Don Draper Goes to TED: 'Ads Worth Spreading' Challenge to Video Advertisers Announced

Okay vid-dweebs. We know you are pretty smart. Codecs, player design, ad insertion technology and targeting algorithms are not for the weak-minded. But are you TED smart? The non-profit organization and programmer of the famous deep-think conferences has always been about viral distribution. Its tagline is 'Ideas Worth Spreading." And so it is issuing a challenge to the video advertising community to offer up its best examples of what curator Chris Anderson calls "ads-with-a-difference." Do your ads actually have ideas. Do they have something worth saying ... well, besides 'gotta see this' and 'you'll wanna buy that?' Because Anderson says he wants to see TED-like productions from the Mad Men -- "ads that engage our audience authentically, intelligently, delightfully. Ads that people will want to share because, like the rest of TED, they encapsulate ideas worth spreading."

Well, hell, hasn't this guy seen Fred? The kid is bursting with ideas...or something.

This is the digital video industry's chance to be on stage with the big thinkers at TED2011 in late February and early March. Video campaigns can be submitted through January 10, 2011 and they must have been created between January 2010 and January 2011. They can be from 30 seconds to five minutes. Prior to TED2011 judges will choose 10 winning campaigns and show them at the conference and on for a week. Later in March the winning campaigns also will be inserted into every post-roll slot on the TED videos that get distributed throughout the Web. This translates into seven million impressions being given away for free to the winners.



Full rules and entry forms are at the TED site.

While any sort of creative approach is possible, TED suggests that the contest encourages a subtler approach. "It can promote a product, company or cause, but it likely to do so indirectly rather than directly -- for example by showcasing the values, motivations and questions of the organization's people."

Damn, it is too late for the best example we have ever seen of a viral video conveying the values and qualities and special attributes of company employees -- the famous New Zealand Airlines "Nothing to Hide" spot. Now here was an ad that showed employee team spirit.

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