7 Minute Read

Top 5 Marketing Ted Talks To Watch Before the End of 2020

It may seem overwhelming to catch up to the latest trends and hot topics of marketing. Now, more than ever, we look to be inspired by content that can not only shape our marketing strategies, but also appeal to potential consumers. That is why we have rounded up the top 5 marketing TED talks to watch before the end of 2020. We can all use some valuable insight and inspiration as the most tumultuous year comes to an end. 

1. The Greatest Ted Talk Ever Sold


Key Takeaways:

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is no stranger to brands, which motivated his dive into the world of brand marketing to make a film about sponsorship. He starts off by discussing his film "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” and how it was strategically branded with the goal of the film being about absolute “transparency.” He started to realize that when he started having conversations with companies, “the idea of understanding your brand is a universal problem.” Despite companies not understanding the motives of the film, Spurlock knew the power of storytelling would clear up how his brand is defined. He discusses how defining a brand is risky and where you take chances, because in those risks will come opportunity.

Why marketers should watch:
  • Embrace transparency: Transparency is crucial for brands, especially in 2020, where consumers look for honest conversations within organization and trust to the brand. 
  • Take risks: Risk taking is essential in a marketer’s playbook. To move forward with an innovative idea, you need to embrace fear and risk.
  • Figure out your personal brand: What is your brand? Go out of your way to define your brand, so that customers know who you are and what you stand for.

2. Why Sneakers are a Great Investment


Key Takeaways:

Josh Luber is a "sneakerhead," also defined as a collector of limited sneakers. In his TED talk, Luber explains how “sneakerheads can track the value of their collection over time, compare it to others, and have access to the same analytics you might for your online brokerage account.” But what do sneakerheads have to do with marketing, you may ask? Luber argues that sneakerheads are the ones who drive the marketing and the hype and the PR, which ultimately enables brands like Nike to sell millions of $60 sneakers.

Why marketers should watch:
  • Importance of UGC marketing: Just like the Nike sneakerheads, user-generated content makes your brand seem more authentic.
  • Importance of data marketing: Overlooking your customers’ data means missing out on smart opportunities to identify trends and the highest possible return on ROI. 
  • Creating hype for the brands: Building up anticipation for your brand is the go-to strategy for marketers, especially in 2020. 

3. How to Get Your Ideas to Spread


Key Takeaways:

Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. Godin explains how the cycle of purchasing television ads was the “OG” model of spreading ideas. Marketers were used to making average products for average people, but the best ideas are often the most out-of-the-box ones.

Why marketers should watch:
  • Bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones: Now, more than ever, thinking outside the box is crucial for creating successful marketing campaigns. 
  • Spreading ideas is central to all marketing efforts: Spreading ideas with strategy can boost marketing efforts. Figure out where and how your marketing ideas can be best executed and make sure you’re targeting the correct demographics.
  • Playing it safe is the new risk: If you're not being risky, the next brand is. And they're getting more recognition out of it.

4. How Big Tech Manipulates Our Emotions


Key Takeaways:

(Note: This talk contains graphic language)

Fun fact: “The combined market capitalization of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google is now equivalent to the GDP of India.” Let that sink in. In a spectacular TED talk, Professor Scott Galloway shares insights and eye-opening stats about Big Tech’s dominance. In this talk, Galloway compares the tech massive platforms, like Facebook and Google, to different parts of our human body to exaggerate how consumed the human species is with technology. For example, he refers to the iPhone as our new cross, because it's sacred. “It shouldn't be the iPhone X, it should be called the iPhone Cross. We have our religion; it's Apple. Our Jesus Christ is Steve Jobs, and we've decided this is holier than our person, our house or our computer.” This talk highlights what happens when these brands infiltrate society’s entire lives.

Why marketers should watch:
  • Big tech controls our society: In order for consumers to trust your brand, it is important to understand how and why Big Tech retains so much power.
  • Digital marketing is rising: It's crucial to know how marketing on big tech platforms can eventually define the future of marketing, as it has already shown in 2020.
  • Fake news: A concept marketers should be well-versed in. Circulating fake news diminishes your brand’s identity, be sure to fact check all of your sources.

5. Why Gender Based Marketing is Bad for your Business


Key Takeaways:

In this TED talk, marketing expert Gaby Barrios, explains why gender-based marketing doesn't drive business nearly as much as you might think, and shows how companies can find better ways to reach customers and grow their brands. She refers to her experience watching the Women's World Cup and seeing TV commercials for makeup and household cleaning products. Gaby’s advice to marketers is to avoid using gender as a shortcut to reach your target consumer. She further argues that the shortcut actually distracts marketers from the fun things that could be driving growth for brands.

Why marketers should watch:
  • Gender-based marketing doesn't drive business: Original marketing and creative marketing drives business.
  • Companies can find better ways to reach customers and grow their brands: Tap into your source of consumers, find out what they like, and identify their behaviors — whether it be through data points or direct communication.
  • Clarify your targeting with real people: The best way to boost your brand is to identify your target demographic by speaking to them directly. Be open to their feedback — it will pay off. 

As marketers, we can use some valuable insight from some marketing pioneers. It is important to understand that the marketing landscape is constantly evolving, even as you’re reading this. As marketers, we need to stay on top of trends and innovations that will not only resonate with our consumers, but also boost our brands.

Enjoy watching!

Dear BAMf

Dear BAMf Podcast // 44: Elise Brown of Anthemis Group

Elise Brown, Director of Marketing at Anthemis Group, shares how to communicate good news that isn't tone deaf.


Dear BAMf Podcast // 43: Dan Tarman of

Dan Tarman, founder of consultancy firm, gives advice for preparing the C-Suite for an IPO.


Dear BAMf Podcast // 42: April Conyers of Postmates

Erica Conyers, Head of PR at Postmates, tells us how to use data to tell a story. 


Dear BAMf Podcast // 41: Gabrielle Ferree of OneTrust

Gabrielle Ferree, Head of PR at OneTrust, explains the best way to manage client scope creep.


AMA with Axios, Venture Capital Journal, & The Markup

 Kia Kokalitcheva of Axios, Alastair Goldfisher of Venture Capital Journal, Dara Kerr of The Markup answered all of your PR and pitching questions.


PR Bootcamp: Analyst Relations 101

BAM's Vice President, Lauren Grassetti, and Account Director, Laura Nickel, provided an introduction to analyst relations. 


BAM Book Jam with Koa Beck

Koa Beck, author of "White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind," talks about inclusive feminism.


The best stories in your inbox.