Colenso BBDO and Mars take New Zealand’s first ever black pencil at D&AD

It was a record night for New Zealand agencies at this year’s D&AD awards in London with a standout moment of the night for Colenso BBDO/Proximity, when K9FM became the first ever New Zealand campaign to win a highly coveted Black Pencil, one of only five awarded globally this year.

K9FM from Colenso BBDO on Vimeo.

Not only is this black pencil a first for New Zealand, it is also the first time any brand in the Mars portfolio has won this accolade in the 53 year history of the awards and the first black pencil to be awarded in the radio category in 32 years. 

This year’s awards saw the most amount of Pencils won in D&AD history with 847 handed out across five levels (black, yellow, and the new categories graphite, wood (replacing in-book and nomination) and white (which are handed out for creative work for good). 

New Zealand agencies did exceptionally well, with Colenso BBDO enjoying its most successful year ever. As well as winning a black and two yellow pencils for K9FM, it also won three graphite pencils (the D&AD equivalent of a silver) for NZBCF ‘Breast Cream’, Tip-Top ‘Back to Nature’ and K9FM. It also picked up two wooden pencils (Bronze) for BNZ ‘$HRED’ and another for K9FM. 

“D&AD is one of the toughest and most respected creative institutions in the world, where product design, industrial design, graphic design and advertising all rub shoulders,” says creative chairman Nick Worthington. “To be acknowledged as amongst the best creative work in the world across four clients is amazing, and obviously it’s beyond special to win a Black Pencil for our brilliant Mars clients. It’s a great acknowledgement that the kiwi creative spirit is alive and well.” 

Clemenger BBDO won six pencils for NZTA with ‘Mistakes’ earning two yellow, two graphite and one wood and ‘Tinnyvision‘ won one wood.

Ogilvy NZ scored one yellow and one graphite pencil for Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of NZ ‘Make a Difference’. Alt Group  also picked up a graphite pencil. DDB New Zealand was awarded three wood pencils and WhybinTBWADAN NZ scored two wood and FCB NZ one.

The Black Pencils were: 


  •   Film4 Idents’ by 4creative (Channel Branding & Identity) – UK
  •   ‘G . F Smith’ by Made Thought (Branding Schemes/Medium Organisation) – UK
  •   ‘Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables’ by Marcel Worldwide (Direct Integrated Campaigns) – France
  •  K9FM’ by Colenso BBDO (Radio Advertising Campaigns) – New Zealand 

Following a greater than 50 percent increase in White Pencil category entries, a record four White Pencils were awarded by the jury, doubling last year’s figure of two and signalling a bumper year for creativity for social good. 

White Pencils

  • LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome’ by Don’t Panic London (Advertising & Marketing Communications – Not for Profit) – UK
  • ‘This Is Wholesome’ by Droga5 (Advertising & Marketing Communications – Brand) – US
  •  ‘Nazis Against Nazis – Germany’s Most Involuntary Charity Walk’ by Constanze Spross (Advertising & Marketing Communications – Not for Profit) – Germany
  • ‘Human Traffic Sign’ by Lowe China (Advertising & Marketing Communications – Brand) – China

See all thje winners here

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