Top Ten ADDY Entry Tips

  1. Enter! You can’t win if you don’t enter. Also, set aside part of your entry budget to forward Silver winners to District. We have had many local Silver winners advance and win at the District level.
  2. Understand the software and know how to upload and what files to include. Here is a link to a helpful guide on using the entry software:
  3. Properly label and submit physical entries. Physical submissions are required for all entries, except for electronic categories (TV, radio, online). Sleeves are available at the drop off location. Be sure to attach entry numbers to each piece, including every piece in a campaign. Finally, print and include the manifest with every entry included.
  4. Know the categories. For some entries, there may be multiple possibly categories. Use your own judgement to pick the best fit for that entry. Keep in mind, some categories can be more competitive than others and it is possible to enter one piece into multiple categories. A full list of categories is available here:
  5. “You’re only competing with yourself.” At least, that’s what they tell you about the American Advertising Awards. In reality, a judge will look at the entire category and naturally see some entries stand out from others. So do whatever you can to make your entry stand out. The following tips can help.
  6. Packaging matters. For printed pieces, you must submit a physical entry, so present it in the best possible way. Would it be better to mount it or roll it? You can also include a photo to showcase the entry alongside the physical entry.
  7. Case study videos. This is relatively new in the competition, but something that is becoming popular. Show the campaign and how it worked and showcase results if possible. This is especially good if there are any digital elements that might not stand out on their own, but can be helped with a bit of explanation and context.
  8. Behind the scenes. Another option is to show how it was done or made. Include a write-up or video that shows the process in creating the campaign or entry.
  9. Concept is King. This is great for simple entries such as logos. Write up an explanation of the concept behind the piece. Remember, the judges see hundreds of entries, so help them see your concept clearly.
  10. Steal from the best. You can see both District and National AAA winners online. Look at how they packaged their entries and what stands out to you. Try to do the same when entering your own entries.


Get students and interns to enter. Our student competition has huge potential to grow. If you work with students, please encourage them to enter. Student rules and categories can be found here:

Get involved in judging. We learned all this by attending the local judging over years. We can always use some help in setting up, and it gives you a chance to see all the local entries (including your competition) as well as talk to the judges about what they look for. If you want to get involved, contact Nicole Ashley Lee, AAF-Lubbock President and American Advertising Awards (3As) Chair.