Advertisement Idea for Ubuntu
Note: This blog entry covers an idea for an advertisement for Ubuntu, not the intended format. The intended format is a live-action video advertisement in which the content within the comic is covered. The comic is only to illustrate how the live-action advertisement would take place, and the blog entry is to describe the reasoning behind it.
Many of you may have seen the new Ubuntu ad which was created a little while back and shared on the Facebook group among other Ubuntu community sites. While I thought the ad was okay at giving an idea of what Ubuntu is to more technically inclined viewers, I feel the entire advertisement does not really talk to the average computer user at all. The average user is more focused on applications and being able to do with Ubuntu what they can with Windows or Mac. Essentially, a good advertisement for Ubuntu, aka Linux for Human Beings, needs actual Human Beings. At the time I did not really have a solid idea for how to market Ubuntu in such an advertisement other than showing some Ubuntu users from the community and other general suggestions.
Then I had one of those “eureka” moments when an idea sparks in your head. I was sitting in a Café eating between classes, when I saw a couple of girls sitting together on their Macs and sharing Youtube videos and such with one another. I started thinking about a scenario in which a friend of those girls walked up with a laptop running Ubuntu, and was asked about application support and shared a quick bit about Ubuntu with them. The preceding conceptual comic is the result of this thinking and several hours of drawing/painting (in the GIMP of course ) with my wacom tablet.
The actual advertisement could be adjusted as necessary, but the big points in this concept are as follows.
- Use of real people, with one making the decision to use Ubuntu and being questioned about it by their friends. This example sets up a student and teacher model, but the teacher is down to Earth in that they are not an “expert” and are an equal amongst three friends. This makes Millina out to be an ordinary person in that she is not an “expert,” and also the down-to-Earth explanation and recent switch avoids her being tagged as a nerd but rather someone who made a decision based on cost and other “normal” factors.
- A focus on applications. Applications are what allow people to do what they do, and most computer users understand this. Since most Ubuntu applications are different from what most people use, we need to be upfront with saying which applications we have that do what people do the most, and being sure that they are just as good along with saying they are.
- A mention of the Operating System itself as well, covering the points which people will be most curious about. In this case I glance over price and security amongst the talk of applications.
- Advertising it as something to switch to when getting a new laptop. This requires getting Ubuntu laptops in stores, of course, but it is more likely when we are going to net a new user. The average user has never installed any OS before, and is probably going to be overwhelmed if they have to install Ubuntu. Giving them a choice right when they’re buying makes the decision more likely to go in favour of the cheaper option, especially in today’s economy.
These concepts are important and in the comic strip I model them out the way I feel they are in the order of importance in peoples’ minds. That is, the applications get most attention with the actual OS features mentioned a bit. Perhaps adding in that it is fast would be a good idea too, especially in saying that it doesn’t slow down over time like Windows since I know people also get annoyed with an unresponsive computer. This is usually due to viruses and such, but covering directly and simply is best.
I present this idea as someone who uses Ubuntu because of its applications. For a while I went hopping between the OSes, using Windows 7 and Snow Leopard before settling on Ubuntu at its Lucid Lynx release and have been using Ubuntu exclusively ever since and have no intention to stop. This was because the applications I used most and liked in Windows 7 were Google Chrome, Pidgin, GIMP and OpenOffice. I went to Ubuntu because I had used it in the past and knew that those applications and others integrated with it much better, and it was all free. However, your average user is only going to know what they know from Windows or Mac since those operating systems come on 99% of home PCs which are sold.
Therefore, if we are to “sell” Ubuntu to people, we have to bring the information about the applications to them and ice the cake with its zero currency price tag, high security and speed, along with showing them average people using it. Essentially, feed them what they want rather than the ideals of the Open Source model, which is great and makes perfect since but is outside the scope of what the average computer user cares about. However, getting the average computer user using open source software is what those of us who share the ideals of the Open Source model care about.