American Advertising Awards


Welcome to the 2020-2021 American Advertising Awards season. Has 2020 been horrible…yes, but you have an opportunity to make lemonade out of the monthly lemons by submitting your best work to a panel of judges, win an award, and start the new year with a win!

The American Advertising Awards is a nationwide competition with nearly 35,000 professional and student entries. The mission of the awards is to recognize and reward the spirit of creative excellence in advertising.

Who submits to this competition? Ad agencies, graphic designers, in-house design teams, media outlets, film and production companies, student designers, corporate teams and others. When it comes to creative work, the American Advertising Federation has categories for individuals working on projects in video, web, graphic design, sound and events, just to name a few. With over 100 categories, you will find a connection to a project that emulates the award-winning creative excellence we all know and love to see.

Click here to enter now


Don’t doubt yourself. It is easy to submit and you can follow the step-by-step guide below. You will need to do a little research to get yourself familiar with the categories and the rules, make a plan to submit your work while gathering the entry pieces, and then submit it all through the portal.

  • Step 1| Research
  • Step 2 | Categories
  • Make a list of the categories you are interested in and use this time to collect your entry pieces.
  • Step 3 | Discounts and Timing
  • Enter early to get a discount on your submissions and review the Award Oops below.
  • Step 4 | Become a Member
  • If you are already a member, thank you—and we appreciate your already being a part of our club. If you are not, please consider this a perfect opportunity to join the club. We enjoy meeting new people and learning from you. You help to keep our industry strong and our creatives prosperous. 


You are considering several entries but may have questions. We have an experienced award chair and several members who can help. Please do not hesitate to contact them at this email address:

The most important first step is to read the Call For Entries Document and the American Advertising Awards Rules and Categories 2020-2021. All physical entries MUST HAVE A LABEL. There is no exception to this request.

You can bookmark this webpage for future review as we will continue to list a few tips, tricks and common mistakes when submitting for the competition.

Common mistakes during submission 

  1. Not attaching a label to the work in the proper way. Yes, this is number one.
  2. Submitting work in the wrong market. Refer to the rules link above.
  3. Video and audio entries submitted only as a YouTube or Vimeo URL link rather than uploading the actual file.
  4. Submitting just a beauty shot of the cover of a multi-page entry (brochure, multi-page spread, invitation, annual report, etc.) rather than a PDF that shows all of the work. This is a real problem if virtual judging is necessary.
  5. An agency, industry supplier and/or media company that submits the advertising for their own services in the general market category instead of the Industry Self-Promotion category.
  6. Including too many pieces in your submission. Refer to the rules link above; each category has a different number of pieces allowed. Remember, digital and print pieces count separately, as do separate executions within a medium or campaign. 

If you have any questions during submission, please do not hesitate to email our award chair for an answer. It is better to ask (especially this year) and have the correct files, physical entries, and payment submitted once.


  • Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 at 5 p.m. – EARLY BIRD Entry Deadline
  • Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 at 5 p.m. – Entry Deadline
  • Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. – LATE Entry Deadline*

*Please note:

If you enter late you will not be guaranteed a complimentary entry review by the award committee. Late entries will have a $50.00 per entry late fee if submitted after 5 p.m., Jan. 5th and absolutely no entries will be accepted past Jan. 8th at 5 p.m.

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