Google Highlights TED 2014 Ad Award Candidates

Google will again help TED showcase the most imaginative and creative video ads through its YouTube unit.

As the TED 2014 "Ads Worth Spreading" campaign gets under way, Google's YouTube unit is helping showcase the most creative and innovative video advertisements before the award winners are determined and announced in March 2014.

The awards, which are in their fourth year, are presented by the group that puts on TED Conferences (Technology, Education, Design), which are devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, according to the organization, to celebrate creativity and emotional power in advertising.

The 2014 TED video ad competition, with the help of YouTube, will make all the contending ad videos available to online viewers so they can see the best of the best before the votes are counted, Tara Levy, managing director of ads marketing for Google and YouTube, wrote in a Nov. 20 post on The Official YouTube Blog.

"What makes a good ad?" she wrote. "In some cases, it's a striking image. In others, a funny premise. There's no formula, but most memorable ads all have something in common: They tell a story worth sharing."

That's where YouTube comes in to help, to share the contending ad videos with online viewers, wrote Levy. "Sharing is at the heart of the YouTube experience. From Metro Trains' "Dumb Ways to Die" and TNT's "Dramatic Surprise" to Chipotle combining powers with Willie Nelson, many of the most popular videos on YouTube are from brands that understand the power of great storytelling and creating content people choose to watch and share."

The TED Ads Worth Spreading initiative will again celebrate the year's most creative and notable ads and make them available to YouTube visitors. The awards are "given to the brands and agencies creating innovative ads that people can't stop sharing," wrote Levy.

The 2013 ad nominees for the March 2014 competition include 30 of the most creative minds in the advertising world, as well as a host of people who often speak at TED conferences, wrote Levy.

This year, Google is adding a "viewer's choice" component to the nominated videos, according to Levy. "We'll rank the most popular videos based on actual YouTube views using the methodology behind our YouTube Ads Leaderboard, which publishes the most watched and shared ads on YouTube each month."

The TED 2013 Ads Worth Spreading winners included some amazing ads, including Expedia's "Find Your Understanding" ad, Dell's "Annie" ad, and Coca-Cola's "Security Cameras" ad. Each has the power to elicit smiles and tears from the viewer, at the same time. The full playlist of last year's winning ads can be viewed online, according to Levy. "Combined, these ads have been viewed more than 140 million times on YouTube," she wrote.

YouTube often gets involved in cultural events to bring together fans of music, fashion, culture and more.

Earlier in November, YouTube's first-ever Music Award winners were named based on votes from fans. The winners included Eminem as Artist of the Year and Taylor Swift as YouTube Phenomenon. The awards presentation, which was streamed live Nov. 3, presented music fans with a wide assortment of performances from some of the biggest music stars who became global hits on YouTube in the past year, including Arcade Fire, Avicii, CDZA, Earl Sweatshirt, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Lindsey Stirling, M.I.A., Tyler, The Creator and Walk Off the Earth.

In September, YouTube streamed live online coverage of the 2013 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week events in New York City, bringing the latest fashions and trends to the world. Included in the YouTube coverage were more than 60 live shows from BCBG, Rachel Zoe, Betsey Johnson, Jenny Packham and more on the IMG Fashion YouTube channel, as well as stylish channel live stream shows on getting made up to the hilt with expert help from fashion and make-up experts such as Louise Goldin and Jeremy Scott.

Earlier in August, YouTube celebrated geeks with its first-ever "Geek Week" event that highlighted content, including "Game of Thrones," "The Big Bang Theory," Harry Potter and "The Avengers." The Geek Week celebration highlighted the global community on YouTube that loves superheroes, comics, gaming, science and science fiction.

In May 2013, YouTube turned 8 years old, having launched in May 2005 as a video-sharing Website where people could post their creative works and watch to see if they gained any footholds. YouTube's popularity has been huge, with the site receiving more than 100 hours of uploaded video from creators each minute. All of that video content is being created by millions of partners and contributors, some of whom have become very popular through the growing site.

In March 2013, YouTube announced that it is providing video content for more than 1 billion viewers per month. The popular video-sharing site has helped launch the careers of a slew of entertainers and made celebrities out of ordinary citizens, thanks to viral videos.