Winners Of TED’s 3rd Annual Ads Worth Spreading [Videos]

Winners Of TED’s 3rd Annual Ads Worth Spreading [Videos]

Nonprofit organization recognizes the most creative and meaningful ads of 2012.

Daniela Walker
  • 28 february 2013

The mantra of TED is Ideas Worth Spreading. Taking this notion, and applying it to advertising, TED set up a competition Ads Worth Spreading three years ago to celebrate creativity and humanity in the industry. The third round of winners has been announced, and each commercial goes beyond being advertising, to being a two minute appeal to human emotions.

The non-profit organization is famous for its 18 minute inspirational talks that have been ongoing since the 80s but have reached new heights with the internet, recently reaching 1 billions views. It may seem like an odd connection: a non-profit and advertising, but TED is praising those ads that use the platform to make an emotional connection between brand and audience. As Ronda Carnegie, Head of Global Partnerships at TED explains:

Advertising is a strategic business that constantly challenges creatives to bring individuals, brands and organizations together. We created the Ads Worth Spreading initiative to celebrate the ads that successfully cultivate this engagement.

Like TED, Ads Worth Spreading, are compelling stories that speak to consumers just as a TEDTalk presenter might connect with an audience. Both are inspirational and powerful tools of sharing and spreading authentic and powerful ideas.

The winning commercials are not just good advertising but meaningful content that resonates with the consumers on a deeper level by inserting humanity into the advertising. Says Carnegie:

Viewers want to experience an emotional connection, an intellectual understanding or stunning creative work. Audiences want to be rewarded for the time they devote to watching an ad, and advertisers are recognizing that and delivering more meaningful pieces in traditional ads, online video and integrated marketing.

Each ad falls into one of six categories: Talk, Social Good, Cultural Compass, Creative Wonder, Brand Bravery and Education and according to Laurie Coots, chief marketing officer of TBWA Worldwide and a judge at the inaugural AWS competition, the commercials all have one thing in common:

They are brave, they are honest, they capture a sense of meaning. I think of ads worth spreading as ones that set out to ignite something more primal in the viewer–to get them to think something or most likely to do something.

From the comedically morbid Melbourne Metro PSA ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ to the tear-jerking Expedia ‘Find Your Understanding’, these ads represent the best in the biz. So, spread the word and prepare to be moved.

See all 10 winners below:



Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Travel Today

Melbourne Hotel Lets Guests Stay In Their Own Chrome Airstream Trailers

Notel is a luxury rooftop with six guest rooms made from vintage 1970s mobile homes

Infants Today

Battery Powered Cradle Will Rock Itself

NoomiNoomi is a clever device that makes it easier to put babies to sleep


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Sustainability Today

Swedish Citizens Get A Tax Break For Repairing Old Goods

A sustainability initiative encourages people to fix, rather than replace, broken objects

Fitness & Sport Today

How Precision Data Can Make Anyone A Better Performer

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytic tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Related Expert

Tikva Morowati

Experience Designer, Product Strategist

Retail Today

You Can Now Buy Furniture From A Daytime TV Show

Home furnishing online retailer Wayfair is partnering with Lifetime to create a shoppable life improvement television program

Social Media Today

Instagram Tool Prevents People From Harming Themselves

A new anonymous reporting option on the social media platform hopes to provide better emotional support for users

Retail Today

Apple’s New London Store Is Filled With Living Trees And Sunlight

The brand's UK flagship location has been reimagined with a focus on customer experience and community


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs Today

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Syndicated Today

Artificial Intelligence Could Serve As A Judge In The Court Of The Future

A new software program can weigh up legal evidence and more questions of right and wrong to predict the outcome of trials

Brand Development Yesterday

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year

Food Yesterday

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Yesterday

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Travel Yesterday

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks

Food Yesterday

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology

No search results found.