The Art & Technique of the American Commercial


Work may be entered in multiple categories. You will only have to enter your credits and upload your file once and then you can add work to multiple categories. You will be charged an entry fee for each additional category, but only one upload fee for your video file.

Please note - to get the Single Spot, Multiple Category Submission bulk pricing, all category submission of the single spot must be finalized AT THE SAME TIME. (Please see Eligibility/Fees page for more info).

About Case Studies

Case studies should not be entered for any of the AICP Show categories. Only the work as aired will be accepted. If you wish to submit a cut down of a lengthy piece, indicate the running time of the full piece so that the judges are aware they are viewing a cut down.

Case studies or the actual piece are appropriate to enter in all of the AICP Next Awards categories. The exception is the Next Viral/Web Film category where the actual film should be entered.

Lengthy Work

There is no running time limit for entries. However, it is acceptable to submit a cut-down of a lengthy piece. The cut-down should be only of aired material (not a director's cut). Please indicate the running time of the full-length piece so that judges understand they are viewing a cut-down.

AICP reserves the right to request a cut down of a winning piece for screening purposes. The full piece in its entirety will be included in the film archives of the Museum of Modern Art, and will appear on the AICP Awards Archive Website. In the case of lengthy work that consisted of a case study or cut down, the AICP Show Curatorial Committee will determine what is screened for exhibition purposes.

Specific to AICP Next Awards Categories

Next Website Category For the Website category, you may add the URL address but you MUST also upload a video file. It may be a case study.

Next Integrated Campaign Category Honorees in this category are required to present their winning campaigns in a special presentation at the AICP Next Awards premiere in New York on June 12, 2018.

Next Virtual Reality Category

To enter work in the Virtual Reality category, entrants must provide the following:
The VR file must be loaded onto a TWO drives, one being mailed to the AICP office in New York, and one to the office in Los Angeles. Below are the addresses:

Next Awards
3 West 18th St., 5th Floor
NY, NY 10011

c/o Shannon Munoz Flores
650 N. Bronson Ave.
Suite 223B
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Drives must be received by Friday, March 16th, or we cannot guarantee the inclusion of anything other than your case study for judging.

With the drive, please include a printout with the following information:
Drives will be mailed back after the judging period in April.

Entrants are responsible for ensuring that their files meet the specs listed above. If you need further clarification, please call the AICP National Office at 212-929-3000.

Extended Deadline March 16, 2018 - Late Fees Apply for work aired/launched February 27, 2017 - March 4, 2018


AICP Show Categories


Visual Style - The director's use of visual elements: set design, location, art direction, styling, and cinematography.

Performance - The casting, direction and performance of an actor(s).

Humor - Use of comedic writing, performances, and visuals.

Direction - The director's contribution, encompassing all areas of craft, in bringing imagination, innovation and vision to an idea.

Cinematography - The director of photography's mastery of technique and unique visual style which complements the concept; may include Tabletop.

Animation - Styles can range from photorealistic to stylized or cartoon-like and include CGI, stop-motion, cel-animation or any other technique that allows an artist to create a performance. In the case of creatures or characters, consideration should be given to performance and acting.

Editorial - The editor's contribution to the overall feeling/tone and effectiveness of the commercial.

Design - Excellence in design including but not limited to motion graphics, typography and illustration. Consideration should be given to the use of original ideas to emphasize aesthetic style and functionality.

Visual Effects - The creation and seamless integration of unique visual elements from multiple sources including live action, matte painting, miniatures, practical elements and CGI. The emphasis is on photoreal excellence rather than on the use of animation techniques.

Original Music - The original score, jingle, or musical soundtrack.

Sound Design - The inventive and artistic use of sound effects, voices, and/or music elements to match and heighten the visual images.

Licensed Soundtrack or Arrangement - Most creative, impactful use of licensed music whether in a previously released format/performance or as an original adaptation for this usage.

Music Video - A commercial video featuring the performance of a song for the promotion of a band (A music video that integrates the promotion of a brand, may be entered in any category including Music Video).

Production - Acknowledging complexities of executions by the production team as a whole.

Production Design - The originality and style of set design/art direction, location dressing, and wardrobe.

Concept - Excellence in concept, visual style and language.


A single commercial may be entered in only one of these categories.

Public Service Announcement - Commercials produced for non-profit or governmental agencies to disseminate information or promote services which serve the public interest. No commercial products, services or corporate names may be referenced or shown in PSAs.

Cause - Commercials produced by a brand promoting corporate responsibility and social good.

Student Commercial - Cannot have aired. Must have been produced in conjunction with a school course at an accredited university (not a continuing education style course), for an actual product or cause. If work is selected, an instructor's signature will be required. Work entered in this category cannot be entered in any other category, and must have been produced within eligibility dates. Student commercials will not be accepted past the deadline of March 9, 2018 and are not subject to entry or upload fees.

Overall Excellence

Advertising Excellence/Single Commercial - Exemplifies outstanding quality in all categories of concept and execution. May have aired on any screen.

Advertising Excellence/Campaign - Two or Three commercials in a campaign for the same brand or product which exemplify outstanding quality in all categories of concept and execution. May have aired on any screen (i.e. television, internet, phone, kiosks, etc.).

Advertising Excellence/International - Must be produced by a production company based outside the U.S. for an agency whose office is located outside of the U.S. Work in a language other than English must be subtitled in English or alternatively must be accompanied by an English translation.

AICP Next Awards Categories

The Next Awards rewards outstanding multidimensional work, and channel agnostic brand promotions that appear in the moving image. The honored campaigns and single executions are on the leading edge of diverse types of media and technology to communicate the marketer's message. All work for the next categories may be produced and aired globally.

Integrated Campaign - Innovative brand promotion across any media platform. Material produced and aired anywhere in the world that exemplifies outstanding quality and ingenuity in concept and execution. Entries must include multiple complimentary executions, that work together to achieve a cohesive brand message. Honorees are required to present their winning campaigns in a special presentation at the AICP Next Awards premiere in New York on June 12, 2018.

Experiential - Brand promotion created for display media and audience interaction, including (but not limited to) the utilization of any screen, technology, architecture or performance, as well as live experiences staged for an active audience, live commercials, or events. These environments and media content can be temporary or permanent.

Viral/Web Film - Promotion for a brand commissioned by a client, with its initial release being online. Web-based 360 Videos (not intended for VR headsets) are eligible for this category. Please add a URL in the field provided that links to the 360 Video. Entrants are required to provide the number of organic views received by the submission.

Website - This category honors promotion for a brand via a website or dedicated microsite. The site must contain motion picture imagery, and be commissioned by a client.

Branded Content - This category honors brands which are successfully integrated into entertainment properties, whether being content created by the brand or an entertainment property partnering with a brand. Media includes: mobile phones, gaming, television, and film.

Mobile - This category honors innovative marketing on mobile platforms, including apps and other executions commissioned by a client.

Cause Marketing - The innovative use of media to promote or facilitate a cause, charity or nonprofit entity associated with a brand, product or service.

Social - Brand promotion utilizing social media channels.

Virtual Reality - This category honors brand-based messages created through an immersive and/or computer simulated environment to be experienced via a VR headset.

Innovation - This category honors break through solutions created for brands using technology creatively (can be software and/or hardware).

Most Next - The Most Next Award is the Best in Show. It exemplifies from among this year's Next winners the most innovative and forward thinking work of the year. Work in all Next categories is eligible for the Most Next honor.