D&AD Pencils – stars in a stunt aimed to remind their value to the creative world

Ads, Advertising, Awards, D&AD Awards, Festivals, Guerilla

On January 11th, in the same time, D&AD Pencils started to simultaneously disappear around the world, in a clever stunt thought up by Lucky Generals and D&AD, which created and released a behind the scenes film that shows how it was all orchestrated.

The purpose of this stunt was to remind the creative community of the true value of a D&AD Pencil, and that when it comes to creative awards, nothing matters more. Therefor, considering the saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” and thanks to the creative minds at Lucky Generals, some of the world’s top creatives were reminded what a Pencil is for them. The film captures the passion (and colourful language) that a missing D&AD Pencil generates and also reminds people of all the hard graft that goes into winning each award and why striving for creative excellence is still so important.

The film – released recently in social media – shows the reach that this stunt had. Targeting top creatives from Sao Paulo to Cape Town and London to Melbourne, creative industry heavyweights such as Rosie Arnold (BBH), Nils Leonard (Grey London) and Charlie Wilson (OgilvyOne) talk about their cherished D&AD pencils.

As BBH’s Executive Creative Director Rosie Arnold says in the film:

[The D&AD pencils are] the most difficult to win, the most treasured – my pencil has pride of place in my collection.

The heist took place on January 11th and sparked a wave of reactions over the following days, as agencies all over the world worried over their trophies’ fate and voiced their confusion on social media. It was not until four days later (January 14th), that the Pencils were returned, alongside an explanation that the stunt had been designed to dramatise the uniquely precious nature of the awards.

Tim Lindsay, D&AD CEO:

The heist was a spectacular piece of planning and was excellently executed but despite the excitement of seeing the reactions on social media, it was never really about taking the pencils. What we set out to do from the start, was to capture the reactions of people as their pencils were returned, reminding them of a very personal achievement, and I think that this film illustrates this perfectly.

Helen Calcraft, founder Lucky Generals

At a time when some are rightly questioning the plethora of awards in our industry, the D&AD pencil remains the one that creative people really want to win. The response to our heist, in agencies all over the world, proves that when it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

Entries for the D&AD Professional Awards close on February 17th. The entry fee is £85, with the works to be judged at the D&AD Festival which will be viewed by senior creatives and visitors to the festival.