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Run Aotearoa’s Manaakitanga pencil celebrates indigenous creatives

Run Aotearoa have won a D&AD award for their Manaakitanga Pencil, in the graphic design self-promotion category.

Run Co-founder and CCO, Raymond Otene McKay (Ngaati Mahuta, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Pūkeko) says, “We used one of the world’s most coveted awards to spotlight that indigenous creatives are still suffering from racism and prejudice”.

When McKay was asked to be a judge and speaker at last year’s D&AD Festival, racist and micro-aggressive comments were made by some on an industry blog. So, in the spirit of te ao Māori, Run responded with manaakitanga.

The Manaakitanga Pencil was created as a gesture to honour D&AD for expanding the space to more indigenous and smaller voices in the industry. It was presented to D&AD in 2023 after a keynote McKay gave about homogeneity in advertising.

“It’s our goal to be the best cultural agency in the world. We’re intentionally small, but the creative vision of the Run team and the accolades the Manaakitanga Pencil has received, shows our work can still be awarded with the best on the global stage,” says McKay.

The Manaakitanga Pencil now sits under a glass bell at the D&AD offices in London. It serves as a reminder of its ongoing mission to expand the judging pool to bring much needed new cultural perspectives and voices into the conversation about what creativity looks like today.

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