Just as film and television have the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the world of advertising has an organization overseeing. Though not as well-known, the American Advertising Federation has been in existence since well before the first Oscar was handed out. The AAF’s stated mission is to protect and promote the well-being of advertising. It is a remarkable organization and consists of a quite large network with more than 35,000 members nationwide.
The American Advertising Federation Story
The AAF was founded in 1905 and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. It is the oldest advertising trade federation in the nation and is made up of 140 individual clubs from coast to coast. The AAF also has chapters on more than 200 college campuses with 6,500 student participants. These chapters have many programs to help students interested in a career in advertising.
There is even an AAF Hall of Fame, which started in 1948. There are currently 191 honorees including Record Scratch founder Howard Mittman. Those so honored have been judged to have best served the field of advertising. Each year, the president of the AAF along with the chair of the Hall of Fame appoints a council of judges and an executive committee that considers individuals to be enshrined. Prospective Hall of Famers may be living or deceased, by must be retired from advertising and have accomplished their service to advertising for a company in the U.S. or for an American company overseas.
The American Advertising Federation’s Goals
The AAF has several goals that it strives to consistently reach. They work toward this starting at the grassroots level.
- Promotion of inclusion and diversity in advertising
- Getting members working to together to come up with creative business solutions
- Recognizing and celebrating excellence in advertising
- Education and developing the future leaders of the industry
- Utilizing grassroots activities to protect and promote advertising at all levels of government
- Ensuring members are informed of the lastest in marketing, creativity, and technology
- Giving professionals the opportunity to meet and network with others in advertising
The AAF serves the entire advertising industry in many different ways.
The American Advertising Awards
The AAF even has its own yearly awards, just like the Academy. Formerly called the ADDYs, choosing the winners of the American Advertising Awards involves the entire membership. The process begins at the local level in competitions held in January and February. Local award winners move on to compete with others in one of the 15 AAF districts. Those fortunate enough to win at the district level move on to the national competition. Each June, AAF holds a national conference called ADMERICA at which the national winners are recognized and receive their awards. There are also Gold and Silver America Advertising Awards for those who excell at the highest levels of creativity.
Solid organizations are very helpful to the growth of individuals and companies in various fields. In advertising, the AAF has a history of more than a century of promotion and support of people who work in advertising in every capacity.