American Advertising Awards

American Advertising Awards

About the Awards

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!

The American Advertising Awards Gala is a fun night that our Midlands community looks forward to every February! Stay tuned for more information about the 2024 competition.

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.​

How Are Winners Chosen?

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.

How Do I Enter?

Entries must be submitted online using our American Advertising Awards portal. Deadline for entries is January 12, 2024. All entries will be handled virtually this year. No physical submissions are required.

Professional award competition, submit here

Student award competition, submit here.

What are the Categories?

National is vigilant in keeping the American Advertising Awards categories relevant. All work is entered into seven categories that reflect the way today’s entrants develop their work and offer myriad ways to enter. Download the Rules & Categories 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.

The American Advertising Awards are a three tiered award competition consisting of a local competition, district competition, and a national competition. Any entry that won a Gold ADDY in our local show will be forwarded automatically to the district competition. You don’t need to do a thing! 

Entries that won a Silver ADDY will not be forwarded automatically, however you have the option to forward your entry to the district level for a fee. 

If you have any questions about your specific entry or this process, please contact Judy Shriner, Board Judging Chair, at

A form will be provided to order duplicate awards for clients or other members of your team after the competition.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Judy Shriner, Board Judging Chair, at