New Zealand scores one Graphite Pencil and seven Wood Pencils at the 62nd D&AD Awards

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New Zealand has won one Graphite Pencil and seven Wood Pencils at the 62nd D&AD Awards Ceremony, which took place last night  in London.


DDB Group Aotearoa’s ‘Greenprint’ campaign for Volkswagen New Zealand scored a Graphite Pencil in the Direct – Acquisition & Retention category and two Wood Pencils in Creative Transformation – Products and Direct – Innovation. The agency also collected a Wood Pencil in the Direct – Social category for Team Heroine ‘Correct the Internet’.

Wood Pencils went to Tribal Aotearoa with Cheil UAE and Cheil Worldwide for Samsung ‘Try Galaxy Fold Experience’ in Mobile – Digital & Social; RUN Aotearoa for ‘Manaakitanga Pencil’ in Graphic Design – Self Promotion’; The Monkeys for ASB Bank x Youthline ‘Benee – Bagels’ in Radio & Audio – Entertainment and Colenso BBDO for Delivereasy ‘Delivereasy Uber’ in Writing for Design – Brand Voice.

New Zealand scores one Graphite Pencil and seven Wood Pencils at the 62nd D&AD Awards

DDB group chief creative officer, Matty Burton, who was one of 200 judges from over 60 countries, said the work on display was incredible: “D&AD is the best of the best and if work is awarded, it is undeniably good. Congratulations to everyone involved in this remarkable achievement.”

He added that Aotearoa was well represented at the Festival, making him proud to help shine a light for this country’s creative industry on the world stage. More than 12,000 entries were judged across 43 categories: “Winning five pencils at such a prestigious, competitive event is truly amazing.”

Priya Patel, CEO, DDB Group Aotearoa, said the plethora of awards for the agency this year is a testament to the innovative approach it takes towards making creative that works, whatever the channel: “Some may wonder why these awards matter, but for us it demonstrates we are on the right track for our clients and delivering work that has the power to move people, both commercially and emotively.”

Says RUN co-founder and CCO, Raymond Otene McKay (Ngaati Mahuta, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Pūkeko): “We used one of the world’s most coveted awards to spotlight that indigenous creatives are still suffering from racism and prejudice.”

When McKay was asked to be a judge and speaker at last year’s D&AD Festival, he claims racist and micro-aggressive comments were made by some on an industry blog. So in the spirit of te ao Māori, RUN responded with manaakitanga. The Manaakitanga Pencil was created as a gesture to honour D&AD for expanding the space to more indigenous and smaller voices in the industry. It was presented to D&AD in 2023 after a keynote McKay gave about homogeneity in advertising. The Manaakitanga Pencil now sits pride of place under a glass bell at the D&AD offices in London. It serves as a reminder of its ongoing mission to expand the judging pool to bring much needed new cultural perspectives and voices into the conversation about what creativity looks like today.

Adds McKay: “It’s our goal to be the best cultural agency in the world. We’re intentionally small, but the creative vision of the RUN team and the accolades the Manaakitanga Pencil has received, shows our work can still be awarded with the best on the global stage.”

In a year of fierce debates about the value of ‘purpose’ in advertising and design, the results of this year’s D&AD Awards suggest that best-in-class work can still come from good causes.

The full list of D&AD Award winners was announced at the Southbank Centre, London last night, with two of four recipients of D&AD’s Black Pencils, the highest accolade in the creative industry, are rooted in ideas aiming to have a positive impact on society. Both entries used data and technology in novel ways, with WhereToSettle by McCann Poland, helping Ukrainian refugees find work and housing, while WoMen’s Football by Marcel set out to challenge bias in sport.

The same can be said for winners of D&AD’s coveted Yellow Pencils too, for example Transparency Card by AKQA São Paulo for Congresso em Foco, which tried to help Brazilians identify potential corruption in public spending.

Commenting on this year’s winners, D&AD Trustee Kwame Taylor-Hayford said: “The awarded work for me reflects our industry’s resilience and bravery. In the face of so much change, the creativity awarded at the show demonstrates beautifully how we are expanding our remit far beyond communication, creating products, services, initiatives that drive brand growth, societal change and human connection.”

But that wasn’t the only theme from this year’s D&AD award winners. Humour won big too, with many of the judges celebrating the return of playfulness and fun to the advertising and design industries, which came through in Yellow Pencil winners Michael Cerave by Ogilvy PR and Sammakorn by Choojai And Friends, Thailand.

VML New York continued its recent winning streak and was named D&AD’s ‘Advertising Agency of the Year’ while AB InBev won ‘Client of the Year’ for the second year running.

Ogilvy and Serviceplan won Network Agency of the Year and Independent Network Agency of the year, respectively, while Raw Materials received ‘Design Agency of the Year’ after only launching in 2023.

This year saw a near-record level of entries to the D&AD Awards, with the highest number of submissions since 2007. There were entries from 78 countries, and 30,000 individual pieces of work making up 12,387 total entries.

“D&AD is all about championing the universal language of creativity and elevating industry talent, irrespective of geography,” said Jo Jackson, CEO of D&AD. “The fact that this year’s Black Pencil winners are spread across three continents, from Asia, to Europe and North America, shows that our Awards really do embody global excellence in creative craft. It’s an honour to celebrate truly international work.”

Black Pencil Winners 

Four Black Pencils, reserved only for truly groundbreaking work, were awarded to entrants from three different continents: North America, Europe and Asia.

• Dentsu Tokyo claimed one Black Pencil in the Art Direction category for My Japan Railway, a campaign built around the idea to restore a sense of human connection with railways in Japan.
• Marcel (France) won a Black Pencil in the Digital & Social category for WoMen’s Football, a VFX led campaign highlighting gender bias in football, that went truly viral and became an educational tool.
• Apple won a Black Pencil in the Digital Design category for VisionOS, the design of its groundbreaking operating system.
• McCann Poland won a Black Pencil in the Experiential category for WhereToSettle for Mastercard, a smart-data platform aggregating multiple data points to help Ukrainian refugees map out opportunities for shelter and work across Poland.

The D&AD’s President’s Award

Chosen by this year’s D&AD president Jack Renwick, the 2024 D&AD President’s Award goes to Jessica Walsh CEO, founder, creative director at &Walsh.

Says Walsh: “I’m deeply honoured to receive the D&AD President’s Award. It’s humbling to join such a prestigious group of past award recipients—many who have inspired my path and continue to inspire me today. I’m grateful for this opportunity to reflect on the work that has brought me to where I am. The greatest joy for me is creating work that touches people, that is relatable, gives back, and that starts a dialogue. Design has the unique ability to shape perspectives and drive change, and I’m passionate about continuing to push boundaries and inspire others in our field. Thank you to D&AD for this prestigious honour and for supporting the transformative power of design.”

Says Renwick: “Jessica Walsh epitomises what a modern female creative leader can be. Her award winning work forms new conversations and pushes design and branding into new exciting places. With Jess as a role model, I hope to see more Bold, Unapologetic, Formidable women coming into the industry.”

2024 Overall Results  

The total number of Pencils awarded for the D&AD Awards 2024 by level:
Black: 4 Pencils awarded
White: 4 Pencils awarded
Yellow: 66 Pencils awarded
Graphite: 180 Pencils awarded
Wood: 391 Pencils awarded
Future Impact: 7 Pencils

Companies of the Year

Advertising Agency of the Year: VML New York
Design Agency of the Year: Raw Materials
Production Company of the Year: DIVISION
Client of the Year: AB InBev
Independent Network of the Year: Serviceplan
Network of the Year: Ogilvy
Recipient the President’s Award: Jessica Walsh

All the Pencil-winning work and shortlisted entries are showcased on the D&AD website.