Wednesday, September 29, 2010


By: Dawn Elardo
TED, known globally for its brand mantra of Ideas Worth Spreading, announced yesterday that it will hold an Ads Worth Spreading Challenge.  The 10 winning video ads will be shown at the TED conference in January of 2011; and the winners will have chance to advertise their campaigns on and at TED talks for free for one week: the week of March 20-21 in 2011.    The growing "talks," have been spreading their wings as of late--recently lending the brand name on a global level to anyone who wants to organize talks worth watching--sub-titled TEDx.

This was a controversial move on the non-profit's behalf:  Because to lend the brand identity to those outside of your own administration--which as we all know in American standards falls under very risky business--it can either empower or tarnish your trademark.  Fortunately for the organization, TEDx has surprisingly become quite a successful venture.  In fact, there are even TEDx videos that ended up being featured on TED--along side other bona fide TED talks.  

There will also be TEDWomen, which was announced this summer.  TEDWomen will launch this December.  It will be led by powerful women who are determined to infuse change and aid to underdeveloped countries in the east, and women who are leading the way in the sciences, business as well as the arts in the west. (For more info go HERE)

When the curator of TED was asked why do this challenge, Chris Anderson pointed out, "If advertising is so great, why the hell is it largely failing the Web today?"  TED's press release invites the global advertising community to: "reinvent, inspire, and engage audiences with new definition of what advertising can mean in the digital age."

This calling out to the ad community is much needed in the current Middle Ages of the new media era.  And if there's anyone who can shine the light on spreading great ideas worth spreading, TED has proven to be a great platform for that.  Now let's see what the marketing gurus can bring to answering this provocation of a challenge.

TED's Rules of the Challenge:
The Ads Worth Spreading Challenge invites the business community to submit their most forward-looking video campaigns by January 10, 2011. A judging panel will select up to 10 winning video campaigns, which will premiere at TED2011, February 28-March 4, 2011, for the gathered audience of 1500+ thought leaders, and will appear on for free for one week in March.

To enter the contest go HERE.

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