Calling All Entries for American Advertising Awards

As retailers gear up for the holiday season, Midlands-area advertisers, agencies, suppliers and the AAF of the Midlands are preparing for their industry’s biggest “holiday” – its largest advertising competition.

This year, that competition sports a new name.

The ADDY® Awards competition, in which more than 40,000 entries compete at three different levels, is now the American Advertising Awards, and the call for entries from AAF of the Midlands went out December 1.

The new identity is more than just a name change, according to Danielle Salley, AAF of the Midlands president.

“The ADDY Awards began as a local program,” Salley says, “and one of its great strengths has always been that it offers a competition at the level of the local market. It’s the only major awards program that offers recognition for the best work in hundreds of small- and mid-sized markets.

“But as the competition has grown, the marketplace has become a more global one. And the ‘local’ feel of the competition has overshadowed the fact that it’s the largest – and we believe the toughest – competition of its kind.

“This is a celebration of the best of the best in American advertising, at every level, and the competition’s leadership felt it was important that the brand better reflect that.”

At the same time, Salley says, it’s important that local clubs be able to maintain the traditional value of the ADDYs, which became a nationwide competition in 1968. “We hope that each club will still refer to the award itself as the ADDY award,” she says.

Work is entered in the American Advertising Awards through one of the AAF’s network of more than 170 local advertising federations, such as the AAF of the Midlands. At the local level, it is judged, in more than 70 categories, with the best work in that market. “In many markets,” Salley says, “the awards gala is the local club’s biggest night of the year.”

Last year’s local ADDY Awards competition drew more than 200 entries, 60 winners forwarded to competition against other winners from AAF District 3 in one of 15 district competitions. District winners then advance to the national competition, whose winners are announced each June at AAF’s ADMERICA! national conference.

The three-level competition is unique to the American Advertising Awards, as is its inclusion of students. “Our student competition really mirrors the professional competition,” Salley says. “Other major competitions have a stripped-down version, or limit the students to a predetermined case. The American Advertising Awards offers students much more opportunity.” Last year the competition saw nearly 6,000 student entries nationally.

The AAF of the Midlands’ call for entries is currently online at Entry deadline is January 8, with judging January 10-12. The AAF of the Midlands’ American Advertising Awards gala is February 22 at Stone River.

The competition is open to both members and non-members the AAF of the Midlands. For more information and to enter the contest, visit