March 2022

Insights from Steve Pacheco

President & CEO, American Advertising Federation

…And we’re back!

Did you happen to see all the pictures and videos and Snapchats and TikTok’s and Instagram and Facebook posts from AAF Clubs across North America from the recent American Advertising Awards?

So many AAF Clubs and Chapters held LIVE American Advertising Awards Gala celebrations, dinners, cocktail parties and special themed events. From Orlando to Oklahoma City, from Charlotte to Colorado Springs, from Pittsburgh to Phoenix. AAF Clubs put on a show!

Seeing all your smiles, the hugs, the toasts and hearing the cheers meant so much to me and the AAF Staff. We’ve been waiting to see and hear all of this.  It all just made us smile.

We see it as a return to some sense of normalcy.

At its core, the American Advertising Federation is Social in nature.

We are people people. And we thrive the best when we are around other people.

Something we haven’t been able to do much of these past 2 years.

That’s changing and maybe we really are getting back!

I hope so.

Long known as the “Unifying Voice for Advertising.” The AAF has more than 150 local ad clubs across the U.S. representing nearly 35,000 advertising professionals, who are creating great work each day and leading our industry forward. And we’re excited to have more than 5,000 college chapter members on board—through our unique 140+ college chapter network.  Many of these students enter the Student Awards competition through their campus chapter.

As you know, the American Advertising Awards are the advertising industry's largest and most fully representative competition, attracting tens of thousands of entries every year in local AAF Ad Club competitions. The mission of the American Advertising Awards is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising. And that spirit has never been stronger than now.

Conducted annually by the AAF, the local tier of the American Advertising Awards is the first of a three-tier, national competition. Concurrently, across the country, local entrants vie to receive an ADDY Award—recognition as the best in their markets. 

At the second tier, local ADDY winners compete against winners from other local clubs in one of 15 district competitions. District ADDY winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the national stage of the American Advertising Awards. 

Entry in your local AAF Club competition is the first step toward winning a national ADDY. 

Entering the American Advertising Awards supports your local market as well as the entire advertising industry, because the AAF and its local and district affiliates use the proceeds to enhance advertising through programs such as public service, internships, advocacy groups, advertising education, and consumer awareness. 

For 2022 we had nearly 125 Clubs actively participate in the American Advertising Awards and exceeded 25,000 total entries—showing strong support of this competition from all corners of the USA.

My Thanks to our National American Advertising Awards Chair David Campbell and AAF Staff leads Dawn Reeves and Amanda Dehart who worked tirelessly to ensure a great competition. And of course, my thanks go to our incredible volunteer network of Coordinators, Judges and others who help lead this huge effort.

The American Advertising Awards not only serve to provide financial stability for many of our local clubs, but it has also grown in to one of AAF’s best signature events.

We hope you had fun at your local American Advertising Awards event. And we hope it kick started a sense of getting back! Next up is the district tier of competition and then of course the National Gala this summer. 

And I really hope to see you in Nashville in June as we celebrate and honor the Best of the Best with the newly upgraded and redesigned National American Advertising Awards Reception and Gala on Friday June 3.

We’ll take some more pictures and videos there—all with big smiles and lots of celebration!

And we’re back!


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 Posted: March 2022