The first D&AD White Pencil was awarded last night by an esteemed panel of judges at the Royal Institution in London. For 50 years, D&AD has inspired and celebrated the best in global design and advertising. As businesses and brands respond to changes in consumer behaviour and strive to play an active role in delivering positive social change, creativity has a more critical role than ever. The first new award in D&AD’s history was created to reward an idea that has a genuine social impact.
The inaugural White Pencil, which is supported by Unilever, was won by Leo Burnett Chicago, for their project Recipeace, a social movement designed to bring people together over a shared meal. Recipeace’s aim was to help to establish September 21 as the UN’s global self-sustaining annual day of peace. The Award was collected by Kit Patrick and Alice Hooper from Leo Burnett UK.
D&AD’s awarded members voted to create a shortlist of 19 pieces of work. The works were then deliberated over by a panel of leading creatives and industry commentators chaired by Lord David Puttnam to arrive at the winner.
In 2013 the White Pencil will be integrated with the D&AD Professional Awards. The White Pencil category is now open for all design work and creative campaigns for both brands and not-for-profits.
Unilever Senior Vice President of Marketing Marc Mathieu said: ‘The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is built on the belief that the business can make the world a better place. Our brands and marketing have a responsibility to inspire positive change in people’s lives. We believe in the power of creativity to make that happen. That’s why our long-term partnership with D&AD and the White Pencil is so exciting.’
D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay said: ‘The D&AD White Pencil is a message and a movement. It symbolises the power of creativity as a force for positive social change and provides a platform for a growing community of design and advertising talent to share ideas and showcase innovation. We’re inviting projects to enter the White Pencil category in the 2013 D&AD Awards now.’
Former D&AD President Rosie Arnold said: ‘The passion demonstrated by those in the industry has been so gratifying to see. The creative community wholeheartedly embraced the idea, thanks in no small part to the 50 White Pencil Ambassadors, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who supported us so well.
I hope and trust that the White Pencil goes on to inspire us all to play a positive future role in making the world a better place.’
During the presentation of the Award, chair of judges Lord David Puttnam said: ‘I was waiting for one word and it didn’t crop up.
I’m reminded of a quote by TE Lawrence from his Book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. In 1926, reflecting on the broken dreams and broken promises of World War One, Lawrence said: "The moral freshness of the world-to-be intoxicated us."
I sympathise. I grew up in the 60s. I know every line of Bob Dylan’s songs. And we genuinely believed there was a revolution on its way. Then the old men came and took away the victory we thought we’d won.
We are now, I believe, at a tipping point. The missing word is ‘trust’. The people in this room – marketers - are in the trust business. We have a huge mountain to climb to build trust – in banking, in politics, in media.
There is a need for goodness, a need for authenticity and a need for trust, because its almost always absent. Its got to be real this time. This is a tipping point, and the D&AD white pencil is a very important part of redressing the balance.’