Marketers in the modern industry have the potential to sway more than just a consumer’s willingness to buy a product – they have the potential to influence cultural conversations, ideologies, and opinions. Because of that, consumers are calling for an industry shift, one that aligns a company’s purpose with its profit. Now, marketers and consumers alike are looking to celebrate ideas that inspire more than a dollar amount – they transform, impact, and ultimately, contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all.
In its inaugural event during Advertising Week 2016, the D&AD Impact Awards celebrated brands and agencies that are doing just that. Out of a partnership between D&AD and Advertising Week, the awards were created to inspire agencies to win awards not for awards sake, but to positively affect the way the world works.
The D&AD Pencils were awarded based on three criteria: an innovative idea at its core, a measurable impact in its chosen category, and relevance to the business’s commercial needs.
The campaigns were classified into 12 categories. Below are the prestigious White Pencil winners – the highest award – in each category.
Communication and Interaction
Romania has long dealt with a devastating nitrate pollution problem in their poisoned water sources. Romania, like many other European countries, doesn’t require nitrate content disclosures on bottle labels, and so consumers are unaware of the poison they’re consuming. The solution: The Purity Test campaign, led by Cohn and Jansen JWT. The campaign provided a paper strip offered in supermarkets for people to test the quality of water – tap, bottled or otherwise.
REI, one of the largest outdoor retailers decided to use the biggest shopping holiday of the year to get an important message across instead of making a profit. The #OptOutside campaign, led by Veneables Bell & Partners, meant REI closing its doors on Black Friday and instead encouraging folks to get outside, evening providing each of its 12,000 employees a paid day off and suspending all e-commerce for the day. Several short films, social elements and a microsite created an “Opt Outside” movement that garnered millions of social impressions and had hundreds of retailers following suit.
Diversity and Equality
Even in modern society, a large majority of men around the world believe household chores are a woman’s job. P&G India sought to change that narrative with the Dads #ShareTheLoad Campaign headed by BBDO India. The campaign launched a moving video that chronicles a father apologizing to his married daughter, and deciding to end the cycle of inequality in home life. The emotional video accumulated over 50 million views and over 2 billion social impressions worldwide.
A video featuring an X-ray screen with human skeletons kissing, hugging and dancing in front of a crowd of unsuspecting passersby on Valentine’s Day sought to demonstrate love in its truest form – free of any prejudices and labels based on religion, race, disability or sexual orientation. The Ad Council’s inclusion and diversity PSA campaign, titled “Love Has No Labels,” was created by R/GA and viewed over 160 million times. It went on to win an Emmy award and attracted support from brand partners including Coca-Cola, Google, P&G and more.
P&G’s Always feminine products brand launched the “Like A Girl” campaign, created by Leo Burnett Toronto, Chicago and London, that takes issue with generations of using the phrase “like a girl” as an insult. In the video, an older teenage girl and boy are asked to demonstrate “running like a girl,” resulting in a stereotyped, mockery of a jog. Asked the same of a young, pre-pubescent girl, and the results are fast, confident sprints. The video received over 85 million views, 1.5 million shares and made 4.5 billion impressions.
Honey Maid’s “This is Wholesome” campaign attempts to rebrand the graham cracker brand from appearing “wholesome,” to instead encouraging acceptance and inclusivity. A creative effort by Droga5, a series of short video spots feature real life families, neighbors, friends and other relationships, including interracial and adoptive families, from a host of backgrounds vastly different than the typical all-white, heterosexual representation we usually see in ads.
In an effort to eliminate kids missing school because they have limited access to clean clothes, Whirlpool and DigitasLBi North America teamed up to put washers and dryers in schools with a large population of disadvantaged kids. The schools – 17 in total – identified students in need of clean clothes and tracked their laundry use over the course of a year. The results showed more than 90 percent of the identified kids increased their school attendance. Their test scores, participation in after-school activities and engagement with fellow students also showed improvement.
Drink a beer and save the world. That’s the genius behind a campaign created by Colenso BBDO and DB Breweries, DB Export. The brewery created over 300,000 liters (roughly 80,000 US gallons) of “brewtroleum” – an alternative to oil that emits 8 percent less carbon than traditional petroleum. The breakdown? The campaign saved over mass amounts of of carbon from going into the environment. The brewery sold its brewtroleum at 62 gas stations around New Zealand – and became the country’s fastest growing beer brand.
Americans drank 6.3 billion gallons of beer last year, 50 percent of which came in cans, meaning most of the plastic rings that came with the packaging ended up in the ocean. That meant that over one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles were either trapped by the plastic, or ingested it and died. Saltwater Brewery, in creative partnership with We Believers, created Edible Six Pack Rings made entirely from barley and wheat remnants from the brewing process. The best part? It feeds the sea animals instead of killing them. The campaign received over 120 million social media views, over 2 million Facebook shares and 5 billion global impressions.
Plan on moving in the near future? How about using boxes that help the life of a young homeless person? That’s the mission behind the Depaul Box Co. campaign, led by Depaul UK and Publicis London. All the profits made from selling the boxes go directly to Depaul’s youth homeless charity. The company also spreads awareness by telling the stories of the young homeless people it helps on the side of each box. Talk about thinking outside the box.
More than one thousand women are attacked using over-the-counter acid every year. To draw awareness to the epidemic and to source signatures for a petition addressed to the Prime Minister of India, Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai teamed up with Make Love Not Scars to create “Beauty Tips by Reshma.” The beauty vlog began with basic beauty tips, but concluded with a powerful plea to viewers to take a stand and help end the sale of over-the-counter acid. The petition rounded out with over 314,000 signatures, and in May of 2016, the Indian States began enforcing of the ban.
Health and Wellness
MACMA wanted to publish a video instructing women on how to give themselves a breast exam as part of breast cancer awareness, but found they were limited because of censorship that banned showing women’s breasts and nipples. The solution? Replace women’s breasts with “manboobs.” The video, which demonstrates a female giving a man a breast exam, reached 48 million views and over 193 million impressions in its first week. What’s more, its sparked a necessary cultural debate about censorship policies on social platforms.
Every day, thousands of children in poor, jungle communities in Colombia travel by boat along a river to get to school. But the rivers are often unpredictable and pose dangerous threats, such as flash floods. So Casa Luker’s fruit snack brand, Luki, teamed up with J. Walter Thompson Colombia to eliminate those risks for young travelers. The Lifesaver Backpacks offer reflective, lightweight materials, a top handle for water rescue, a waterproof whistle, internal waterproof bag and CPR instructions stitched into the fabric. The initiative reached children in four different jungle communities.
Roughly 6 million children die before the age of five, 44 percent of which die in the neonatal stage. To address those staggering numbers, PHD launched a campaign, “The Story of an Unborn Child – Chamki” for Hindustan Unilever. The campaign features a young girl, Chamki, talking to mothers from the future, thanking them for taking necessary health precautions that allowed her to reach the age of five. Those precautions were often as simple as washing their hands. The campaign received over 15.3 million views and was shared over 4,000 times.
Samsung, in collaboration with J. Walter Thompson Bangkok and Thailand Association of the Blind, created touchable ink to help improve the ability of the visually impaired to read. Since braille printers come at high costs, Touchable Ink instead transforms home printers into braille printers by mixing embossing powder with ink. The technology works by a user first loading Touchable Ink onto any home printer, converting text into braille, printing it out, and then heating up the paper using any household item, such as a blow-dryer or microwave.
Responsible Production and Consumption
Called one of the great human rights success stories of today, the Fair Food Program, out of a collaborative effort between the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Pinkwater & Putman, ensures humane wages and working conditions for workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. The branding campaign drew attention to the coalition, with print ads informing buyers of the impact they have on farm workers when they purchase goods, and by promoting what the fair food label on products guarantees – a respect for human rights.
UK stationary retailer Ryman created an environmentally sustainable typeface, Ryman Eco, which uses an average of 33 percent less ink than standard fonts. In collaboration with Grey London, the objective was to create an eco-friendly design without compromising aesthetic desirability. In basic terms, Ryman Eco is a font that tries to save ink by producing the illusion of a fully-filled letter, when it’s really not.
Many of us know the way we currently farm our food is not sustainable, yest most consumers still aren’t willing to pay extra for organically farmed food. Swedish supermarket chain, Coop, enlisted the help of Forsman & Bodenfors to change that. The campaign follows a family who never eats organically. Tests are done before the experiment to identify the many pesticides found in their urine samples. The family is then switched to an entirely organic diet, tested again, and the results are astounding. The film was viewed more than 25 million times with a total reach of 1.8 billion impressions. What’s more, it changed the conversation about organic food.
Flow was created from one man’s love for bees and the natural world, and also from his frustration for the loss of bees during the honey harvesting process. For nearly a decade, the Flow creators worked to uncover the best way to harvest honey that was less harmful to the bees – and the beekeepers. A complicated discovery of one successful design soon led to one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in history. Flow began with a humble goal of $70,000, and quickly reached that goal in 477 seconds flat. The campaign eventually raised $4,256,970 with over 9,000 contributors – while still maintaining its core intention to raise awareness for how crucial bees are to the natural world.
In London, a cyclist is involved in a road accident every other year. Hovding, in collaboration with Edelman Deportivo, created the “Flic” to create awareness, and to hopefully make people give a beep about bicyclist safety. The “Flic” was passed out to over 500 cyclists throughout London, and riders were told to press it whenever they felt “scared or frustrated” on the roads. For every beep, an email was sent to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and the location was plotted out on a real-time map. That data meant making real change by giving a heads up on which dangerous locations cyclists should avoid, while also encouraging politicians to take real action.