Press Release

March 1, 2021



Christina Frantom

VP American Advertising Awards

AAF Birmingham



Birmingham, AL – On Friday, February 26, 2021, the Birmingham chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF Birmingham) hosted their 63rd annual American Advertising Awards celebration to honor excellence in advertising. While this year’s event was celebrated virtually for the first time in the club’s history due to COVID-19, over two-hundred members of the creative community gathered via Zoom to celebrate the outstanding work of Birmingham agencies, corporations, nonprofits, universities, and freelancers. 

The evening’s events were hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center who have a newly developed virtual event offering, and produced in partnership with Boutwell Studios, longtime supporters of AAF Birmingham. 

Professionals and students submitted over 350 pieces of work in this year’s competition, which were judged in mid-February by professionals from Austin, Chicago, and New York. Categories include sales and marketing; online interactive; elements of advertising; film, video, and sound; and cross-platform campaigns, among others.

In addition to the Best of Show awards, two special awards were given to professionals and students. The Silver Medal Award, established by the American Advertising Federation in 1959 to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence, and social responsibility. 

This year’s Silver Medal winner was Andy Cargile, Senior Designer at Lewis Communications. 

The Moasic Award was established by AAF to recognize companies, agencies, and individuals whose commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident through their creative work and organization-wide initiatives.

This year’s professional Moasic Award winner was Chasiti Shepherd, President of BGrace Media. 

This year’s student Moasic Award winners were Levi Sanford and Cierra Ryan of University of Alabama at Birmingham.

To add to the line-up of special awards, AAF Birmingham awarded six “Best Ofs” to recognize individuals whose collection of work went above and beyond. Those award winners are as follows:

  • CINEMATOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Dustin Harrelson with Telegraph Creative
  • DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Claire Lockridge with Cayenne Creative
  • PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Ginnard Archibald with Telegraph Creative
  • COPYWRITER OF THE YEAR – Sam Miller with Burton Advertising
  • ART DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR – Jason Headrick with Lewis Communications
  • CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR – Aaron Gresham with Big Communications
  • JUDGES’ SPECIAL AWARD – Marc Engel and Tori Riddle with Cummings Creative Group

Two pieces of work were chosen for the Best of Show Award, given to recognize the judges’ pick of the very best work submitted in the competition. Those award winners are as follows:

  • BEST OF SHOW STUDENT – James Johnson for Melanin Aesthetic Book Design done for Jacksonville State University
  • BEST OF SHOW – Cory Anchors with Hey Buddy Creative Collective

All professional and student winners of Gold American Advertising Awards advance to the district level where they compete against winning work from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Gold winners there advance to the American Advertising Federation national competition at ADMERICA.

About AAF Birmingham

AAF Birmingham is the local Birmingham, Alabama affiliate of the American Advertising Federation. As the “Unifying Voice for Advertising,” AAF is the trade association that represents 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry. AAF’s national network includes 130 corporate members, 210 ad clubs and 210 college chapters. AAF Birmingham has been recognized on both the district and national levels for its outstanding service to the advertising community. Join us at

Winner’s List

2021 AAF Birmingham American Advertising Award Winners – Professional

2021 AAF Birmingham American Advertising Award Winners – Student

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