Sharpening the D&AD Black Pencil Awards



How we sharpened the prestigious Black Pencil

We were approached by D&AD, which each year celebrates the finest creativity in design and advertising, to produce a film of the judging process for their coveted Black Pencil Award – the Oscar of the creative industry. This award is particularly prestigious and is given for the most outstanding design of the year.

Given the task of improving on their previously commissioned films, we carefully looked at the existing content and the D&AD as an organisation to see what we could bring to the brand that was new and engaging.

We discussed the meaning of the Black Pencil Award with them, what it stood for and the criteria required to win the award. This had been explained in previous films, but the one resounding ‘sound bite’ we heard from judges again and again was, “I wish I’d done that.” This resonated with us and the D&AD team, and became a core element of what we sought to capture in the film.

The challenge was to make an engaging film explaining the essence of the selection process, while humanising the judges and creating a story arc that informs, educates and inspires the next generation of creatives.

The result was a film that we and the D&AD are particularly proud of - one that is engaging for any viewer, whether they’re in the industry or not. It also saw a significant increase in average page views per month on the D&AD website.

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