D&AD Awards Celebrate 50 Years of Ad Glory at London Bash
D&AD, which grants the U.K.'s most prestigious ad prizes, celebrated its 50th anniversary last night with a London awards party, where the biggest names in advertising and design gathered to honor the greatest creative achievers of the past half century in those industries.
Companies and individuals who had won the most D&AD awards since 1962 were granted special-edition pencils. A lot of industry elders took center stage, as D&AD lured back famous faces including film directors Alan Parker and Hugh Hudson, who were there to see their former London agency, CDP, named best advertising agency of the past 50 years. CDP, founded in 1969, had its heyday in the 1970s, and everyone who was anyone, including Charles Saatchi, John Hegarty, Frank Lowe and Ridley Scott, worked there. (Later bought by Dentsu, CDP limped on as part of another agency until 2010, when the name disappeared.)
The best director award was split between Tony Kaye (whose work includes Volvo's "Twister" and Dunlop's "Unexpected") and Frank Budgen (Nike 's "Tag" and Sony PlayStation's "Mountain"). Mr. Budgen also won for his role as co-founder -- with Chris Palmer and Paul Rothwell -- of production company Gorgeous Enterprises in 1997.
Mr. Rothwell said he was glad to get the D&AD pencil after receiving two "lifetime achievement" honors this year from other groups. "I absolutely hate lifetime achievement awards," he said. "It's fine if you're retired but I don't feel we have at all; I feel like we've just done Phase A for the last 15 years and now we're starting Phase B. I'll be telling you more about that in two weeks' time; it's quite an exciting thing."
He added that this next phase will be "American."
The moment in Phase A when Mr. Rothwell knew everything was coming together came at the creation of the 2003 "Mountain" spot for Sony PlayStation that he shot in Rio de Janeiro for TBWA London using 1,500 extras to form a human mountain (shown at left). The spot (below) won the 2004 Film Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival."It should have been impossibly hard, but it was just a job where everything went right," he said. "The time, the schedule, the budget -- it came together and it was a good end result. Looking at it, it should have been horrendous but it wasn't."