Fearless Girl and Tide win coveted D&AD black Pencils

Fearless Girl by McCann New York
Fearless Girl by McCann New York

Fearless Girl and Tide's 2018 Super Bowl ad won two of the three black Pencils awarded for creative excellence in advertising and design at tonight's D&AD awards ceremony.

Already holding numerous awards including four Grand Prix at Cannes Lions last year, Fearless Girl took home one black Pencil for outdoor advertising with its bronze statue of a defiant young girl facing the Charging Bull on New York’s Wall Street. It was created by McCann New York for State Street Global Advisors to highlight gender diversity. 

Another black Pencil went to "It’s a Tide ad" in film advertising, Tide’s spot by Saatchi & Saatchi New York that scored a touchdown during Super Bowl LII. 

Australia nabbed the third and final black Pencil for branding, with "Palau Pledge" by Host/Havas for the Palau Legacy Project. The campaign required visitors to Palau to sign a passport pledge to act in an ecologically responsible way on the island. 

Black is the most coveted Pencil at D&AD, reserved for ground-breaking work in its field. Last year five black Pencils were awarded, including two for Channel 4’s "We’re the superhumans" Paralympics campaign, but the UK went home without any of the most prestigious awards this year. 

In total, 721 Pencils were awarded in 2018, down from 732 last year. Seventy-four of those were yellow, which is given to work judged to be the best in the world.

There were 156 graphite Pencils – the equivalent to a silver medal – and 488 woods, which is equivalent to bronze.

The US led the way with 194 Pencils in total, while the UK came in second with 165 Pencils. Japan was a distant third, with 49 Pencils.

BBDO New York was the most awarded advertising agency this year, with 26 Pencils including three yellow, 12 graphite and 11 wood. McCann New York was the second-most awarded ad agency, and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was third place. 

The crown of most awarded brand went to State Street Global Advisors. Burger King came in second and Apple was in third.

The most awarded production company was MJZ, which won six Pencils including three yellow, two graphite and one wood. MJZ was followed by Riff Raff in second place and Somesuch in third. 

The three most awarded design agencies, in order, were Jones Knowles Ritchie, The New York Times Magazine and The Guardian.  

This year the President’s Award, which champions creative heroes, was given to Wieden & Kennedy global creative chiefs Colleen DeCourcy and Susan Hoffman. 

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