The second annual D&AD Impact Awards have taken place tonight at Terminal 5 in New York City, with key figures from the worlds of business, advertising, design and philanthropy gathering to hear who has won a coveted D&AD Impact Pencil. The aim of D&AD Impact is to identify and celebrate transformative creative ideas that have had real impact and, ultimately, contribute towards a better and more sustainable future in which purpose is aligned with profit.
In total, 98 D&AD Impact Pencils were handed out on the night, with Graphite and Wood Pencils being awarded to work that the judges considered world-leading across twelve distinct categories, ranging from Environmental Sustainability to Financial Empowerment and Humanitarian Aid. For the second year running, these categories reflect the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim of helping the creative industries address real global issues.
This year, the entries demonstrated renewed focus on issues of health, gender equality and child welfare. 13 brands and companies took home a D&AD Impact White Pencil, the premier accolade for creativity for good. The D&AD Impact Black Pencil, reserved for truly game-changing work, was awarded to three projects:
- McCann Worldgroup India and The Ministry of Public Health Afghanistan, The Immunity Charm, which encouraged Afghan mothers to vaccinate their children by way of traditional charm bracelet
- McCann New York and State Street Global Advisors, Fearless Girl, which highlighted that companies with women in leadership perform better, with a statue of a daring young girl standing strong on Wall Street
- J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam and Free a Girl Movement, School for Justice, an ad campaign to raise awareness of child prostitution in India
The 2017 D&AD Impact Jury includes leaders from BlackRock to Snapchat, The Girl Scouts of America to P&G, and Post Secret to Wieden + Kennedy. Richard Curtis, Founder, Project Everyone and Comic Relief (Red Nose Day); Arianna Huffington, Entrepreneur, Writer, Founder, Thrive Global; Neil Blumenthal, CEO, Warby Parker; Bob Greenberg, Founder, Chairman, CEO, R/GA; Betsy Lack, Head of Global Brand Strategy, Snap Inc.; Haiyan Zhang, Innovation Director, Microsoft, and over 80 industry leaders lent their support to the awards and judging.
The juries awarded D&AD Impact Pencils based on three criteria: an original and innovative idea at its core; clear and measurable impact in its chosen category; and relevance to the business’s commercial needs.
New to D&AD Impact in 2017, D&AD Impact Promise rewards ideas with the potential for impact across one or more of the 12 categories that could benefit from the exposure, funding, mentoring and networking that D&AD Impact can offer. Selected projects that have an original innovative idea, and that can demonstrate how, once scaled, will have a clear, measurable impact, received the opportunity to pitch for project support in front of Bill Tai, Venture Capitalist; Aline Santos Farhat, SVP Global Marketing, Unilever; and Jason Harris, President/CEO, Mekanism. Petit Pli Ltd. for ‘Petit Pli – Clothes that grow with your child’ and Supple Studio for ‘Straightline’ were selected as the most outstanding projects in need of additional support.
The awards were hosted by Hasan Minhaj, Special Correspondent, Daily Show, who also hosted the 2017 White House Correspondents Dinner. DJ Logic lent his support to the evening by performing to the excited crowd of winners.
D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay:
In today’s uncertain political times, the role that businesses and brands play in shaping and influencing the world cannot be overlooked. Following the success of last year’s inaugural awards, the need for world-changing creativity and campaigns has become more important than ever. Consumers and citizens demand accountability and action. This year, our mission was not to acknowledge and celebrate, but to highlight the opportunity businesses have to harness the power of creativity as a force for good and galvanize real change to improve our society. With the added introduction of our Promise Award, D&AD Impact is taking action to provide the support needed to make a powerful, innovative idea a reality and continue our work to make a better future.
Matt Schekner, Executive Director at Advertising Week – Stillwell Partners:
More so than ever before, consumers respond to brands and campaigns that connect to something real. Creative that connects the heart to the mind is what resonates strongest. That’s the essence for D&AD Impact… to showcase work that has a real impact on people’s lives all over the world. The winning work this year represents the very best of what our industry does to make the world a better place.
Since 1962, D&AD has been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising. A D&AD Award is recognized globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best from around the world.