Event Wrap-Up: The American Advertising Awards: Setting the Stage for Success with Stefanie Brown

If you plan to enter the American Advertising Awards, it’s never too early to prepare. Stefanie Brown, who has won many American Advertising Awards and judged competitions across the US, graciously lead the discussion on how to be successful with your entries.

Why should you enter?


  • Build your resume and portfolio
  • Gain experience entering awards shows: documenting your entries, preparing the work for judging, and building the skills necessary to choose work that’s worth entering from work that’s not
  • If you win then your work is displayed to professionals in your entire market. Expect to get approached the night of the event for internship or job opportunities.


  • Build your resume and personal portfolio
  • Show off your self-promotion or public service work that came with fewer client restrictions


  • Add to your shelf of awards
  • Don’t think that your clients don’t care about awards. They do.
  • Reassure potential clients and new hires that you have the skills
  • Public recognition of your employees’ hard work: Submitting employee work lets them know you think what they are doing is awesome and award-worthy.


  • People outside the industry get to experience the rising stars and trends in advertising
  • Create opportunities for new business ventures

How to Stand Out


  • Don’t skimp on the production of your entry materials. Plain printer paper won’t cut it.
  • Choose only your best work.
  • Spend time creating high-quality supporting documentation.
  • Keep in mind the entries may be judged digitally only.


  • Enter your best work into as many categories as possible, breaking up the individual elements of the creative wherever you can.
  • Judges who see your work more than once in several categories become familiar with it and will continue giving it high marks whenever it’s seen.

Unique Ideas

  • Use this opportunity to show your creative thinking and enter non-traditional pieces like Christmas cards or responses to RFPs.



  • Judging is subjective. Each judge brings with them their own experiences, expertise, and biases.
  • Winning is cyclical. Winners can dominate for years until another set of creatives come along and bump them out.
  • Recycle your best ideas. Reuse or build upon your previous wins. There’s a new crop of judges each year who won’t remember or care what you entered previously.

We will have the portal to enter the 2019 American Advertising Awards open very soon. We will announce the call for entries and the theme for this year’s awards shortly. Stay tuned!

Event Wrap-Up: GDPR with Rachel Cain

Rachel Cain explained how the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) effects advertisers in the US who want to market to citizens of the EU. She walked us through how her team at Eastman prepared for GDPR, how they created systems to comply with the new regulations, and the challenges they overcame.

GDPR makes the case that data privacy is a human right. Companies who have personal data are compelled under this new law to handle private data carefully and create systems that keep that data private.

You can read more about the specifics in Rachel’s presentation, available here as a PDF:

What is AAF? A look at the national organization

Established in 1905, the American Advertising Federation (AAF) is the only organization that includes members across all disciplines and career levels in advertising. Whether you’re new to the fast-paced world of advertising or a seasoned professional, the AAF is for you. We’re here to help you advance your career, build your connections and celebrate this ever-changing, amazing industry we work in.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, we are the “Unifying Voice for Advertising.” The AAF has more than 200 local clubs across the U.S. representing nearly 40,000 advertising professionals, connecting and leading the industry. We’re excited to help more than 5,000 college chapter members kickstart their careers with a 200+ college chapter network and an array of student programs. We have nearly 100 corporate members who are loyal and supportive of our ongoing efforts.

Each year, the AAF hosts numerous programs and initiatives, including the Advertising Hall of Fame, the American Advertising Awards, the National Student Advertising Competition, the Mosaic Center on Multiculturalism and summer Ad Camps for high school students. We appreciate our members’ continued loyalty and industry’s engagement and enthusiasm surrounding our events—and we look forward to seeing you at our next one.


The AAF Mission

The American Advertising Federation protects and promotes the well being of advertising. We accomplish this through a unique, nationally coordinated grassroots network of advertisers, agencies, media companies, local advertising clubs and college chapters.



  • Brings members together to deliver creative business solutions
  • Keeps members abreast of the latest trends in technology, creativity and marketing
  • Promotes diversity and inclusion in advertising
  • Honors and celebrates advertising excellence
  • Develops the industry’s future leaders
  • Protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities
  • Offers engaging programs to encourage local association volunteer leadership
  • Utilizes industry expertise to address community issues
  • Provides opportunities for professionals to build supportive relationships with others in the advertising industry


AAF Committees

The AAF is honored to work with committees comprised of esteemed industry leaders that represent nearly 100 companies, agencies and brands that lead the advertising industry. These committees work closely with the AAF to develop and promote various programs and initiatives, including the Advertising Hall of Fame, Advertising Hall of Achievement, American Advertising Awards, Mosaic Council and more.



The AAF takes pride in celebrating our industry and the outstanding professionals in it. From college students to advertising legends and outlandish creatives to brilliant media buyers, we proudly honor all of them through our advertising awards.

Our Efforts

The AAF is continually working to improve and better the industry we love. That’s why we provide our members with the tools and resources they need to empower themselves. And that’s why we work tirelessly with advertisers by advocating in Washington, DC, setting ethical standards, providing professional development opportunities, promoting diversity and inclusion and so much more.

What is AAF? A look at District 7

AAF District 7 of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) represents 20 affiliate advertising clubs and federations of the AAF across five states including: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

AAF District 7 is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that is committed to serving the communities in which it resides in. AAF District 7 focuses on various initiatives throughout the year, including:

  1. Advertising Education: Scholarships and the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC)—District 7 launched this initiative!
  2. Diversity & Multicultural Initiatives: Scholarships as well as education and awareness initiatives supporting multicultural diversity and inclusion.
  3. Government Relations: Legislative advocacy, awareness and education on several advertising hot topics.
  4. Professional Development: Enriching educational programs are held at all District conferences.
  5. Public Service: Community service projects and drives are hosted within District 7.
  6. Awards: Professional, student and AAF member-focused awards.

Our Mission

The mission of AAF District 7 is to strengthen local AAF affiliate organizations (clubs, federations and college chapter members) through leadership training, education, communication, idea forums, enrichment, and recognition programs; promote advertising industry standards; encourage professional development; enhance and encourage business opportunities for professional and student members; defend the advertising industry against adverse governmental action; and act as a liaison between national AAF and local chapters to ensure the vitality of the advertising profession.

The AAF District 7 Board of Directors is made up of all local Club presidents, Regional Directors and the Executive Committee (EC). The EC is in place to lead and guide the District during the current year and into the future.

Event Wrap-Up: Web Accessibility with Andy Didyk

Thank you so much to Ntara and Andy Didyk for leading our April lunch. Andy’s session communicated what makes a website accessible, why that’s important, and how accessibility is becoming so commonplace, it will soon be the norm in website design.

Organizations now have a corporate social responsibility to create and sustain an accessible digital brand experience, yet many are lagging behind. But in 2015, 70% of websites did not meet basic accessibility standards. Furthermore,

  • 22.9 million Americans are blind or visually impaired.
  • At least 7.6 million Americans with a hearing impairment are active online.
  • In the next 30 years, the number of consumers who are blind or visually impaired will double.

See a full video and transcript of his presentation on the Ntara blog: Accessibility First is the New Mobile First

His full presentation is available for download on Slideshare.

Want to connect with Andy? Check out his profile on LinkedIn.