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Our mission is to achieve creative excellence in the American Advertising Awards. The mission will take place in three stages over the course of many months. Our final destination is the National American Advertising Awards.

Stage One

Submit your entries to the AAF of Des Moines local level competition according to the rules referenced below.

Stage Two

If your submitted entry receives a Gold excellence award at the local level competition it is automatically forwarded to the District 9 level competition. Silver awards can be forwarded upon request with a fee.

Stage Three

Receive a Gold at the District 9 competition? Your entry automatically moves on to the final destination. If you win an award of excellence at the National American Advertising Awards you will have achieved mission success.


To give our crew the best possible chance to achieve mission success it is critical to follow the rules set forth by our governing body. Consider these rules to be your pre-launch checklist. 

Questions about submitting? Scroll to see frequently asked questions. 

After your entries have been submitted in digital format, please drop off your physical entries at the locations listed below on December 15, 2022. (Final drop offs accepted until January 4th by appointment)

Drop off physical entries and submission manifest by December 15th

ZLR Ignition

303 Watson Powell Jr Way
Des Moines, IA 50309

Strategic America

6600 Westown Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266


The moment you’ve been waiting for. Has your hard work and preparation been enough to get past Stage One? Celebrate your job well done along with all of the other crew members at the awards show. Show up in your best attire, ready to accept your award.

February 18, 2023
5:30-7PM Cocktail Social
7-9PM Awards Show

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Please reach out to either AAA Director, Jess Kennedy at or Executive Director, Kelsey Feller at Either will be happy to assist you!

Do I have to be an AAF member to submit?

Of course not! While we would love for you to be a member of our organization, any individual or company is able to submit into the awards show. There is an additional cost per entry for non-members, however. Should you wish to receive the AAF member discount, please first sign for a membership and then submit your awards.

I didn't win. Can I have my entry back?

The AAF of Des Moines will make reasonable accommodations to return your entries to you, if requested. You must notify either Kelsey Feller or Jess Kennedy by Tuesday, February 21, 2023.

NOTE: Any entry that does win at the local level and moves onto districts will NOT have the opportunity to be returned.

How many awards are given out?

There is no set number of awards given each year. Roughly 20% of all entries will receive an award with the top 10% of those being given gold.

Can I attend the awards show even if I didn't win?

Absolutely! We love to throw a good party and you’re invited. We’ll have everyone’s work on display and look forward to announcing our winners to you.

Who are this year's judges?

We do not release the names of our judges in advance of the show. For the 2023 show, we will have 4 judges with different backgrounds and experience to score your work.

When is judging? Can I be there to explain my entry to the judges?

Judging will take place beginning January 9 and conclude January 13. Judging will not be open to the public. For some entries, you are able to submit a written explanation of your work. Please refer to the rules for additional information.

Can I see how entries were scored?

We are unable to disclose each entry’s score to the public. If you have questions regarding the score your entry received, you are welcome to contact either Jess Kennedy or Kelsey Feller and they will make reasonable accommodations to provide you your score and any comments, should they be left by judges.

NOTE: comments are not required to be given by judges.

When will I find out if I won?

Jess Kennedy will reach out to you within 1-2 weeks of judging to notify you of any winning entries. You will not be told what level of award you won, however. You must attend the show to find out!

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