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2021 American Advertising Awards FAQ

2021 American Advertising Awards

It’s AAA Season! If you’re not familiar with the AAA it’s one of our staple events – the American Advertising Awards – a national competition that’s available to all creatives on a local level. Like any award submission, the process has several steps. If you’re new to the AAA submission process or even if you’ve entered in the past – we get it, it can be a bit overwhelming. Knowing this only happens once a year, we wanted to help answer any questions you might be asking as you prepare to submit your American Advertising Award entry (or entries!) And yes, if you haven’t heard, our 2021 show will be virtual. It doesn’t change much, but we did address that in the questions below, too.

If you have additional questions regarding the American Advertising Awards or the submission process after reading this, check us out on Facebook, as we’ll be sharing some more video resources there – or reach out to us! We’re happy to help and want to make this a successful and fun event for everyone.

Q: How are submissions for 2021 (VIRTUAL) different? 

A: The actual submission process for 2021 will be no different than in previous years. The only difference will be all of your work will be submitted digitally, there will be no physical files given to us. Details on submitting your work can be found on the 2021 American Advertising Awards website.

Q: Do I still need to print and mount my work? 

A: No! This year you will not need to print and mount your work. Our judges will not be coming in person and we will not be hosting an in-person event to display the work so your submission, along with the files and graphics will all be digital. When you submit your work you will have the opportunity to attach up to 5 files and an optional video upload. This is the case for all local, regional, and national events this year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  

Q: Who can I reach out to if I need help with the submission process? 

A: Please reach out to Taylor Sellnow at with any questions regarding submissions. She will be happy to help!

Q: Do I have to be a marketing agency to submit? 

A: Absolutely not! The American Advertising Awards highlights the work of all creatives no matter how big or small. Whether you’re a student or you work Freelance, In-House, or at an Agency, your work is welcomed! We are so lucky to live in a community with strong talent, we want to see it all. 

Q: Where do I find a list of categories to submit?

A: You can find Professional categories here and Student categories here

Q: Does virtual judging change anything? 

A: Short answer: No!

Long Answer: Traditionally, the judging weekend for our Central Minnesota American Advertising Awards show is one of our favorite weekends of the year. It’s our shot to show 3 people from different corners of the country the incredible work that happens here in Central Minnesota. Not to mention putting our awesome area on display and showing our pride in living, working, and creating here! However, each year, all the judges do at least some virtual judging, even when we aren’t in a pandemic. Some clubs from across the country even do all their judging virtually, it’s just the process that works for them. We’ll probably go back to in-person judging when it’s safe to do so (I’m talking about you, 2022!), but until then, we’re working within the guidelines and recommendations that our national AAF leaders are asking us to follow. 

Q: What if I feel like my work is best seen tangibly/in-person? 

A: We get it! Often, the best part of a project is seeing it all come together off-screen. Being able to touch it, feel it, and show it off to all your friends. Our recommendation is to take the time to get quality proofs of your work and present it as best you can on-screen. This might mean mocking up a scene in which your work might appear. Think about how you might present a concept to your clients/boss before it’s actually been created. Anything you can do to help someone visualize the work will help. 

Q: How do I make sure I buy a ticket for The Show?

A: You can buy tickets for The Show on our event page. If you wish to receive a Commemorative American Advertising Award Show Box for $25, you will need to purchase tickets by Friday, January 22nd. You can also purchase a link to The Show for $10 which will be available until the day of The Show. 

Q: Are there any AAA entry/show ticket discounts? 

A: Yes! If you are an AdFed member, both student or professional, you will receive a discount on your submissions and ticket prices for The Show. Discounts are as follows: 

  • Single Entry: Professionals $55 (Non-Member $95) – Students $35 (Non-Member $50)
  • Campaign Entry: Professionals $95 (Non-Member $155) – Students $45 (Non-Member $65)
  • Ticket Pricing: 50% off Commemorative AAA Show Box

If these price breaks aren’t enough to convince you to become a member, check out all of our member benefits!

Q: What should I expect from a virtual show that might be different? 

A: Nothing! Well, except for being in-person of course. Our team has been working diligently behind the scenes to make this the best possible event for our attendees. The laughs and the recognition you love to receive will still remain. The best part is, you get to enjoy it all in your pajamas!