Winners of the “Ads Worth Spreading” Initiative Announced

When was the last time during the DVR/iPhone-era you consciously watched a commercial? In other words, you didn’t text, tweet or email during the commercial.

The organizers of the TED conference, which aims to inspire Ideas That Spread, say they are tired of ads being “aggressively forced on users.” Therefore, they recently promoted the Ads Worth Spreading Initiative, encouraging the development of ads “so good, you choose to watch – and share,” according to Chris Anderson, TED curator.

Last Friday, the results were announced on its Web site. Out of 1,000 submissions from around the world, the top 10 winners of the inaugural contest came from both major ad agencies to tiny boutiques to college students to nonprofits.

If you are unfamiliar with the TED Conference, its organizers challenge its world-class speakers to give the “talk of their life” (usually in 17 minutes), aimed at changing the world. Many of their best presentations are on its Web site. Its ads run after the talk, not before or during.

“As well as avoiding the annoyance of interruption, this positioning means they can run longer than the TV-standard 30-seconds,” Anderson says. “And that’s the key — in 2-3 minutes, there’s more time to tell a story, share an idea, make an authentic human connection. These winning ads, many of them long-form, powerfully demonstrate these strengths. We think they represent an exciting new way for companies to engage with the world in the Internet age.”

Many of them are very engaging, such as The Girl Effect, by the Nike Foundation, Target Kaleidoscopic, and Sapporo: Legendary Biru.

See the full list of winning videos here.

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