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Student Award Information   

AEF Honors Night
Student Award



In 2011, the Advertising Educational Foundation created an annual award named for AEF’s Founder/Chairman Alfred J. Seaman, adman, copywriter and ad industry giant.  The award recognizes a quality paper by an undergraduate college or university student whose work best demonstrates a unique understanding of and insight into advertising and its role in society, history and the economy.

The winner of the competition is selected by a panel of AEF board members, consisting of professors and advertising professionals. The award is presented at the AEF annual Honors Night Dinner in New York City.


Professors or students may initiate submissions (Only 3 student papers per professor are allowed). Each submission must include:

  • a copy of the paper
  • a supporting letter from a professor who has reviewed the work
  • an abstract (no longer than 200 words)
  • the student’s resume
  • other supporting materials the student wishes to include

Submissions are due no later than Friday, April 10, 2015.  

Send to:
Advertising Educational Foundation
220 East 42nd Street, Suite 3300
New York, NY 10017
Email:  sg@aef.com

Submission documents will not be returned.

Papers may be up to 5,000 words and must be submitted in digital form or hard copy. Each paper should address one or more aspects of the relationship between advertising and society. The paper should promote one or more theses or hypotheses and should set out to support the perspective the paper is trying to prove.

Papers may employ original research, secondary research or a combination of both. Typically, a paper will be one that the student has prepared as part of a course. However, papers written specifically for project submission are also welcome.

Additional supporting material beyond the 5,000 words may be included in the form of appendices to cover such items as sources/footnotes, research data/tables, creative samples, etc.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit ADText at www.ADTextonline.org and Advertising & Society Review at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/advertisingandsocietyreview to understand the kinds of topics that fall within the broad category of advertising and society.


Submissions will be evaluated based on five (5) criteria:

  • Idea – How original is the idea relative to the subject of advertising in society? How well does it advance important discourse on the subject?
  • Hypotheses – How interesting, cogent and compelling are the hypotheses offered? Are the hypotheses capable of being supported?
  • Quality – How well is the paper written? Is it clear, well organized and well argued?
  • Proof – How effective is the proof for the hypotheses? Does the paper make a solid argument through primary and/or secondary research for the ideas posed?
  • Conclusions – What are the implications of the work? Do the conclusions suggest valuable ideas and invite additional exploration of the subject?


  • The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize.
  • The award will be presented at AEF’s Honors Night Dinner on June 4, 2015 in New York City.
  • The AEF will pay for travel and overnight accommodation in New York for the student and his/her professor.
  • The winning project, paper, or presentation will be considered for inclusion among the educational materials on www.aef.com.


NOTE:  The winning Student Paper must satisfy all judging criteria.  The award is presented at the sole discretion of the Selection Committee.




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