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What Makes an “Ad Worth Spreading”
What can advertising do for me?

What does advertising do? To say that it exists to sell stuff only captures part of its evolving role. Today’s brands need to be more than product sellers, they have to stand for something. We live in a participation age where marketing is no longer a one-way message from brand to consumer. Today’s connected consumers expect conversations from brands. So more than ever, brands need something meaningful to say to convince consumers they are part of the same community. Brands strive to connect themselves to something intangible, yet powerful: Coke is about happiness; Ram Trucks embody resilience; Expedia offers personal journeys. It’s about relatable moments that engage audiences on an emotional level and activating something deep inside.

TED’s Ads Worth Spreading rewards advertising that takes a stand. Each year, TED conducts an exhaustive search to find 10 pieces of incredibly compelling work from around the world. The ads are selected by TED speakers and up-and-coming creatives as reference points that not only reflect the best of advertising today, but also inspire others to raise their game. The challenge, now in its third year, puts a spotlight on campaigns that tap the intuitive power of visual storytelling to express ideas. And in doing so, engage audiences in a meaningful way.

This year’s challenge celebrated ads in six categories: social good, talk, education, brand bravery, cultural compass and...

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