The Monkeys, R/GA and VMLY&R lead Australian pack at shortlist stage of the 2023 D&AD Awards

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The Monkeys, R/GA and VMLY&R lead Australian pack at shortlist stage of the 2023 D&AD Awards

Today D&AD has announced the shortlist for this year’s D&AD Awards across all categories, ahead of the Pencil winners being revealed in two ceremonies taking place at the BFI Southbank, London, on 24 and 25 May. Australia has secured 50 shortlisted entries led by The Monkeys with six, followed by R/GA with five and VMLY&R Australia with four.


The Monkeys was shortlisted six times for The Government of Tuvalu ‘The First Digital Nation’.  R/GA has been shortlisted three times for We Are Warriors and twice for Museum of Chinese in Australia ‘MOCA’. VMLY&R Australia has been shortlisted twice for Honest Eggs Co. ‘FitChix’ and twice for Defence Force Recruiting ‘The Audio Ad You Can See’.

Australian agencies and companies with three shortlisted entries apiece include HERO for Toyota Australia ‘Metalmorphosis’ (2) and Maybelline New York ‘Through Their Eyes’, Re/M&C Saatchi for Commonwealth Bank / x15 Ventures ‘Kit’ (2) and Tourism Australia ‘G’day’, Leo Burnett Australia for Suncorp ‘Resilience Road’, Diageo ‘Bundy Mixer’ and NGV ‘What Makes You Bleed’, Howatson+Company for UNSW Mission ‘Mission for Earth Habitation’ and ‘Exhibit A-i’, BMF/FINCH for UNHCR ‘The Reluctant Shanty’ (2) plus BMF has been shortlisted for ALDI, Special You Can Buy’, whilst FINCH has also been shortlisted for Tourism Australia ‘Gday’. TBWA Sydney has been shortlisted for ‘Consent Labs ‘Classify Consent’ (2) and mycar Tyre & Auto ‘R Plates’ and Special for Virgin Australia ‘Middle Seat Lottery’.

Ogilvy Australia, CHEP Network, Thinkerbell, Base Design/Zolo Press have scored two shortlisted entries apiece, whilst Clemenger BBDO Australia, whiteGREY, Dentsu Creative ANZ, StudioBand, Rosangela Tenorio and Leila Jeffreys / Melvin J. Montalban have picked up one apiece.

The Monkeys, R/GA and VMLY&R lead Australian pack at shortlist stage of the 2023 D&AD Awards

Each year, the D&AD Awards set the benchmark for creative excellence, with the D&AD Pencil recognised globally as one of the ultimate creative accolades, entered and judged by the best from around the world. Now in its 61st consecutive year, the D&AD Awards have grown to incorporate more than 40 categories, judged by nearly 400 of the world’s leading creatives from across the full spectrum of design, advertising, craft, production and impact disciplines.

This year, D&AD challenged the industry to ‘MAKE. CHANGE.’ Celebrating creative excellence today, D&AD strives to uncover insights and share tools to empower. It looks at what’s next, debating opportunities and challenges arising from evolving and emerging technologies, pushing the industry forward, standing up for what’s right, and making space for new voices to thrive.

Pencil winning work leaves an important and lasting legacy, informing the future of commercial creativity globally. Crucially, as a charity, entries enable D&AD to fund educational programs such as D&AD Shift with Google, a free, industry-led night school for self-taught creatives from under-represented backgrounds.

Every year, the D&AD Awards categories evolve to best represent the creative and cultural landscape within which work is being produced. The revised programme addresses fundamental themes currently permeating the creative industries and ensures that the Awards remain the most relevant benchmark for creative excellence in design and advertising.

The 2023 Awards saw the following category developments:

  • – Gaming category became Gaming & Virtual Worlds with the addition of three new subcategories: Use of Avatars, Use of Blockchain and Brand Experience
  • – Use of XR subcategories more inclusive of work created for web 3.0 and the metaverse; Use of XR added to Direct and Media for the first time; as well as Digital, Commerce, Digital Design, Animation, Typography, and Visual Effects
  • – Photography evolved to include Personal Style to enable portfolios to be judged
  • – Fashion Film added to 6 categories: Film, Art Direction, Cinematography, Direction, Editing and Production Design
  • – Product and Packaging Design added two new subcategories: Packaging Design / Plastic

Free, for packaging that has been designed or redesigned to eliminate the use of plastic; and Impact / Climate Solution, for work that’s taking action to combat the impact of climate change by driving the success of Sustainable Development Goals

  • – Branding category restructured so that work is grouped according to the size of the client
  • – Type Design renamed Type Design & Lettering, with subcategories arranged by font family instead of genre and dedicated subcategories for Lettering, Symbols and Variable Fonts
  • – Book Design restructured with new subcategories including Young Adults, Photographic Books, Exhibition Books, Promotional Books, Anthologies and Revised Editions
  • – Craft subcategories reintroduced to music videos, including Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design and Visual Effects

The top ranking countries by number of Shortlisted Entries are:

  1. 1. United States: 233
  2. 2. United Kingdom: 186
  3. 3. France: 67
  4. 4. Australia: 50
  5. 5. Canada: 38
  6. 6. United States, United Kingdom: 36
  7. 7. China: 28
  8. 8. India: 27
  9. 9. Germany: 24
  10. 10. Japan: 24

The top 5 ranking entrant companies by number of Shortlisted Entries are:

  1. 1. Division: 22
  2. 2. adam&eveDDB: 20
  3. 3. Marcel: 18
  4. 4. Ogilvy UK: 16
  5. 5. FCB New York: 15

The total number of Entries shortlisted in each category are:

Animation: 21

Art Direction: 20

Book Design: 20

Branding: 89

Casting: 23

Cinematography: 13

Commerce: 33

Creative Transformation: 17

Digital: 65

Digital Design: 30

Direct: 67

Direction: 61

Editing: 15

Entertainment: 22

Experiential: 58

Film: 38

Future Impact: 20

Gaming & Virtual Worlds: 13

Graphic Design: 59

Illustration: 20

Impact: 44

Integrated: 15

Magazine & Newspaper Design: 37

Media: 65

Music Videos: 37

Packaging Design: 22

Photography: 12

PR: 65

Press & Outdoor: 35

Product Design: 23

Production Design: 15

Radio & Audio: 20

Side Hustle: 6

Sound Design & Use of Music: 36

Spatial Design: 31

Type Design & Lettering: 22

Typography: 17

Visual Effects: 15

Writing for Advertising: 26

Writing for Design: 14

2023 submissions have seen a substantial increase in entries from nearly all regions. Africa has seen the most significant change with an uplift of 103.8%, followed by Latin America 33.07%, Middle East & India, 27.73%, Japan & Singapore 18.94%, and US & Canada 6.93%. In addition, there was a record number of total entries for this year’s Awards with a 4.95% overall increase.

Says Donal Keenan, Awards director at D&AD: “It was amazing to be back in person for the first time since 2019. It’s been several long days and nights of rigorous debates and discussions, but the judges loved participating and it was great fun to facilitate. Huge thanks to the juries who brought their expertise. They were tough but fair and the results are now in – we’re thrilled to announce the shortlist.”

Says Jo Jackson, CEO, D&AD: “We’re making work in a world that’s creating new intelligence, embracing renewables, facing extinction, confronting its biases, entrenching inequality, exploring further, living longer and still fighting a pandemic. It’s clear that we can’t just make things that are pretty. We can’t make plastic junk. We can’t waste time making things up that aren’t even real. We can’t ignore how technology is shaping us. We can’t play off our privilege, take comfort in convention, or turn a blind eye. But our creativity can make a real difference in response to these challenges.”

Pencil winners will be announced in two ceremonies on 24 and 25 May at BFI Southbank, London.

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