Your American Advertising Awards Questions – Answered!

Last year’s American Advertising Awards were an excellent display of both local and national creativity and perseverance! There were a lot of changes thrown at local clubs and contestants, but the strong entries from the Midlands proved that we can not only handle it, but that we more than ready to take on the awards again in 2022!

Still, a tumultuous year brought with it a lot of changes, and with change, there can be some awards related confusion. As we work to get our local, district and national competitions back to normal we want to address some questions you might have as you prep your award entries!

When is the entry portal open?

Call for entries will be sent out after Thanksgiving, and the entry portal will be open shortly after, on December 1, 2021. You can begin submitting all your entries on that day! The entry portal will close on January 8 for Professionals, and January 14 for Students. All entries should be completed and submitted in the system by close of business those days.

Wait, what’s the entry portal?

New to the American Advertising Awards? Welcome! All entries are submitted digitally through a portal set up by AAF national. Local clubs judge the first round, then districts, then national. One portal for entries makes it easy and simple to forward your winning work to the next level of competition!

OK Let’s get to the good stuff. What about print work, or physical entries?

Certain categories in previous years have also required the submission of physical entries, or printed examples of the work. Last year, due to COVID, all judging was completed virtually, negating the need for physical entries. National and district level competitions will continue to conduct their judging virtually, but AAF Midlands will be requiring physical entries for the following categories only:

Sales & Marketing, Print Advertising, Out-of-Home & Ambient Media, Cross Platform and Categories 69-73 of Elements of Advertising. This includes submission of a physical copy of the creative work—SUITABLE FOR IN-PERSON JUDGING and two printed copies of the entry form.

Please note that while your entries will not be forwarded, they also can not be returned to you at the competition’s end.

Why are you taking physical entries if district and national aren’t?

We feel the judging process is greatly benefitted from our judges getting to meet and know each other face to face and seeing our market’s work as a collective whole. A digital copy of a printed book does not always tell the full creative message that touching and feeling that same piece does. Physical entries also allow us to host a preview party to showcase your work!

OK, how do I submit my physical entry?

We will host two opportunities for you to drop off your physical entries, called “Take In Days”, on January 6 from Noon to 5 PM, and January 7 from 9 AM to Noon. There are specific steps to prepare your physical entry for our judges. It can be a little confusing for new entrants, but we’re here to help!

Step 1: Print your manifest and sign it. Leave this separate from the rest of your entry or entries.
Step 2: Print two copies of your entry form and labels.
Step 3: Affix one of the mini labels to the back of each component of your physical entry. Four copies are provide on each copy of your entry form.
Step 4: Place your physical entry into a paper or plastic envelope, with one copy of the entry form. Include a second copy if you want your work displayed at the Preview Party!
Step 5: Affix the remaining entry form to the outside of the envelope so only the entry number is showing.
Step 6: Repeat this process for any additional entries. Only one entry per envelope!

Take your envelope(s) and signed manifest to Take In Day!

So, how can I make sure my entry wins?

We’re so glad you asked! Be sure to join us for a special program December 14 to hear from a panel of former AAF judges on what they look for when judging an entry, what makes award winning creative and more!

Does this mean the gala will be in-person this year, too?

Barring any emergency actions from state or local government related to the pandemic, yes! Save the Date for February 19 where we will announce our winners and celebrate all of our creatives, no matter what industry…or krewe they come from! ; )

Any additional questions that we didn’t answer here? Email our Judging Chair for more information!


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