5 terrific TED Talks for today’s marketer

From the spoofing of spammers to Seth Godin’s intriguing notions about the merit of horrible ideas, these online videos can help you find hidden value in unlikely sources.

Have 20 minutes for inspiration? How about 10?

TED—an acronym for its primary areas of focus: technology, entertainment, design—posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan “Ideas worth spreading.”

Best known for their short and thought-provoking format, TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, technology and creativity in more than 100 languages.

Here is a handful of outstanding TED Talks for marketers, covering topics such as how to get your ideas to spread, how to improve the experience of choosing, the influential world of brand marketing, and the fundamental theories of branding.

1. This is what happens when you reply to spam email.

  • Sentence summary: A hilarious and weeks-long exchange with a spammer.
  • Speaker bio: James Veitch is a British writer and comedian. Spam emails proved the perfect opening to have some fun, playing the scammers at their own game.
  • Time: 9:48
  • Views: More than 18.5 million
  • Recorded: December 2015 at TEDGlobal>Geneva

2. How to get your ideas to spread.

  • Sentence summary: Why bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.
  • Speaker bio: Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, author and blogger who thinks deeply about the marketing of ideas in the digital age.
  • Time: 17:01
  • Views: More than 5.4 million
  • Recorded: February 2003 at TED2003

3. How to make choosing easier.

  • Sentence summary: How brands can improve the experience of choosing.
  • Speaker bio: Sheena Iyengar is a psycho-economist who studies how people choose and has discovered many surprising things about it.
  • Time: 16:05
  • Views: More than 2.2 million
  • Recorded: November 2011 at TEDSalon NY2011

4. The greatest TED Talk ever sold.

  • Sentence summary The hidden but influential world of brand marketing and Morgan Spurlock’s quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship.
  • Speaker bio: Morgan Spurlock is a filmmaker best known for his film “Super Size Me“; he makes documentary films and television shows that are personal, political and empathetic.
  • Time: 19:28
  • Views: More than 2 million
  • Recorded: March 2011 at TED2011

5. What physics taught me about marketing.

  • Sentence summary: What physics and marketing have in common.
  • Speaker bio: Dan Cobley is marketing director at Google for central and northern Europe. He connects customers and businesses, helping both navigate digital space to find what they need.
  • Time: 7:38
  • Views: More than 1.3 million
  • Recorded: July 2010 at TEDGlobal 2010

Do you have a favorite TED Talk that’s not listed above? Please comment below—with a link, please—so others can find out about it.

A version of this post first appeared on Knowledge Enthusiast.

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