The ultimate D&AD award – for helping to bring peace to the world.

No matter how big the award, it’s the ones for work that also does good that makes many of us feel fulfilled. Be honest, would you rather get a gold pencil for a toothpaste brand or for a good cause?

You may be forgiven for thinking that D&AD have gone all hippy with its new ethical venture, the White Pencil, but this is a very serious award (and brief for Peace One Day) and one that I think anyone would like to win, even more so than a Black Pencil.

The White Pencil is awarded to a creative idea with the potential to effect real and positive change in the world. An idea that galvanizes the community behind a single pressing world issue. In this case, peace.

The aim is simple, you have to have a world changing idea and make it happen for Peace One Day, Friday September 21st. So no pressure then!

Ok, D&AD aren’t asking you to single handedly solve world conflict with a single ad, even God would be challenged on that one, but you can make a small difference. And you’ll feel good and for once not have to appologise at dinner parties for being in advertising.

Anyone can enter and in any medium. But all work entered has to be produced and run, even if only on a small scale. D&AD will be looking for brilliant ideas, as well as the determination and ability to make them happen.

(Note: To win you will need to create a 3 minute presentation film to show your idea and what you did, which has to be submitted by 24 October 2012.)

Peace One Day was the brainchild of film maker, Jeremy Gilley, who set out to make it a day of ceasefire and no violence.

Celebrities like Jude Law have worked with the enigmatic Mr Gilley, who has even managed to get the Taliban to put down their weapons for the day so health workers could freely vaccinate children in Afganistan. As a consequence, 4.5 million children in areas hitherto unreachable due to conflict, have been immunised. Overall, there has been a 70% reduction in violence on Peace One Days.

But this international day of peace isn’t just about war but about violence in any area of society, even classroom bullying. Gilley’s ambition is to get ‘people power’ to influence ‘political power’.

You can’t knock him, he has achieved an amazing amount since he launched the first day in 1999 and has saved thousands of lives. And now it’s the turn of Adland to put something back and contribute.

The challenge is that when most of us spend our time flogging things most people don’t need, can we sell something most people probably don’t know they really want, world peace.

The winner is the one who does the best. So having a cool idea that never ran ain’t going to make it into the book this time. And it’ll take more than a social media gimmick too. It has to actually deliver, so will require a big idea. It’s all about results.

Of course it’s ambitious to think advertising alone can make a big difference, but someone may just have a good idea that snowball’s into something bigger. After all, Comic Relief started out as a conversation in a bar, and the slogan ‘Make Poverty History’ was probably one of the best cause related slogans of all time.

I hope Adland uses for good some of the media we often waste. I’d like to see a percentage of all posters carrying a message on the day – CBS and the rest please note! And what about TV, press, radio and even digital ads, up for the challenge? And of course, there’s always the opportunity for a good PR stunt.

The White Pencil has an impressive list of ambassadors too (see link below) including John Hegarty, Dave Droga, Martin Sorrell… the list of who’s who in advertising goes on. Even Desmond Tutu is an ambassador.

So thinking caps on Adland, time to turn that pencil into a weapon for good. Sharpen the nip, sharpen your thinking and make the point that Adland does good, and not just good ads.


Brief & entry:

Ambassadors – impressive list!

Peace On Day – check out the video

#WhitePencil    #PeaceDay

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  • Chris Arnold

    You might like to see what Droga 5 did with Beyonce to generate one billion social media messages at once for the United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day . Impressive. Can you beat that?

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