D&AD Bypasses Ads for Top Awards

LONDON Some 2000 U.K. creatives turned out tonight at the old Billingsgate Fish Market overlooking the Thames to see graphic design and architectural entries trump advertising for this year’s top two awards at the Design & Art Direction show.

In the graphic design category, U.K. firm Johnson Banks won a coveted black Pencil, representing a gold award, for its “Fruit and Veg” stamps for client Royal Mail. Tourismus and Congress GmbH of Germany won in the category of environmental design and architecture with its “Ship of Ideas” execution for Atelier Markgraph.

Sheets of “Fruit and Veg” postage stamps come with decorative graphic stickers. “Ship of Ideas” was a floating platform in Frankfurt, Germany, that projected lights and images on several large screens.

Last year the D&AD jury—known for its exacting standards—did not present any gold awards. This year’s awards show judges were also critical. “It wasn’t a particularly good year. There will be half the ads in the [D&AD awards] book than in past years,” said Paul Silburn, deputy creative director at TBWA in London, who chaired the TV and cinema advertising jury. “The economy hasn’t been helping things and the tough times were reflected in both the fact that marketers lost their creative nerve and there was less new commercial production.”

The D&AD presented yellow Pencils, in the silver awards category, to Wieden + Kennedy in London for its Honda U.K. work. Its “Cog” spot was the best TV commercial, over 60 seconds, and “Everyday/Cog/Sense” won for TV commercials, TV campaigns. “Cog”, which shows a car parts being assembled in a chain reaction, has been Britain’s most recognized commercial this awards season. It also has generated controversy because it resembles a 1987 film made by Swiss artists, but the commercial has its defenders. “You’re allowed to borrow from other sources. It’s harsh to be critical,” said D&AD judge Paul Brazier, deputy creative director at AMV BBDO in London. “It’s a great spot and fresh for car advertising.”

Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi in Argentina won a silver award for best non-English TV campaign, “Little Bird/Screams/Blender,” for Parque de la Costa. In the category of TV and cinema advertising crafts, silver awards were given to TBWA/London for direction, cinematography, use of music and special effects for its “Mountain” spot for PlayStation 2, and W+K for direction and sound design for the Honda “Cog” commercial, editing of its Honda “Everyday” spot and cinematography for Honda’s “Sense” commercial. The Quarry, U.K., received a silver award for editing in the “Kicking It” commercial for Adidas.

Silver award winners in the radio advertising category went to W+K for its “Oblonger/Doodle/Big Grin” spots for Honda and U.S. agency Method Integrated Marketing for its “The Gay Son” commercial for Stonewall-Columbus.

DDB London won a silver for integrated advertising for a campaign it did for the Guardian newspaper. The agency also won for best press campaign for Harvey Nichols with its “Bikini/Shirt/Trousers” pitch. Saatchi & Saatchi in Thailand was lauded in the best non-English language press category with its magazine campaign, “Alligators/Snakes/Lions,” for Indosport.

There were no winners in the following categories: direct mail, ambient media, interactive and digital media, posters, art direction, writing for advertising, writing for design, photography and image manipulation, illustration and typography.

The D&AD received 23,000 submissions from 58 countries. The U.K. dominated the top award winners, but that distinction was no indication of current industry trends. “There’s no doubt agencies have done better work in the past,” said Leagas Delaney’s Tim Delaney, who was a judge in the writing for advertising category. A lot of craft has gone away. Print’s gone to a whole visual thing. Headlines are virtually non-existent.”