TED’s Chris Anderson On What Makes An Ad Worth Spreading [Video]

"If advertising is so great, why the hell is it broken right now online?" This is the question that TED curator Chris Anderson is trying to answer with TED's Ads Worth Spreading challenge.

“If advertising is so great, why the hell is it broken right now online?” This is the question that TED curator Chris Anderson is trying to answer with TED’s Ads Worth Spreading challenge, an initiative designed to inspire advertisers to think outside of the box and create passionate ads that people actually want to watch.

We covered the Ads Worth Spreading challenge back in September when it was first launched. Since our report, the contest submission deadline has been pushed back to February 7, 2011 and TED has also teamed up with YouTube to give Ads Worth Spreading even more coverage. Anderson posted a message, along with a great video, on the YouTube blog in order to let spread the word.

In the video, Anderson defines ads worth spreading:

“What is an ad worth spreading? It’s a film, made by a corporation, where the community that it’s targeted at actually wants to watch it. In fact, they want to watch it so much that they’ll tell other people in the community about. It might be something that’s hysterically funny; It might be something that’s gorgeously beautiful; It might just be ingeniously clever; It might be a big multi-media production or just a single employee talking to a camera, sharing her values and her dreams. We picture them as short as thirty seconds, as long as five or six minutes, and we’re inviting you – the whole advertising community – to dream about these things, to dream what they might be and to submit to us films over the next few months.”

Traditionally, advertisers online are stuck in a rut. Anderson uses the following cartoon to show what’s going wrong with advertising online:

Online ads are not adding anything to our web surfing experience. Rather, they are annoying us, boring us, and even enraging us.

If you are thinking of submitting an ad to the TED challenge then first and foremost you should concern yourself with passion. In the video below, Anderson explains that passion is key because you don’t want to annoy, interrupt or ambush the community that you are trying to promote too. Rather, you want to add to the passion by becoming a member of the community your self. Anderson says that successful advertisers don’t ambush passion. They amplify it.

I know that I’m not alone when I saw that Chris Anderson, and TED Talks in general, never fail to inspire me, which is why I wanted to share Anderson’s TED Talk about Ads Worth Spreading with you. Check out the video below. Do you have an idea for an ad worth spreading? Do you plan to submit it to TED’s Ads Worth Spreading challenge?

Image credit: Oskar Landi