Clemenger BBDO's grotesque road safety sculpture campaign "Meet Graham" and Channel 4's 2016 Paralympics spot "We're the Superhumans" won multiple honors at D&AD in London on Thursday evening, a clear sign that they could also be among the big winners at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June.
Along with Cannes, D&AD is one of the top global award shows, and coming less than two months before the Cannes festival, it often showcases work that will dominate the awards circuit.
The Australian agency was the most awarded agency with 13 pencils overall. It won a Black Pencil, D&AD's highest honor, in the PR category for "Meet Graham," as well as five Yellow Pencils, two Graphite Pencils and a Wood Pencil for the campaign. The project, for Australia's Transport Accident Commission, hired a sculptor, a trauma surgeon and a car crash investigator to create "Graham," a sculpture that's meant to represent what a human body would look like if it was designed to withstand a car crash.
"We're the Superhumans" -- a follow-up from the U.K. to the 2012 "Meet the Superhumans" campaign that was a Grand Prix winner in Cannes -- was honored with Black Pencils in both the Film Advertising and Film Craft categories. The first pencil went to Channel 4, the second to production company Blink. The ad was created by Channel 4's inhouse agency 4Creative.
Two other campaigns won Black Pencils: the Swedish Number by Ingo, for Direct, and "The first Braille Smartwatch" by Serviceplan for Dot Incorporation Germany, for Digital Design. The Swedish Number is an older campaign, and also won the Cannes Grand Prix for Direct last year.
For the first time, the U.S. topped the country rankings with 182 pencils, with the U.K. coming in second and Australia third. Although no Black Pencils went to the U.S., Yellow Pencil winners included David Miami, for Burger King's "Burning Stores" campaign, McCann New York for "The Field Trip to Mars" for Lockheed Martin, The Martin Agency for "The World's Biggest Asshole" for Donate Life and BBDO New York for its GE Podcast Theater.
D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay said in a statement: "For the first time ever, the United States is the country taking home the most number of Pencils. In fact, the top of the country rankings is comprised of countries from across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, reminding us that D&AD is a truly global organization, encouraging and awarding talent from around the world."
Studio Sutherl& was the most-awarded design agency this year, winning eight Pencils overall, including two Yellow - one for its work creating limited edition Agatha Christie stamps for Royal Mail and another for its work with Somos Brasil.