AAF Blog

Welcome to the AAF Blog. Find some inspiration.

RAF 25: Return on Innovation

April 6, 2016


The RAF is officially 25 years old. We can rent a car now if we want to.

25 years for any organization is an achievement (certainly if it’s 100% run by volunteers) and we’re still making our mark on the industry as it continues to evolve. Year after year, we strive to include as many individuals in the creative community as we can, because we know diversity keeps the organization in a constant state of evolution as well.

With another memorable ADDY Awards in the books, we wanted to highlight something else our Rochester chapter should be proud of. In 2009, we decided to celebrate return on investment with its own awards category, even though it does not exist at the National AAF award level. The ROI category is arguably one of the most important as it focuses us on the objective: did the work actually work?

In the case of Partners + Napier, ROI is the bullseye of the ADDYs. Just over two weeks ago, in addition to taking home the most hardware this year, two of their ADDY wins were for campaigns with impressive ROI. We did a bit of digging in the archives and Partners has made this somewhat of a tradition, as they’ve won four times more ROI awards than any other honoree.

We all found our way into this industry because we wanted to use our imaginations, dream of big ideas, meet interesting people, make beautiful and thought-provoking things, affect culture, have fun and find fulfillment in the special, crazy tribe of the marketing minded. But we have to constantly ask ourselves if we have helped our clients and causes move the needle. It’s the reason we get to do this job.

We have so much to celebrate at the RAF. Once just a local favorite, 20 Minutes and a Beer (#20MAAB – look it up!) has been adopted by other AAF clubs nationwide. Our awards show traditions, including mounting our ADDY entries for judging and display, set the standard for other markets. And we’ve continually changed perspectives and educated many ad pros on the immense talent in our community by taking our work to be judged in other markets.

The growing RAF membership should ultimately consider working with the American Advertising Federation to acknowledge ROI as a must-have metric. The true test: if our clients were judging the show, what would they give an ADDY to?

To keep the celebration going, we invite RAF members, organizations and agencies to share their stories and insights from the last 25 years of the RAF at president@rafconnect.org.