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2017 D&AD Impact Winners Showcase the Power of Creatives to Drive Big Change

From Visa’s recent Hurricane Harvey spot to Boost Mobile’s “Boost Your Voice” and Whirlpool’s “Care Counts” campaigns, advertising is undergoing a paradigm shift, with brands across industries increasingly moving towards purpose-driven messages that address some of the biggest environmental and social challenges the world faces today. Earlier this week, D&AD and Advertising Week announced the winners of the second annual D&AD Impact Awards, which recognizes creative ideas that have had a real impact and ultimately contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all.

This year, 98 Pencils were awarded across 12 categories, which align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ideas were weighed against three main criteria — the level of originality and innovativeness of the campaign, evidence of its impact in its category and its relevance to the business’s commercial needs.

Here, we highlight some of our top picks from across the sustainability, responsible production and industry evolution categories.

Air Ink

Earlier this year, Tiger Beer teamed up with the MIT spinoff to bring the ink to streets around the world. The partners collaborated with emerging artists to showcase the breakthrough technology around the world.

Return to Sender

New avenues in brand transparency

Join us as we dig into the growing trend around product transparency (through eco labels, carbon labels, smart packaging and more) and the brands leading the charge, at Brand-Led Culture Change — May 22-24.

In addition to producing a report about the issue, the organization shot a short film in Ghana showing local people capturing the polluted air in plastic containers. Public Eye then sent the air back in a shipping cargo container and launched a petition demanding the commodity traders to stop the business. The petition received 20,000 signatures and resulted in five African nations — Ghana, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Nigeria — toughening their national sulphur standards by a factor of 60.

DB Export Beer Bottle Sand

DB designed a fleet of machines that crush empty glass bottles of DB Export into a sand substitute that can be used for construction, pharmaceutical and other commercial purposes, thereby preserving New Zealand’s pristine beaches. The process is simple — a bottle is inserted into the machine, triggering a laser and a small steel hammer that spins at a rate of 2,800 rpm and pulverizes the bottle. A vacuum system removes silica dust and the bottle’s label, leaving behind 200 grams of sand substitute — all within a period of five seconds.

Hangar 1 Fog Point

Nebia Shower System

OzHarvest Market

Since its launch, the Market has helped feed around 200 people in need every day. The campaign video increased awareness with 7.8 million views, 192,000 shares and reached 22.1 million on Facebook. According to Facebook, the campaign was one of 2017’s most effective charity posts in Australia.


As part of its #makethefuture campaign, Shell launched an energy relay in four continents enabling entrepreneurs to 'shed light' on the problem. The solutions that emerged included Gravity Light’s gravity-powered lighting system, bio bean’s coffee and cooking oil waste-derived fuel and Pavegen's energy-producing floor tiles. The initiative attracted considerable attention, generating two billion impressions, 350 pieces of content and was the most viral and shared video of 2016.


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