D&AD: 721 Pencils awarded, 4 for Denmark

The 56th D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony took place on April 26th, in London, where three Black Pencils – the highest accolade in the creative industry – were awarded, along with 74 Yellow ones and many more up to a total of 721.

In terms of countries, US maintains its 1st place for biggest number of Pencils won, with BBDO New York being the most awarded ad agency within the competition.

Host/Havas claimed one Black Pencil for its Palau Pledge campaign for the Palau Legacy Project, which requires visitors to Palau to sign a passport pledge to act in an ecologically responsible way on the island.

Saatchi & Saatchi NY took home a Black Pencil for their It’s a Tide Ad campaign, which took over the airwaves during this year’s Super Bowl.


McCann New York was awarded a Black Pencil for Fearless Girl, the bronze statue of a defiant young girl facing the iconic ‘Charging Bull’ on Wall Street, commissioned to highlight State Street Global Advisors’ gender diversity index fund.

The winners by category and Pencil level, including most awarded and country rankings, are available online.

From the total 721 Pencils, 3 were Black, 74 Yellow, 156 Graphite and 488 Wood.

This has been an outstanding year for creativity. We received entries from 50 countries across all continents, attesting to the truly global nature of our programme and the impact of D&AD in stimulating and celebrating talent from around the world.

Three Black Pencils have been awarded, two of which use creativity as a means to create a better world. But we’ve also seen a marked focus on humour and playfulness. Design and advertising can be used to encourage debate and engender social discourse, but it can and should also entertain. Also, sell stuff. In the current social and economic climate, we need all of the above.

Tim Lindsay 

D&AD CEO 

The top 3 most awarded design agencies within the competition were Jones Knowles Ritchie (5 Pencils including one yellow, one graphite and four wood), The New York Times Magazine and The Guardian.

Following BBDO New York (26 Pencils including three yellow, 12 graphite and 11 wood) in the top of the most awarded ad agencies were McCann New York and AMV BBDO.

Among the production companies, the top 3 places were taken by MJZ  (six Pencils including three yellow, two graphite and one wood), Riff Raff and Somesuch.

When it came of most awards per client, the top was dominated by State Street Global Advisors, followed by Burger King and Apple.

In terms of countries, US kept its dominance in terms of most Pencils won, with 194 at this year’s D&AD edition, followed by UK (165) and Japan (49). The top 10 also includes, in order, Germany, France, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Singapore and Sweden.

When it comes of Denmark, the 4 won Pencils are all Wood, and were awarded to Space10 in digital design category for “Ikea Place” (IKEA), UncleGrey in Direct for Canon – Local Business Never looked so good (Canon), Mensch in PR for Faroe Islands Translate ()Visit Faroe Islands & Atlantic Airways) and to Hjaltelin Stahl in writing for advertising for “Warhead” for Greenpeace. With these Pencils, Denmark ranks 21 in the top of countries with most Pencils, on the same place with Argentina, Hong Kong, Italy, Lithuania, Russia and Spain.

President’s Award went to Colleen DeCourcy and Susan Hoffman from Wieden + Kennedy.

Every D&AD President gets to choose one of their creative heroes to give the President’s Award to. They’re always giants of our industry, hugely awarded, respected by the whole community, great achievers, groundbreaking creative practitioners and much-loved leaders.

This year we celebrate the extraordinary achievement in advertising of not one, but two such leaders: Colleen DeCourcy and Susan Hoffman. Together, they co-chief and creative-direct one of the world’s finest creative agencies, Wieden + Kennedy, an agency we all know, love and respect. I am hugely honoured to recognise their achievement and their outstanding contribution to creative excellence.

Steve Vranakis

D&AD President   


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