Burger King and Black & Abroad headline winners at D&AD Awards

In the virtual 2020 ceremony, D&AD awarded four black Pencils, its highest accolade.

"Mouldy Whopper", awarded a black Pencil by D&AD
"Mouldy Whopper", awarded a black Pencil by D&AD

Burger King’s “Mouldy Whopper” and the “Go back to Africa” campaign for Black & Abroad were among the coveted black Pencil winners for creative excellence in advertising and design at the 2020 D&AD Awards ceremony. 

At this year’s virtual ceremony, D&AD gave out four black Pencils, the highest accolade at the ceremony, reserved for groundbreaking work in the field. Last year, six black Pencils were awarded, while in 2018 there were just three.

The Mouldy Whopper, created by INGO Stockholm/David Miami/Publicis Bucharest, won a black Pencil in the PR category, for showing Burger King’s Whopper moulding for up to 35 days, to powerfully convey the absence of additives in Burger King products.

The "Go back to Africa" campaign for Black & Abroad, created by FCB/SIX, won a black Pencil in the Digital category for its pan-African tourism campaign that turns the racist slur "go back to Africa" into an uplifting call to action. The work features beautiful imagery from across Africa’s 54 nations, along with social media images of black tourists and influencers.

FCB Chicago was awarded a black Pencil in Book Design for its work on The Gun Violence History Book for Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. The book draws attention to a loophole in US law that enables gun violence and visually captures how there has been so much gun violence in the US that if it were all catalogued in a book, it would probably be thick enough to stop a bullet.

Family Type won a black Pencil in the Typography category for developing Universal Sans, a variable typeface allowing for an extensive range of customisation and variation. This was the first time a black Pencil has been awarded in the Typography category.

For 2020, D&AD looked back over the past 10 years of black Pencils, awarding extra accolades. “Rivers of Light”, by Lowe SSP3 for the Columbian Ministry of Defence, a campaign illuminating rivers with luminous messages for soldiers in Colombia, was voted the industry’s overall favourite and Advertising Black Pencil of the decade, having initially won in 2012. “Viva la Vulva”, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for Libresse and sister brand Bodyform, was awarded Craft Black Pencil of the Decade.

This year’s President’s Award, chosen by D&AD president Kate Stanners, was awarded to Yuya Furukawa, chief creative officer at Dentsu, for his outstanding contribution to creativity. 

David Miami scooped D&AD Advertising Agency of the Year, while Dentsu Tokyo came in second place. Client of the Year was Burger King and Production Company of the Year was Iconoclast Paris.

The US was the most-awarded country with 259 Pencils, while the UK came in second with 215 and Japan third with 51.