Can Ads Inspire?

9 Mar

TED, is a non-profit organization devoted to ideas that are worth spreading. Their talks are inspiring, fascinating, and down right addictive.

I’ve been known to disappear into my room for hours only to emerge wide eyed while muttering new facts about brain mapping or mantis shrimp (fastest strike in the animal world).

These videos provide such instant appreciation and intrigue that to follow them up with a piece of disinteresting corporate advertising would seem ill-fitting.

So, a couple months back TED challenged the world to develop ads that are “worth spreading”. Ads that could run in harmony on their site.

“We want to encourage development of ads-with-a-difference. Ads that engage our audience authentically, intelligently, and delightfully. Ads that people will want to share because, like the rest of TED, they encapsulate ideas worth spreading”

Well, the finalists are now in. 10 ads were chosen based on innovation, intelligence, authenticity, humor and craft.  The winner will be announced March 21st .

Some you may have seen already and some will be new, but sit back and enjoy. And then if you are so inclined- share.

Watch the finalists

I’m curious to hear your reaction. I wasn’t blown away by all of the entries but a few hit the spot. I wonder if genuine interest is immediately weakened the moment a consumer realizes they are being sold to.

Also, is it more difficult to pass along  an advertisement because you are then standing behind the product as much as you are the advertisement?


5 Responses to “Can Ads Inspire?”

  1. dougbrowncreative March 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Wow, that Topsy Foundation ad is just massive. Loved it. Thanks for the list Andrea.

  2. michelabyl March 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Laughed out loud when you mentioned mantis shrimp- I watch that video a few summers ago before a party and then proceeded to tell everyone there about how they’re the fastest animal in the world.
    Anyways… I liked Dulux, Intel, Topsy Foundation and Nokia’s spots. Simple, effective and not too long.

  3. andmerson March 10, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Doug- Not a problem. Ya, i thought that one was really moving

    Michela- That just made my day!!! That video blows my mind every time. I thought i was alone in my love for it. Too funny.

    For the rest of you:
    http ://

    I thought the Intel one was really cute and fun to watch too. Some were much too long though. Could you watch the entire “infinite house”. I couldn’t do it. I tried but it hurt too much.

  4. Ricardo Toureiro Dias March 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Loved this. Thanx for sharing 🙂

  5. michelabyl March 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    To be completely honest, as soon as I saw it was 9+ minutes I just skipped right over to the next one. Short movies are fine, but I’m not sure any ad should ever be that long, you just end up losing people!

    (ps. I’m very relieved that there is another mantis-shrimp lover out there!)

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