TED’s 2013 Ads Worth Spreading

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We tend to think the only purpose of advertising is to sell products. And for the most part, that is true. However, profit is not the only reason to create innovative ads; advertising can also be created to help highlight issues and address societal change.

TED’s third “Ads Worth Spreading” challenge was designed to celebrate ads that communicate ideas in an exceptionally powerful way. “Ads Worth Spreading” is TED’s initiative to recognize and reward innovation, ingenuity and intelligence in advertising — to highlight the ads that people want to see and share with their friends.

Ads were nominated by six teams of two – made up of one renowned TED speaker and one rising star from the advertising industry – and 25 TED advocates from the ad industry. The members searched worldwide for compelling ads from diverse areas of interest: Talk, Social Good, Cultural Compass, Creative Wonder, Brand Bravery and Education.

Watch the 10 winning videos and be prepared to rethink the use of advertising to help the world become a better place.

(PS – This blog has featured several of the winning ads in previous months.)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
1. Bring up the ads: http://www.ted.com/watch/ads-worth-spreading . Show one of the videos.
2. The full report can be downloaded from the site.
3. Divide students into teams and have each team select a different ad to analyze.
4. Each team should prepare a quick briefing describing the key elements that make the ad worth spreading.
5. Discuss how these elements could be applied to other products and companies.

Source: Ted.com, various news outlets

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