By: Jabria Roscoe

The American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) is an annual competition that celebrates the best works in advertising at the local, district, and national level. The University of Miami Advertising program is the winner of 11 gold and a record-breaking 43 silver ADDYS at the 2021 Miami American Advertising Awards.

“The ADDYs has been the awards show we enter the most, and every year it gets better and better,” said Sarai Nuñez, assistant professor of professional practice. “Despite the circumstances and the year that we had, we still did great.”

For this year’s ADDYs, some students were entered into the competition by their professors while others submitted their own work.

“This has been the year where students took it upon themselves to enter their own work, which is usually not the case. There were so many students who decided this was important for them and it showed in the results. They are becoming more aware of the importance of entering award shows and they can say they have award winning projects in their portfolios now,” Nuñez said.

UM alumni Sophie Robbins and Francesca Deweerdt were two of the many winners at the awards. They each received a Gold ADDY in the social media category for their Goodwill Gone for Good project, completed during the spring 2020 semester. It also won Best of Show out of more than 100 projects submitted, the top honor at the competition.

The project harnessed the power of TikTok to entice people to donate clothing while they were bored during the quarantine. Robbins and Deweerdt were pleasantly surprised with their success.

“It was super surprising, but exciting,” said Robbins. “This was the first project we did from start to finish remotely. It showed us you can create really good work even in this change.”

“I thought it was really cool,” said Deweerdt. “It was the last project of our senior year and we just decided to do something really fun and do something we were going to have a good time making.”

Their advertising class was tasked with creating something that was connected to COVID-19.

“We had a lot of creative freedom with this assignment,” said Robbins. “I’ve always loved the idea of social good campaigns, so we decided to think of some ideas for Goodwill.”

They ended up with a Tik-Tok campaign where the challenge was to try on all of your old clothes while performing a choreographed dance. The main objective is for the audience to decide which items you should keep, and which pieces should be donated to Goodwill.

“Francesca choreographed the dance, and we got a lot of our friends to do the video, it was so fun,” Robbins said.

Now that they’ve graduated and won an ADDY, they both look back fondly at their time in the advertising program.

“I had the best time. Advertising is putting your ideas out there…the teachers just want everyone to get better so instead of just teaching you, they prepare you for the field,” Deweerdt said.

“They always gave us very honest feedback,” said Robbins. “No one ever trampled your individual style…they wanted your portfolio and your work to be representative of you.”

The projects that won an ADDY at the local level recently competed in the district competition where they took home eight gold and six silver awards. Those winning projects are now eligible for the national competition.

For more information on the American Advertising Awards visit their website at,