The 2016 D&AD Winners (well, some of them) rated and reviewed.

I would like to preface this post by making it very clear that these are simply the arbitrary opinions of one 42-year-old bloke, and not to be taken seriously.

TV first. Only two pencil winners. Here’s one:

Thought this was decent but surely not one of the best ads of the year. Nicely shot, but a maximum 40-second idea strung out for a minute. Good twist, but is it great? Nope. 8/10

This was the other TV winner:

Another good-not-great one. The ad is a fun, entertaining watch, and feels jauntily original, but is the payoff 100% satisfying? I’d say 82%, so I’m going to give it another 8/10.

Press ads:


Apparently this is a bigger idea where Burger King’s competitors (not McDonald’s, who declined to participate) were asked to collaborate on a burger for World Peace Day. So is this the press ad from that? It doesn’t really work on its own, so is it a part of some mixed media thing (it also received a Pencil for Integrated and Innovative Media)? No idea. Anyway, it really only works if McDonald’s is involved and you know what it’s about, so as a standalone press ad I’ll give it a slightly confused 7/10.

Writing in advertising went to these radio ads for Dove. Radio is always a bit of an odd category – if you look down the years you’ll find variable quality among the winners. But I think these are very well written and produced, and the reveal at the end is powerful. I’ll give these a 9/10.

The other writing winner:

Fucking brilliant. 10/10

Outdoor. Bit of an odd category, this one. Doesn’t seem to be about posters so much as stuff like this (this is the TV ad for a beer brand that uses its waste products to make car fuel):

Very good idea, and the carried it through well. Leaving my ‘Outdoor’ reservations aside, I’d give this a 10/10. Here’s the full explanation.

Then there’s this one. Another stunty thing, but at least it’s on a poster site. Not quite as impressive as the beer thing but still very good. 9/10.

Radio: these ads from KFC are very good work for a tricky sector in an unpredictable category. 9/10. And a lovely bit of writing and VO in these for Doom insecticide – 9.5/10.

Film Crafts: this won for Use of Music and Direction. Both very good, but I also liked the editing (but not the pay-off) – 9/10.

Gold pencils: as far as I can tell, this one is for some people who make sticky tape. They hung loads of it from the ceiling in an exhibition hall. To give you an idea of how jealous I am of this idea, take ‘fuck-all’, divide it by infinity and stick it up the arse of a passing fly. 3/10.

This one, however is a full-on 15/10 idea:

Having the idea is amazing; making it happen is amazing x 1,543,835. (Small quibble: the above Vimeo link appeared in November 2014, making it eligible for last year’s D&AD. I wonder why it was entered this year.)

Did you agree with the above? Are there other ads you’d like to highlight? Are you wondering why I didn’t cover direct and mobile and all that jazz? (Answer: life is just a few seconds too short). Have a look at all the winners here and give as many shits as you can muster.