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9 Pencil-winning Film Ads Not To Be Forgotten

Film is often seen as the pinnacle of creative work – a place to tell the big stories, ask the big questions, and create the kinds of adverts that stays in viewers' minds for years to come.

“You can move people, you can make stories come alive, you can give people voices, you can show them images they've never seen before,” says Sue Higgs, Group Creative Director at Grey London and former D&AD Awards Judge. “It's timeless as well, and the joy of film is that you can keep inventing it.”

We've turned our lens on the D&AD archive, to pick out 9 Pencil-winning pieces of cinema and TV advertising that might have slipped your mind – all of which show just how powerful the big (and small) screen can be.


AMV BBDO's Graphite Pencil-winning film for Guinness follows the Congolese Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant Persons (SAPE) – a social movement of supremely debonair gentlemen based in Brazzaville. Filmed as part of the brand's Made of More series, the short captures their sartorial transformation as they finish their day, don their suits, and head out for the evening.

Agency: AMV BBDO
Client: Diageo

Graphite Pencil / Film Advertising Crafts / Cinematography for Film Advertising / 2015


The power of a good voiceover – and excellent copywriting – is never more apparent than in this Independent Newspapers ad by Lowe Howard-Spink, which was awarded a Yellow Pencil. The ad offers a litany of what's generally considered good advice, accompanied only by stark black and white images – using some clever reverse psychology to get readers picking up the paper again.

Agency: Lowe Howard-Spink
​Client: The Independent Newspapers

Yellow Pencil / TV & Cinema Advertising / Cinema Commercials / 1999


179 eggs, 100kg of flour, and 65kg of dried fruit went into Fallon London's sugary sweet short for Skoda. The ad follows the painstaking creation of a replica cake car – every single part of which was made by a team of bakers, confections and a bricklayer – accompanied, appropriately, by Julie Andrews' My Favourite Things.

Agency: Fallon London
​Client: Skoda

Yellow Pencil / TV & Cinema Crafts / Practical Special Effects / 2008

Double Life

Playstation exposes the double lives of hardcore gamers in this Yellow Pencil-winning film by TBWA. “I think I love Double Life because it was one of the first TV spots I saw that showed me art could be television film,” JWT's Global Chief Creative Officer Matt Eastwood told Campaign, after naming it as one of his favourite ads of all time.

Agency: TBWA
Client: Sony Playstation

Yellow Pencil / TV & Cinema Advertising Crafts / Editing / 1999


AMV BBDO used a full five minutes for this Sainsbury's short film, which dramatises the Christmas truce of 1914, when British and German soldiers declared a festive alliance. It was the most watched ad on Youtube in 2014, and raised over £500k for the Royal British Legion.

Agency: AMV BBDO
​Client: Sainsbury's

Wood Pencil / Film Advertising / Cinema Commercials / 2015


Being on the big screen doesn't always mean using all the bells and whistle. In this 2001 ad for John West, Leo Burnett sends up nature documentaries using a man in a bear suit and some fancy footwork. The film was a hit when it launched, and was later voted one of the funniest ads of all time by a Campaign panel of ad industry luminaries.

Agency: Leo Burnett
Client: John West

Yellow Pencil / TV & Cinema Advertising / Television Commercials – Up to and including 30 seconds / 2001

Learn The Hard Way

Using stories of young people suffering abuse and misfortune, CHI & Partners and the Prince's Trust challenged viewers' assumptions that disadvantaged individuals lack the skills needed to get a job – showing that good communication, hard work and self-motivation are learned in more ways than one.

Agency: CHI & Partners
Client: The Prince's Trust

Wood Pencil / Film Advertising / TV Commercials / 2015


Taking its place as the most viewed video in New Zealand's history, this Yellow Pencil-winning film used shock tactics to remind viewers that speeding is the number one killer on the road. Time comes to a fateful standstill as two drivers step out their vehicles and admit their mistakes – reminding watchers that the smallest errors can have the biggest consequences.

Agency: Clemenger BBDO New Zealand
Client: NZ Transport Agency

Yellow Pencil / Film Advertising / TV Commercials / 2015

The Charge

Somesuch & Co prove that TV spots can be just as epic as any big budget film, with a Wood-Pencil winning short for Samsung that includes everything from galloping steeds and Roman Centurions, to albino minotaurs and Mario Antoinette.

Agency: Somesuch & Co
​Client: Samsung

Wood Pencil / Film Advertising Crafts / Cinematography for Film Advertising / 2014

If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.

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