The U.K.'s top creative awards show, D&AD, has given its highest honors to just two advertising entries this year - "Dumb Ways to Die" for Metro Trains, and "Meet the Superhumans" for Channel 4's Paralympics TV coverage -- boosting hopes of success for both campaigns at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity next week.
At the ceremony in London on Wednesday night, the campaigns each won a Black Pencil, the top award, and also collected a batch of Yellow Pencils in different categories. Of the 51 Yellow Pencils awarded, McCann Erickson Melbourne's campaign for Metro Trains won five, and the Channel 4 work, by in-house agency 4creative, won four.
D&AD, which awards design as well as advertising creativity, also gave Black Pencils to Thomas Heatherwick's Olympic cauldron, which kept the flame alight during the Olympic Games in London last year, and to a government website, GOV.CO.UK, for writing and digital design. The latter also earned the Design of the Year nod at the Design Museum's annual awards fete.
The U.S. won 14 pencils overall, coming second only to the U.K. with 17. Winning campaigns included Deutsch's "The Dark Side" for VW; Young & Rubicam's "Poetry" for Campbell's Soup; Wieden + Kennedy's "Whatever's Comfortable" spot for Southern Comfor;, and R/GA's Nike+ Fuelband.
China entered more campaigns than ever before, but won only one Pencil, for #cokehands by Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai, which won the Outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes last year. Brazil won four Pencils, including two for Leica Store's "Soul" campaign by F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. Japan and New Zealand won two awards apiece, while the Netherlands and Singapore took home one each.
From the U.K., Snickers won a Yellow Pencil for the "You're not you when you're hungry" Twitter campaign by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which controversially featured unlabeled promotional tweets from celebrities, and 20th Century Fox won two Yellow Pencils for a viral campaign to promote the film "Prometheus."
The first ever White Pencil, awarded for charity work, was presented to Droga 5 for its "Help! I want to save a life" campaign for Help Remedies, created by the agency's former copywriter Graham Douglas.