Making ads that people actually want to engage with is a huge challenge for most of the free-to-use web services and social networks. There are two approaches: relevance-optimising-algorithms (Google and Facebook) or super-expensive brand ads (tried by YouTube and Apple, and celebrated here by TED).

Jury’s out on which one (if any) will prove long-term sustainable.

TED Blog

AdsWorthSpreadingAdvertising doesn’t have to be about convincing you to buy things. Great ads, just like great movies, can inspire thought. That’s why TED created Ads Worth Spreading, an initiative dedicated to advertisements that push the boundaries, from Chipotle’s stunning “Back to the Start” commercial to L’Oreal Paris’ spot starring model and athlete Aimee Mullins. As TED begins to think about next year’s winners, who will be announced at TED2013 in Long Beach, the innovation-focused website PSFK asked TED’s head of global partnerships, Ronda Carnegie, more about the program. Below, some highlights of the interview.

How did the idea for Ads Worth Spreading come about?

Ads Worth Spreading was born out of our search for compelling advertising. We want to feature campaigns that are as fascinating as our talks. All our ads run as post-roll (after the talks), and we want our viewers to choose to watch those…

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