American Advertising Awards for the Win
The Addy™ Awards, or the is the world’s largest advertising competition with over 40,000 entries annually. Founded in Florida in 1960 it was adopted by the American Advertising Federation, a not-for-profit industry association, as a national competition in 1968.
The Addy Awards are unique among other advertising creative competitions—with three levels of judging: local chapter, regional, and national. Winning an Addy at each level qualifies the work to move up to the next tier. Awards are given at the Silver and Gold level for both professional and student entries. Our chapter, on the East Coast of Florida, chooses judges from outside our market—advertising and marketing creatives who are familiar with the Ad Fed.
And while advertising agencies are among those who enter the competition, many other types of business join Ad Fed. Non-profits, corporate and small business, colleges and more show the rich diversity that makes up our industry. The slogan, “If you’re in business, you’re in advertising,” reflects the wide open nature of the Addy competition.
So why does a company enter the Addy Awards?
Though I’ve competed in the awards, and been active in AD Fed for over fifteen years, these past few have given me much better perspective on why you’d want to vie for, and win an ADDY.
Sure, we enter to show the quality of our work—we get recognition in our community. That’s the obvious reasons. I’m seeing spin-off benefits and they’re stacking up.
In 2013, I convinced leadership at a regional IT company to vie for Addy awards. While the lion’s share of their business is Managed Services and helping companies leverage technology, they have a great Internet development team. Competing in the advertising agency space seemed challenging, but we knew we had an amazing group of people and a strong portfolio.
For our customers, entering their work gives them a PR and social media boost. If they don’t have a solid stream of corporate news, this is a headliner that drives people to their website. It shows them that they go above and beyond and are recognized by peers for their work.
The Ad Fed team lets us know if our client’s work wins—and we invite our customers to our Awards ceremony. Wining and dining, it’s straight out of an episode of MadMen: fun for all and a chance for us to build our relationships with customers. The people we win awards for—and with, love the experience. If it’s possible to garner loyalty for our services, then this is the best way I’ve discovered to do that.
For the Team
The most dramatic shift I’ve seen has been in their web services team. Instead of punching the clock, churning out web work, their designers and developers are excited—thinking, “Hey, I can win as Addy with this work”. It inspires them to do more than what’s required and energizes the team. Customer relations is at an all-time high. Win-win.
The best benefit? The quality of work is through the roof—and that builds referrals and energizes sales. As, as I write this, we just found out that one our entries went on and won a Silver Addy at District level. Not bad for an East Coast Florida IT company!
If any of this interests you, send me an email. We’d love to perform award winning work for you and share the experience.
As a consultant, leveraging awards for press and social is an incredible tool. Whether you’re a marketing manager, business owner or executive who cares about promoting your organization, I welcome the opportunity to be a resource—and help you gain some positive visibility.
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For more information, visit The American Advertising Awards.
Eric Needle, Longbow.net’s founder, is the 2015-16 President of the Space Coast chapter of the American Advertising Federation.