There is a discussion going on in the Ubuntu Marketing team’s mailing list about creating Ubuntu videos in order to advertise Ubuntu to normal users. We got onto talking about existing adverts from Microsoft and Apple and I thought I’d share with the wider community my thoughts.
Interestingly when you look at the adverts for both companies you find an interesting pattern.
Often a leading brand / product doesn’t need to reference it’s competition, it just goes along with “We’re awesome, and everyone knows it”, The second fiddle is often comparing it’s self to the market leader.
What we have is Apple constantly comparing themselves to PC (even though an Apple is a PC and what they really mean is windows). Then Apple’s adverts were so successful that they put Microsoft on the defensive and they produced a bunch of laptop hunter adverts that mention Apple’s expensive laptops, unusual strategy for a market leader. But then the dynamic is kinda odd since Microsoft is a software company and Apple is a hardware company. so it’s not like they’re competing… not really.
But you’ll notice that every advert reinforces a set of ideas:
1) That there is such a thing as a Mac and it’s not a PC.
2) That a PC is Windows and nothing else.
3) That there are only two choices.
4) That you have to pay one way or another.
5) No one need worry about control when they get fancy features.
It’s interesting that we don’t play on our strengths of pointing this out, getting people to go “Oh hey there is something else, oh it can be installed on any PC, even Apple PCs, oh it’s free and I get to OWN it, control it, give it to my friends and even get involved with real people who make it, not just marketing departments.
There is a whole bunch of stuff we could focus on in very clever ways. But what I see a lot of here is tail chasing… lets copy them because they’ve spent money on those adverts. Perhaps people really have bought into the ideas in those adverts and that just sounds like the adverts were successful in telling their story and we want our story to be Microsoft’s or Apple’s because we were taken in.
But why do we want to tell the same story when we’ve a completely different narrative that’s run our communities for years.