I've started taking mass transit to work recently, and when I arrive in Bellevue - a stone's throw away from Redmond
- I see these ads
on, and inside, the buses:
They're advertising OpenOffice, a free, open-source office software suite from Sun Microsystems. Other slogans
include, "Stop giving a bully your lunch money", "Compatible with expensive, closed, memory loving software", and "Prehistoric reptilians welcome
One key to creating memorable, effective ads is the element of surprise, and seeing these very aggressive shots at Microsoft posted on buses in the heart of Microsoft's turf is certainly surprising.
But who's the intended audience? Well, let's see...we're savvy enough to understand jokes about us-opolies and prehistoric reptilians. We're young and hip, or like to think that we are. We're undaunted by the geekspeak that we find at the URL
in the ads. And we live and/or work in or around Redmond.
Maybe this is crazy talk
, but I get the idea that these ads are aimed primarily at Microsoft employees.
They're like propaganda leaflets dropped over enemy territory. Sun isn't trying to win customers, it's trying to demoralize the enemy!
Sun has also created a CafePress store
where you can buy the t-shirts in the ads. (In this case, "you" clearly means, "someone who already uses OpenOffice and hates Microsoft
A Microsoft developer returns fire in his blog
Tags: Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, OpenOffice, OpenOffice.org, open source, technology marketing, Sound Transit