• TED, YouTube and the Renaissance in Ad Creativity

    Yesterday TED celebrated the 5 year anniversary of its "TEDTalks" being distributed online, with 500 million views to date. TEDTalks, which feature individuals speaking for up to 18 minutes on a variety of different subjects, are thought-provoking and inspiring. Using the power of online video, TED has extended its reach and influence far beyond the group of people who attend TED events in person.

    More recently, TED, with the support of YouTube and others partners, has begun to focus on how advertising can be reinvented in the digital age to be more compelling and relevant. Last September, it launched "Ads Worth Spreading" (a spin on its tagline of "Ideas Worth Spreading") to recognize ads that nurture passion and encourage viewers to watch and be a part of a community. AWS seeks to move the advertising model beyond "ambushing" viewers, as has long been advertising's M.O., to instead develop a shared dialogue.

    At the recent ELEVATE conference, we were very pleased to have Ronda Carnegie, TED's head of global partnerships and John Militello, Google's head of creative innovation, Americas join us for a fireside chat to discuss AWS and the role YouTube itself is playing in redefining how brands engage their audiences (video after the jump). I've written a number of times recently about breakthrough campaigns on YouTube (e.g. Perrier, The Expendables, Desperados beer); no doubt other creative ads on YouTube will follow.

    In short, TED, YouTube and others envision a renaissance underway in advertising, driven by creativity that is unleashed through the flexibility of online video delivery. The success of TEDTalks online illustrates the power of the TED brand and approach. Together with YouTube's reach and platform, this formidable team that could have a real influence on changing the ad model in the digital era.

    (Note, Ronda and John's fireside is preceded by a short introduction from Chris Schreiber, VP of Marketing at Sharethrough)