It was certainly Wieden+Kennedy Portland’s night at the world-renowned, annual D&AD Awards on 16 June, as the advertising agency scooped five Pencils for their The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign that reinvented American male grooming products brand Old Spice. The campaign has been a YouTube sensation and made an overnight star out of buff US actor Isaiah Mustafa.

Wieden+Kennedy Portland’s accolades include not one but two prestigious and coveted Black Pencils and three Yellow Pencils that mark ‘new standards in creative excellence each year’ for Old Spice. The two Black Pencils were awarded in the TV Commercial Campaign Category and the TV Commercials 21-40 Seconds Category. The agency can also look forward to an additional two pieces of work appearing in the 2011 D&AD Annual, published by Taschen this October.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, the agency’s Dutch arm who picked up a Yellow Pencil in the TV Commercials over 120 Seconds category for their work on Nike’s Write the Future campaign.

With Pencils at the ready, competition judges also awarded Black Pencils for a variety of other work:

· for its The Wilderness Downtown Arcade Fire promo for Google Creative Labs in the Web Films category

·      Samuel Wilkinson Design for its Plumen 001 lightbulb (above) for Hulger in the Consumer Product Design category;

·      JWT New York for their Burma campaign for Human Rights Watch (above) in the Installations category

·      Apple for the iPad (above) in Consumer Product Design.

The overall figure of six Black Pencils is up from five last year, while the number of Yellow Pencils awarded also rose from 42 to 59.

On the Graphic Design front, the judges’ favourites included Yellow Pencil-winning British agency The Chase for their Almost Extinct calendar for the BBC. The UK’s GBH received three Yellow Pencils for their integrated brand work for Puma’s Unity Initiative, Puma Phone and Puma Clever Little Bag.
2011 also saw an increase in international award-winning work, including from India, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Brazil shot from 14th to 5th place in most awarded nations table after the UK, US, Germany and France, jumping from four awarded submissions in 2010 to 29 this year. Sao Paulo based AlmapBBDO triumphed with two Yellow Pencils for their ‘Music, See What It’s Made Of’ Campaign for Billboard, along with four Pencil Nominations and nine In Book.

This year’s event also marks the first combined Student-Professional Awards, and was used a platform to criticize the government’s harsh cuts to education for creative students, and call on industry to take up the slack in support for young talent.
Speaking at the ceremony, D&AD President Sanky said: “[Combining the Professional and Student awards] seemed like a pretty timely idea, especially since our government seems to have decided that education for the arts and design is something that’s not really deserving of actual funding. So it's up to industry to step in and help. We all, and D&AD specifically - have a duty to nurture upcoming talent, and tonight is one example of how we can do just that. We need to keep building an engaged community that values integrity and creativity above all else.  And we need to make that community inclusive and useful, bringing talent at all levels together.”
The winners of the 2011 Student of the Year award are Christian Asmar, Manu Manceda and Virginia Feito of Miami Ad School, Madrid. It’s the first time students from Spain have won it as well as a Yellow Pencil. They will each receive a prize of an HP 8740w workstation. The student winners are also eligible to enter this summer’s D&AD Graduate Academy, supported by HP, which will bring together some of the world’s leading creatives with the best new talent of 2011 in an intense week of professional development.
As part of the build-up to D&AD’s 50th Anniversary in 2012, the non-profit organisation has partnered with The One Club to create The Pencil Rankings, a ground-breaking initiative aimed at identifying the top agencies and brands of the year, and measuring performance by combining results from The One Show and the D&AD Awards.