D&AD President's Picks 2014

The nominations for this year's D&AD Awards demonstrate how agencies from all over the world are now capable of creating so much more than routine ads. Here, Laura Jordan Bambach dissects some of the most intriguing.

D&AD President's Picks 2014

1 Title Hands on search
Client Yahoo Japan
Agency Hakuhodo Kettle
Jury White Pencil

You can’t set foot in adland without being told how important storytelling is for brands these days, but this campaign by Hakuhodo goes a step further.

It’s a giant voice-activated 3D printer, hooked up to Yahoo’s search engine and installed in a school for the visually impaired. Children say a word like "giraffe" and the machine prints it, allowing them to feel what the word represents. Rather than just telling a story, this shows it in a beautiful way. It’s behavioural, moving and powerful.

2 Title Delta Photon Shower
Client Delta Air Lines
Agency Wieden & Kennedy New York
Jury Digital Marketing

It solves a #firstworldproblem, but the Photon Shower is an amazing piece of tech, using light to realign our body clocks and help alleviate the effects of jet lag. I wish we had one of these at judging!

What’s great about this is that it is an example of a brand setting itself a mission with real jeopardy. A brand taking a leap of faith and acting as an explorer. It is bravery of which we don’t see enough.

3 Title The epic split
Client Volvo Trucks
Agency Forsman & Bodenfors
Jury Digital Marketing

Does this even need an introduction? Forsman & Bodenfors didn’t just create a truck ad, it created popular culture. It’s the type of idea that just breaks effectiveness metrics – creativity on a stratospheric level.

It is also worth checking out the print executions, which were equally as astonishing and too often overlooked.

4 Title Climate Name Change
Client 350 Action
Agency Barton F Graf 9000
Jury White Pencil

This was the subject of much debate during judging. Was this work preaching to the converted? Possibly, but the execution of this idea is what makes it so powerful. It reminds us all that there are very powerful people out there who believe some seriously silly and dangerous things. The question is: what are we doing about it?

5 Title Bank job
Client Brothers in Arms
Agency DraftFCB New Zealand
Jury Direct

This campaign demonstrates the changing nature of what a creative department needs to be considering in the modern day. Here, the traditional channels are completely eschewed.

New Zealand is one of the most charitable nations in the world, yet it’s a crowded one with 25,000 registered charities. So DraftFCB innovated and buried coded messages in the bank statements of 20 companies, at the cost of $1 per line. For a total outlay of $600, every single one of those businesses is now in conversation with Brothers in Arms.

6 Title Recalling 1993
Client New Museum
Agency Droga5
Jury Digital Design

This is just so cool, especially when you consider the future of content.

It is so New York and so brilliant, I can almost smell the urine in those phone boxes from here. Spatial design, such as this, that really considers the context of its environment adds an extra dimension.
7 Title Sound of Honda/Ayrton Senna 1989
Client Honda
Agency Dentsu
Jury Crafts for Advertising

A phenomenal technical innovation – talk about data visualisation! More than 20 years ago, Ayrton Senna used a Honda engine to record his fastest lap. Using that data, Dentsu has recreated that lap on the same Formula One track through sound and light in breathtaking fashion. The links between Japan and Brazil are historic, and our judges from both nations championed this piece. I’m not a motor-racing fan, but this truly sends a shiver down your spine.

8 Title Sweetie
Client Terre des Hommes
Agency Lemz
Jury White Pencil

Probably one of the most controversial entries this year, it threw up a lot of interesting discussion around vigilantism and catching criminals. You can debate the ethics and the approach of "Sweetie", but it takes guts to stand up and tackle this issue in such a direct way – the creative industry showing it can be a force for good.

9 Title Google+ Same Sex Marriage
Client Google+ Tous Unis Pour l’Egalité
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Paris
Jury Digital Marketing

Social conscience was seemingly everywhere this year and it was justly rewarded too by our juries. This is a lovely example, from Google, of brands showing much more of a heart.

One clear takeaway from this year’s awards was the importance of brands and agencies creating work of worth. Craft not just for craft’s sake, but design and technology that make a positive difference in people’s lives. It is becoming apparent that brands need to think about the legacy they are leaving on the world.

10 Title Single Stroke Architecture
Client Tokai Polytechnic College
Agency Dentsu Chubu
Jury Crafts for Design

I’m always just so envious of the amazing design that continues to come from Japan, and this is easily one of my favourite entries from the awards. A beautiful message that even something as seemingly complex as architecture begins with a single line. The quality of craft skills in the Far East is no longer in dispute and it seems that ideas are now just as strong.

Laura Jordan Bambach is a creative partner at Mr President and the president of D&AD judges

You can see all In Book and Nominated work for the 2014 D&AD Awards at http://www.dandad.org. Yellow (and black, if any) Pencils will be announced at the awards ceremony, held on 22 May at Battersea Evolution