 May at BFI Southbank in London.
Two Black Pencils – D&AD’s highest accolade – were awarded among a total of 639 Pencils. The first went to production company Division and VFX studio Electric Theatre Collective for their work on Pharrell, 21 Savage and Tyler, The Creator’s music video Cash In, Cash Out, which uses CGI animation to create avatars of the three musicians dancing in a magical environment.
Creative agency Abby.World took home the second Black Pencil in the Product Design category with Heartbeat Drum Machine for the Swedish Heartchild Foundation. Functioning as a modular synthesiser, the device produces rhythms using the electrocardiograms of four children with different heart defects, transforming them into something new and beautiful.
Both Black Pencils reflect the strong representation of craft in the awards overall, says D&AD CEO Jo Jackson. “Both winners demonstrated exceptional creative excellence – and craftsmanship, which is particularly poignant when the whole industry is concerned about AI’s impact on the advertising and creative industry.”
Elsewhere, mental health, inclusivity and equality were recurring themes among the other Pencil winners. There were 69 Yellow Pencils awarded this year, including Lacoste’s Unexpected Counters campaign; Libresse’s Periodsomnia ad; the visual identity for the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity; and The Greatest ad by Apple.
This year, the top ranked advertising agency was adam&eveDDB, which led on The Last Photo campaign for CALM, while King Henry, which worked with adam&eve on the campaign, came out top for design agencies.
Division, who created ads for Nike and Corteiz as well as the Cash In, Cash Out music video, was the top ranked production company, and on client-side AB InBev came out top, closely followed by Apple.
All of this year’s winning work and shortlisted entries can be viewed on the D&AD website. It will also be featured in the D&AD Annual and its free-to-access online archive.