American Advertising Awards

side shot of addy man award

About the awards

Save the date for the 2021 American Advertising Awards
on February 27, 2021!

The American Advertising Awards, is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries nationwide. The mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising, and it all begins with your local club competition, hosted by AAF Midlands! Streaming event and ticket information coming soon.

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Call for Entries for the 2021 American Advertising Awards has closed! Best of luck to all who submitted their work.

What are the American Advertising Awards?​

The National American Advertising Awards program is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative creative competition, recognizing creative excellence in the art of advertising. Sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, the American Advertising Awards competition represents the broadest creative spirit of advertising by recognizing all forms of advertising; in all varieties of media; created by all sizes and types of entrants; and from all over the country.​

Display of some of the work submitted for the american advertising awards
guest views some of the work submitted during the preview party

Who wins?

With the American Advertising Awards, it is the size of the idea that matters most, not the size of the organization that created the work, nor the size of the budget behind it. This distinction elevates the American Advertising Award over virtually every other advertising competition. Advertising agencies, design studios, in-house teams and freelancers have all had the prestigious honor of accepting an Addy Award. Students can enter and win an ADDY as well! Creative work done for class or other AAF sponsored competition is eligible.

Recent AAF Midlands winners include:

  • ABLE vfx
  • Adams Outdoor Advertising
  • Chernoff Newman
  • Cyberwoven
  • dustoftheground
  • Experience Columbia SC
  • The Half and Half
  • Mad Monkey
  • Palmetto Health (now Prisma Health)
  • Richland Library
  • Riggs Partners
  • SC Center for Fathers & Families
  • Softdocs
  • Splash Omnimedia
  • University of South Carolina
  • Zoo Valdes

How do I enter?

Entries must be submitted online using our American Advertising Awards software. Once entries are submitted, you will need to take physically entries, entry forms, signed manifest, and payment or proof of payment to one of two Take-In Days.

Take-In Days:

January 7-8, 2021

*Please note, this year we are accepting physical entries at the local-level only. Physical entries will not be accepted at District or National levels.

What are the rules & categories?

National has made some big changes to the American Advertising Awards categories. All work will be entered in seven new and revised categories. These new categories reflect the way today’s entrants develop their work and will give them more ways to enter.

Please download the Rules & Categories below for full details.

Frequently asked questions

The American Advertising Awards are unique among  advertising  creative  competitions.  It  is  the  only  competition  that  includes three arduous levels of competition. Entries are first judged at the local level through competitions organized by nearly 200 ad clubs affiliated with the AAF, including AAF Midlands. Winners from the local level advance to the second level of judging and participate in one of 15 district competitions. After district winners are selected, they advance to the third level of judging – the national finals. AAF Midlands each year awards Silver ADDYs, Gold ADDYs, Special Judges Awards, Best of Print, Best of Broadcast, Best of Interactive and Best of Show. ADDY Award winners truly represent the best of the best. Locally, a three judge panel is selected from creative professionals from outside of our District (Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina). From creative directors to design professors, we work hard to make sure this panel is a diverse representation of the advertising profession. Judging is completely blind, meaning the judges see the entries without knowing who submitted it. That way the work can really speak for itself. Silver and golds are awarded based on the average score of the three judges, with scores in roughly the top 20% receiving a silver or gold ADDY. This scoring system means that some categories can have multiple winners and some categories may have none, depending on how the scores come out.

Is your media group producing great creative for local advertisers who can’t afford a big budget agency? Get the recognition your team deserves by entering your work in the Local Media-Produced categories. If your work earns a Gold ADDY, it will be combined into the appropriate category when forwarded to the District judging.

  • Local Media-Produced TV Spot/Campaign
  • Local Media-Produced Print Ad/Campaign
  • Local Media-Produced Outdoor/Single/Campaign
  • Local Media-Produced Online Ad/Campaign
  • Local Media-Produced Radio
  • Internal Audiences

Only work that has won a Gold ADDY® or a Silver ADDY® in a local competition will be eligible for entry into the District competition.

If your entry won a Gold ADDY at the local competition, it will be automatically forwarded to the district competition with fees paid by the AAF Midlands. If your entry was awarded a Silver ADDY at the local level, you have won the right to compete at the next level of competition and may choose to pay the applicable entry fee in order to be forwarded.

Forwarding Fees
Professional Single Entry: $85
Professional Campaign Entry: $95
Student Single or Campaign Entry: $25

Click here to forward entries.

National has made some big changes to the American Advertising Awards categories. All work will be entered in seven new and revised categories. These new categories reflect the way today’s entrants develop their work and will give them more ways to enter.

Please download the Rules & Categories below for full details.

Click here to order duplicates.

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