What makes a good ad? 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. 

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.

To recognize videos like these, YouTube is once again teaming up with TED’s Ads Worth Spreading initiative to celebrate the year’s most creative and notable ads. The award is given to the brands and agencies creating innovative ads that people can’t stop sharing.

Thirty of the most creative minds in the ad world, like those behind the videos above, along with TED speakers including Sarah Kay and Alanna Shaikh, will help find and nominate 2013’s most noteworthy ads. Winners will be announced during the annual TED conference in March 2014 (for more information, check out the full list of nomination teams and advocates).

As part of our involvement, we’ll add a viewer’s choice component to the nominated videos. 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.

For insights into what makes an ad worth spreading, check out this article and interview video. Or just watch the playlist of last year’s winning ads. Combined, these ads have been viewed more than 140 million times on YouTube.



Tara Levy, Managing Director of Ads Marketing for Google and YouTube, recently watched “Volvo Trucks - The Epic Split feat. Van Damme (Live Test 6).”