Asia scores 9 Yellow Pencils at 2015 D&AD Awards: Japan leads all Asian countries with 5

Emoji.jpgAt the 53rd D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony, which concluded just an hour ago, 847 pencils were awarded overall with Asia collecting 126. Asia's top performer was Japan, with 47 pencils followed by China with 21 and India with 19.

D&AD changed their system of awarding the work this year, introducing wood pencils for the previous "In Book" status. The result is a flood of Pencil winners, but the important level is still Silver Nomination (now called Graphite Pencils) and Yellow Pencils - plus the exclusive Black Pencil winners.

In total 9 Yellow Pencils were awarded to Asia, 5 to Japan, and one each for Lowe China, Ogilvy & Mather Singapore, McCann Worldgroup India and Red Fuse Communications Hong Kong.
Japan's 5 Yellow Pencils were awarded to SIX for Makoto Azuma: Botanist/Flower Artist's "Exobiotanica" in the Crafts for Design Photography for Design category, TYMOTE for Issey Miyake "Message" in the Crafts for Design category, Typography for Design, Plug-in Graphic for Point's "niko and... Essential Dictionary" in the Graphic Design category and Catalogues & Brochures, Junya Kamada for "Super Normal Tofu" for Imoo Tofu Store for Branding Schemes/Small Organisation and McCann - Erickson (Tokyo) for "Tire Kimono" for Toyo Tires & Rubber in Brand Expression in Moving.

Lowe China won a Yellow Pencil for their already highly awarded "Human Traffic Sign" for Shanghai General Motors in the Press Advertising Campaigns category.

Ogilvy & Mather Singapore won a Yellow Pencil for SingTel's "Movie Emoji" in the  Mobile Marketing Mobile Adverts category.

McCann India won a Yellow Pencil for their "Big Babol - Fruits" campaign for Perfetti Van Melle in Art Direction for Poster Advertising.

Colgate_GoodFood.jpgRed Fuse Communications Hong Kong's "Turning Packaging into Education" for Colgate-Palmolive also collected a Yellow Pencil in the Sustainable Packaging Design category.

Five Black Pencils were awarded overall - the ultimate creative accolade.

UK branding work took centre stage with Black Pencils awarded for 4creative's 'Film4 Idents', 15 stunning digital reinventions of the film strip, and Made Thought's immaculate new visual identity, website and brand for G. F. Smith.

For the second year running, the Black Pencil jury also handed out honours to work in the White Pencil category. This year Leo Burnett Toronto, London, Chicago and Holler were recognised for their '#LikeAGirl', the celebrated campaign, which sought to change negative perceptions of the phrase 'Like a girl'.

Black Pencil awarded work:
• '#LikeAGirl' by Leo Burnett Toronto, London, Chicago, and Holler (Creativity for Good - White
Pencil) - Canada, UK, US
• 'Film4 Idents' by 4creative (Channel Branding & Identity) - UK
• 'G . F Smith' by Made Thought (Branding Schemes/Medium Organisation) - UK
• 'Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables' by Marcel Worldwide (Direct Integrated Campaigns) - France
• 'K9FM' by Colenso BBDO (Radio Advertising Campaigns) - New Zealand

D&AD has grown in 2015. The addition of two new Pencils (Wood and Graphite replacing 'In-Book' and Nomination' respectively) has facilitated a record number of entries into this year's annual, with 847 projects from 44 countries achieving D&AD's legendary standards.
While the pursuit of excellence has been well awarded by the 2015 jurors (207 entries received Graphite Pencils and a further 587 entries received Wood Pencils) two of D&AD's highest accolades, the Yellow and Black Pencils (the latter reserved only for creative perfection), have been more difficult than ever to win this year, with just 44 Yellow and 5 Black Pencil winners.

'#LikeAGirl' by Leo Burnett Toronto, London, Chicago, and Holler was the campaign that won the most pencils overall, with two Yellow Pencils, three Graphite Pencils and two Wood Pencils in addition to their Black Pencil.

Tim Lindsay, Chief Executive of D&AD commented: 'The introduction of our new Pencil levels - Wood and Graphite - has clearly made an impression. Our judges were happier to award brilliant work, and we're going to have our thickest ever Annual as a result.

'Inversely, they now regard Yellow as an even tougher accolade. Personally I'm delighted that White Pencil work is now a central pillar of the awards.'

VIEW THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS - D&AD 2015 - Full list of Pencil Winners.xlsx


NZ Standards said:

D&AD have the highest standards in the world, rewarding only true unequivocal creative excellence. Unquestionable work wins - great idea, beautiful execution, undoubted impact. Pencils (especially black) are so hard to achieve, they're almost mythical in their appeal.

So it’s a great shame to watch D&AD compromise their standards and play the money game like every other award show. The slightly eccentric ‘in-book’ system that has challenged agencies for years has been replaced with far more profitable tiers (wood pencil = bronze, graphite pencil = silver, yellow pencil = gold, black pencil = grand prix), and no doubt more extra categories like ‘White Pencil for Good’ will be developed and added. More winners/pencils encourage more entries, and each entry delivers more revenue to D&AD.

It’s no surprise then that this year more pencils were given out than ever before. I guess one could try and argue that we’ve just had an extraordinary year of incredible creative ideas that warranted such generosity from D&AD. New Zealand did win more D&AD pencils this year than ever before. But was it really our most creative year ever as an industry? Or you could feel, like I do, that the standards just slipped a bit, to welcome more people into the awards machine.

The rarest of accolades just became more achievable. A disappointment in my view, and a discredit to all those who have come before.

On the upside D&AD is a non-profit, so the extra revenue will be invested back into the British creative community. On the downside, who now sets the standard?

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