D&AD Annual 2020 – By CHECKOUT intake 20/21

D&AD Annual 2020

For the first time, D&AD has released an Annual online and made it free to the public. We went through the Annual, selected our favourites and shared a few words on why we like the chosen idea.


“Scent By Glade”

Brilliant use of those air pillows in packaging as a new way of presenting a sample scent to the customer to try. Then being able to purchase a full bottle of the scent via its barcode. Great in these times when people can’t go out easily to test perfumes/scents.


Before I detail my choice, I need to give a massive shout out to D&AD for the execution on their first online annual. There seemed to be a lot of furore from the AdLand-Twitterati on the decision to go fully virtual, but there’s no doubt that they really pulled it off—and with some style to boot. 

I still think nothing can really replace a physical book. I particularly like being able to pluck one from the SCA shelf in Brixton at random and flick through it at my leisure. (Sometimes serendipity strikes and an old campaign can spark something – a feature that the online can only palely imitate with its ‘shuffle’ feature). But ultimately I think it’s great that D&AD embraced online this year. People keep claiming that they want to make AdLand more diverse. Do they realise how expensive it would be to buy all the old annuals? I saw one up for £75 online. Hopefully online catalogues will usher in a new wave of young creative talent otherwise unable to come across the annuals, who themselves will one day be featured on the slick virtual site. 

I’ve definitely gone over the word count ranting, so I won’t laud the Guiness advert, but do check it out. It’s irreverent, self-deprecating and for a noble cause. 


What a smart idea. Connecting air pollution to housing prices, making estate agents reveal more information about the property and making the Houses of Parliament take action.

Air quality reports for every address + rating system. Also really like the way they pushed the media and got traction on the news. Amazing stuff.


I think this is the future. We have entered the age of fake where everything and anything can be faked. The question is how we will navigate it. 


Squarespace: Oscar the Grouch

Pokes fun at pretension and carries it off beautifully. A brilliant concept, a really funny script and some lovely twists and turns throughout to keep us watching and laughing. 


“Ed’s Heinz” Ad

What a great way to use the fact that Ed Sheeran loves Heinz Ketchup. So much so that he has the label tattooed on his arm so it has become Edchup for the campaign.


Love these outdoors by Mother for KFC. Such a fresh twist on an iconic strapline


History blocks 

I love this advert because it reconnects war torn children to buildings that have been destroyed by terrorists from their home land. The use of mine craft as a medium in which children literally get a chance to rebuild what was taken from their parents is a beautiful sentiment for reconnection. I think it’s also brilliant because kids love mine craft (well I did anyway) and it’s such a positive tool for learning. ALmost made me cry..a little.


I Want You To Panic

Nina Holgrem rightly wins the pencil for Next Director with this amazing piece of film, combining beautifully ethereal imagery with a brilliant commentary on humanity walking mindlessly into environmental catastrophe.


Complaints Welcome

I love how unapologetically funny this ad from 4creative is. It’s bold and for me speaks volumes about how we have to be as creatives. For some people there will always be something to complain about and I think the response to this is fantastic. It’s exciting to see a brand fight back instead of apologising for things that don’t need an apology.


The Illegal Blood Bank

LADBible Group and FreeToDonate worked together on this brilliant awareness campaign, showing that everybody that has healthy blood should be able to donate, even if they are sexually active gay or bisexual men. This shows how much power and impact campaigns can have and how a well-driven one can actually make things change in the society we live in for the better.


The Tampon Book: The Book Against Tax Discrimination 

The Tampon Book is an incredible form of advertisement and activism. SCA has taught me to learn all the rules for what you’re selling and to then break them. This is exactly what Scholz & Friends Berlin did, finding loopholes in the law to bring awareness and consequently change to a matter that otherwise seemed unchangeable.

Mike M.

In The Time It Takes To Get There – Adobe Creative Cloud

Agency: Pereira O’Dell

I love excellently executed, long-format ads that don’t feel like ads.  The production value in this is great as are both Florence Pugh and Alicia Silverstone.  

Adobe have found a smart, creative and engaging way to promote their product – the Adobe Creative Cloud – and creative collaboration.  

The flip on social media influencers is not only funny, but provides an interesting insight into the relationship between influencers, brands and consumers.  


For Seasons, Composed by Climate Data

Agency: Jung Von Matt

You can physically hear the discomfort of climate change. They’re onto something big.


Ikea – Soffa Sans

Proximity London

A touching insight about the way people have been being playful with Ikea’s room planning tool. Organically creative. Also, I love fonts.


Mind Control – Marmite


As a Marmite lover with a penchant for all things subversive, I found this campaign to be cheeky and compelling. It uses the love/hate history of Marmite advertising to call all the haters to action, provoking those who identify as people who don’t use the product, to make themselves known, which means they then become part of the action. Converting haters into lovers is a fantastic modus operandi. The hidden messages in other brands’ adverts is a fantastic idea, and the overall fun of this campaign is something I adore.


IKEA – Silence the Critics 

Mother London

A painful insight captured in a simple line. I’d love to see the liquorice all-sorts of ideas thrown around at Mother before they landed on this. 


COMA, the Getty Images Original Series

Almap BBDO

It couldn’t have been shown in a better way how footage from a video library can be turned into something flavorful and with personality. 

Flo Britain Get Talking, Uncommon

This work undeniably matters. The copy is beautiful. I love it so much.

Oh and as a typeface nerd, I have to give an honorable mention to Hellvetica- Kern in Hell.


The Mori Building Brand Video

Dentsu Inc.

The piece of work from D&AD this year, which I absolutely loved was the Mori Building brand movie. The bright visuals are eye-catching, it is emotive and made me desperately want to visit Tokyo. The art direction communicates the colourful culture of the city, which brings to life their evolving architecture. It successfully communicates that Mori Building really cares about the culture of the city and embodies it in the way that they plan. The viewer is transported through time so fluidly that they can imagine the future themselves. I can’t believe I was watching an advert for a property management firm!


WILD Deodorant 


Coming from a background of product design, I thought I’d spice this up with a little bit of product innovation. Morrama have made a convenient and cheap solution, which also addresses the throwaway culture of cosmetics, something that is often overlooked. Although we still have a looooooong way to go, this is a great step and the product is now available to buy (which I think is super exciting!).


Volkswagen – Total Mess

DDB Argentina

A distant memory of Delhi was being driven around in a newly-made friend’s Audi through the hectic city streets, listening to ‘The Best of Bond’ on full blast (it was the only CD he had). He worried the whole journey; the constant near impacts on the way sent a fairly cool-headed man into visceral rage and utter despair, to the point that I had to re-evaluate the friendship on the basis that he seemed quite unstable. I remember thinking as Shirley Bassey’s ‘Goldfinger’ assaulted my ears, 1. this is a very strange experience, 2. it doesn’t matter how well you drive here, you simply cannot navigate chaos and are at the mercy of everyone around you, and 3. who in their right mind buys a luxury German automobile here, let alone drive it? Anyway, I have no idea how well these Driver Assistance Features would work there in real life but it’s another consistently genius ad from VW so well done to them. Again.


IKEA – Silence the critics 

Mother London 

They had me at the rapping dinosaur. It was so clever how they managed to give each inanimate object a unique persona with just the voice of one artist. O and the juxtaposition of a sweet porcelain panda rapping grime bars was simply perfect.


These resonated with me. I felt something and still feel most probably because I understand where it’s coming from.


Moldy Whopper

INGO Stockholm

I have a somewhat idiosyncratic passion for macro photography so this campaign tickled me. I really love the idea of presenting something disgusting or repulsive in such a way that the beauty of it becomes apparent. It’s also an amazing way of contrasting your product with the competition.


The Guardian – Hope is Power

Uncommon Creative Studio

It’s an understatement to say 2020 has been an annus horribilis. After the events of this year, this pre-covid, pre George Floyd campaign is even more… well … powerful. The simple but impactful execution of the film and the outdoor has a quiet strength running all the way through it. These aren’t ads, they’re a call to arms.

EDZAI (the zai)

Sweets again. Why not. They’re just so silly. 



Usually food ads are more aesthetically pleasing (especially fast food ads) than genuinely appetising (where your mouth drools). Ogilvy & Mather have created a food ad that achieves BOTH while ALSO executing it as a physical analogy from a platform idea. 

It’s genuinely groundbreaking and I LOVE it. 


Amazing art direction


German Federal Association of Funeral Directors – “My Coffin”
Heimat Werbeagentur GmbH really moving campaign that aims to explore and challenge people’s views around the stigma of death. A very clever way of using art and popular culture to open up the conversation.

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