D&AD retrospective

Published:  January 25, 2012
D&AD retrospective

To commemorate D&AD Award’s 50th anniversary, we asked D&AD’s CEO, Tim Lindsay, to reflect on ten standout award winners from Australia and New Zealand from the past decade.

2011 Yellow Pencil
Project name: Border Security: Nothing Soft Gets In
Entrant: Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney
Client: Toyota Motor Corporation
Category: Direct Integrated Campaign

Project summary: To remind country Australians that Toyotas are the only 4WDs as tough as they are, the agency built a border post between the outback and the city and established Country Australia Border Security to defend it from ‘soft’ city folk with their ‘soft’ city ways and their ‘soft’ city stuff. The brand equipped the team with Toyota 4WDs, the only vehicles up to the task. The propaganda campaign was designed to intimidate and interrogate city people, while giving country folk a new champion. ‘Tofu, hair gel, small fluffy dogs, roller blades, soy decaf lattes. Not on our watch.’

Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD: The entries to D&AD from Australia and New Zealand just keep getting better, the last few years have been vintage. We’ve had more entries and far more winners of Pencils than we’ve ever had in the past. Choosing favourites is hard, there’s so much great work.

If an English batsmen knows anything, it’s that Aussies love to banter. That ‘famous’ sense of humour is all over this campaign. The spot is worth a look as a piece of comedy film, not just for the brilliant way it enhances the brand message. The craft in this ad is brilliant, the ‘Cops’-like camerawork multiplies the comedy perfectly.

'Nothing Soft Gets In' campaign

2010 Yellow Pencil
Project Name: Pure Waters
Entrant: Publicis Nation
Client: Lion Nathan / James Boags Draught
Category: Direction

Project summary: Way, way down at the bottom of the world, there’s an untouched island called Tasmania where the water is famously pure, and the beer is especially good. We decided that surely there must be a connection. So, Publicis Nation took the purity of the island’s water and turned it into a legend, telling the story of how it makes things good. Whether you’re dunking your bike or your shoes, your girl or, yes, your beer, the pure waters of Tasmania will always give you, well, something better. Pure Waters was also nominated in Editing and Special Effects.

TL: A great example of advertising craft skills at their best. Everything about this spot works seamlessly, great casting, great script: the creative execution is just fantastic.

Pure Waters

2010 Black Pencil
Project name: The Best Job in the World
Entrant: SapientNitro
Client: Tourism Queensland
Category: Integrated

Project summary: The campaign wanted to increase international awareness of Queensland’s islands of the Great Barrier Reef, and transform a popular day-trip destination into an international tourist’s dream holiday. In a time of rising unemployment, the best job in the world was created: the too-good-to-be-true “Island Caretaker” role, a genuine employment opportunity with Tourism Queensland. Anyone could apply, and the successful candidate would spend six months living above the reef, exploring the region and reporting back to the world. With a US$1.2million budget, the agency placed simple recruitment ads and created a worldwide phenomenon. The campaign was awarded two Black Pencils, in Integrated and Direct/Integrated.

TL: We have a saying at D&AD: Yellow Pencils are given for the best work. Black Pencils are for game changers. This campaign was historic, probably the best ever example of a viral campaign creating a tipping point of truly international scale. Pitch perfect integration of all the media elements, including the use of a cheapest of all paid ads – the classifieds – was inspired.

Best Job In The World

2010 Yellow Pencil
Project name: Treehouse Restaurant
Entrant: Colenso BBDO
Client: Yellow Pages
Category: Brand Communications in 3D & Environments

Project summary: Yellow Pages claims it can help anyone get any job done. Colenso BBDO decided to prove it by challenging someone to build a restaurant in a tree using only Yellow Pages to make it happen. The team picked Tracey, an unknown accordion player, from 200 applicants, and based her in a redwood forest with Yellow books, a laptop and a mobile phone. Over three months she worked with more than 65 Yellow-listed companies to build a treehouse restaurant. The project was documented to keep New Zealand updated via a website, outdoor and TV advertising. Tracey actually opened the restaurant and more than 2,000 people enjoyed dining ten metres above ground in its first month.

TL: The diversity of the categories at D&AD mean that the mix of work that gets ‘In Book’ every year is often astonishing. Beautiful, useful design will always impress the judges, and this is a standout piece of work. Though the treehouse was aimed at a domestic audience in New Zealand, it’s a brand activation that speaks volumes to those of us overseas. It showcases New Zealand as a place both technologically advanced and naturally beautiful. With this clever blend of human innovation and natural wonder, treehouse illustrates a complex set of brand messages. By showcasing the Yellow Pages’ usefulness to the consumer and the reach it gives a business, the project manages to be B2B and B2C without watering down either the messaging or the sheer beauty of the thing itself. Innovation worthy of international repute.

Treehouse restaurant

2009 In Book
Project name: Lights Off
Entrant: Leo Burnett
Client: WWF
Category: Enhanced, Interactive & Digital Posters

Project summary: As a reminder to join in Earth Hour 2008, this campaign set up mobile billboards in city centres around Australia. The billboards featured a city skyline at night; post-it-note stickers represented the lights in the windows of the buildings: each carrying direct response messages. When people took one, they turned off a light on the billboard, and were reminded to turn theirs off for Earth Hour.

TL: Good creative ideas change behavior. Whether that’s encouraging a purchase decision, or engendering a societal shift. The celebrate our 50th Anniversary, D&AD recently launched our first ever new award, the White Pencil. The White Pencil will be given out once a year to an idea that changes the world for the better. For 2012, the White Pencil will be given to a campaign or concept that support the UN’s Day of Peace on the 21st September. Anyone can take part, and the brief is available at dandad.org.

Lights Off

2006 Yellow Pencil
Project name: Boony
Entrant: George Patterson Y&R
Client: Foster’s Australia
Category: New Uses of Broadcast

Project name: Talking Boony was a small statuette that watched the cricket series with fans in the comfort of their living rooms whilst making ‘special’ comments. When prompted by a sonic pip, the doll transmitted Boony’s voice, quoting typical comical comments such as ‘He’s seeing them like watermelons’, ‘When are we going to the pub?’, and ‘Got any nachos? I love nachos’. The talking Boony figurine houses an audio chip loaded with hundreds of comments. It was programmed to wake up for each of the broadcast matches and respond to digital audio triggers transmitted through the television. When the appropriate trigger was transmitted, the talking Boony would respond with a suitably funny comment. Talking Boonys were available when purchasing two Victoria Bitter cartons.

TL: This might be a bit gimmicky, but its an excellent early response to the decline in eyeballs on traditional spots as consumers migrate their media consumption to the internet, or fast forward the ads with their cable box. A doll that talks might remind you of Chucky, but if it makes you hold off on the fast forward as you wait for a specific spot, its doing its job.

Boony doll

2006 Yellow Pencil
Project name: Be the Ball
Entrant: TBWA\Whybin (180\TBWA
Client: Adidas
Category: Live Events

Project summary: On Saturday 10 December 2005 in Auckland, New Zealand, TBWA\Whybin (180\TBWA) launched the Adidas match ball for the FIFA World Cup 2006. In a world first, a Sky Screamer reverse bungee was transformed into the new Adidas and Teamgeist match ball. Situated in the heart of the city, the 2.5-metre high ball sat in front of the largest billboard site in the country, which featured Liverpool Football Club captain and England’s team member Steven Gerrard. This gave the impression that Gerrard was kicking the Adidas match ball. Match commentary was played over a loudspeaker, as participants were strapped inside the ball. Then, as striker Steven Gerrard was heard to kick the ball, the reverse bungee soccer ball was blasted into the air at over 170km/hour. The screaming occupants got to experience what it is like to ‘Be the Ball’.

TL: I’m a massive Chelsea fan, so here’s a sports entry that doesn’t reference cricket. Again illustrative of the diverse range of categories at D&AD, the ‘Live Events’ jury often has up weird and wonderful things to consider. With the Olympics just a few months away, brands are getting to grips with the mother of all sporting events in the UK this year. We’ll be watching for innovations like this one in next year’s awards.

Be the Ball

2004 Yellow Pencil
Project name: Superman
Entrant: DDB New Zealand
Client: Volkswagen
Category: Individual Posters (none music)

TL: Both for creatives and account people, all you ever really ask of life is for a brave client. A brand with a leadership that will take a punt on an audacious idea. Volkswagen – which is one of the most awarded brands at D&AD – has made a habit of bravery for half a century. That they manage to do this in every territory in which they operate is testament to a brilliant corporate structure and a brand ethos that reflects in everything they do.  This uses an iconic piece of design and blends it with another iconic piece of design, enhancing both. Simple. Clever. Brave. What more could you ask for?


2002 Yellow Pencil
Project name: Precision Brochure
Entrant: Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney
Client: Spicers Paper
Category: Typography for Design – Typography

TL: Yellow Pencils are given for projects that push the boundaries of the judge’s expectations. Those projects can be multimillion dollar campaigns, or single executions like this. Scale isn’t important, the quality of the idea is what matters. This is a fun and unexpected use of type.

Precision Brochure

2000 Yellow Pencil
Project name: The Riot of Spring
Entrant: Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington
Client: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Typography: Individual

TL: Great copy is one of the most powerful tools at the creative department’s disposal. It can paint a thousand pictures with just a few simple lines. I suspect the audacious nature of this spot is what turned the judge’s eye – it’s a functional but clever marriage of great copy and great type. D&AD’s recent Copy Book celebrates the best in creative copy writing – think about the influence of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ and you realize the power great copy can wield. The internet is reinventing how we write, it’s a fascinating time to be a copy writer, the innovators will be rewarded – at D&AD and in the marketplace.

Screenshot from The Riot of Spring TVC

Images for Precision Brochure taken from Jristian Cruz Limsico.

One Response

  1. Dont forget Mash’s Yellow Pencil for ‘Changing Lanes’ 2008. :)

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