Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 3, 2012 7:57 AM

Ads Worth Spreading

People hate advertising.

How often have you heard that line? Do you believe it to be true? I don't (no shock there). I prefer to turn the phrase a little bit: people don't hate advertising... people hate bad advertising. It's a pervasive sentiment throughout the marketing world. Think about privacy: people want their privacy? If people don't want brands to know what they're doing why do they give out their personal information for a couple of coupons (is that all that it's worth?)? If people were truly concerned about their online privacy, why would they sign up for Facebook and not only post very personal pictures of them and their family, but also publish (to the world, no less) information that they would commonly label as "personal and private"?

We're an interesting species.

At this year's TED conference they announced the winners of TED's ads worth spreading contest/initiative. In looking at the many winners that were chosen by the judges, I could not help but sit back, enjoy the ads, smile and think to myself: "advertising is worth it." The big challenge comes from getting brands, media companies and the advertising agencies to elevate the industry so that we all, collectively, believe it - and, more importantly, practice it. We're struggling. We often don't really know what works and what connects when it comes to creating advertising and marketing messages, so we pander to the lowest common denominator and create an ad that simply screams... instead of an ad that will tell a story.

How did we get so lost?

Is there any data, proof or business case to validate that screaming your product in an annoying and repetitive fashion actually gets (and keeps) attention? Below, are some of the ads that touched my heart. The truth is that I'm going to remember these ads forever. The truth is that I'm either going to become a customer or think about these brands the next time that I require their products and services.

That's the point of advertising: to make a brand an idea worth spreading.

By Mitch Joel