View Full Version : Ubuntu advertising campaign help!?

January 18th, 2008, 05:37 AM
My partner and I are competing in a competitive event in which we need to create an advertising campaign for a company or product. It is an 11 page paper describing the campaign and a 20 minute presentation in front of judges. We decided to create an ad campaign for Ubuntu. We really don't have much as of now but we wanted to let the community know to see what you guys thought of it and if you had any ideas/advice/ links or any sort of help. We would have to include target markets/promotion plans/budget/profits/market research etc... This has to be done in 1 month and if we do good at the state competition we will advance to nationals in Atlanta Georgia where we will present the campaign there. This creates opportunities for scholarships and possibly money to fund this campaign. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thank You

Paul Huinker, Isaac Rockafellow

January 19th, 2008, 09:14 PM
HI Guys

the CDs seem to be the only way that we promote ubuntu apart from the most enthusiastic standing in the city centre citing the benefits of ubuntu.

this is a good place to start


you will get help and support here

'may the force be with you'


January 19th, 2008, 09:16 PM
This may get more support in the Community Cafe. I am going to request it gets moved there.

January 19th, 2008, 11:48 PM
Moved to Community Cafe.

January 21st, 2008, 08:35 PM

This gives more detailed information about the event.

January 22nd, 2008, 04:37 AM
Hi, I'm Isaac, the other person working on this project. I'm currently working on a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to get some initial brainstorming. I don't know whole lot about ubuntu, so I would be very glad to hear what others have to add. I also apologize if I am misinformed about some things, again, my knowledge is somewhat limited.

My current (very) rough draft:

Strengths- It's free. Updates occur frequently. Safety- there is a very low probability of acquiring a virus. Reliability- there are few crashes when running linux/ubuntu. The community- over one million posts per year on the forums and grassroots advertisement that already occurs. What else?

Weaknesses- Mainstream compatibility- Some games and software often do not support linux. It's new- many people fear or don't see the need to change. Information Fragmentation- I noticed this especially on the "Ubuntu Catalogue" page. It lists the partners, but it would also help to have an easily accessible page on the main Ubuntu site that lists common applications, uses, etc.

Opportunities- Windows has had several screw ups in the past year. The Vista release was thoroughly lack-luster and targeting some of those upset users could work quite well.
Dell recently began carrying laptops that come pre-installed with Ubuntu. Having such a well known name backing a product can significantly increase the potential market.
Finally, continued development. It should continue to get better and better from here, building on success and weeding out problems where they arise.

Threats- Other than the continued popularity of other OS's and the potential that their upgrades and advancements outpace Ubuntu's, I can't easily see many outside threats.

Now, where do you think Ubuntu should advertise to hit certain markets? What do you think should be the target market? Desktops? Servers? Both? Why?

I really would appreciate all suggestions, and thank anyone for taking the time to help.


January 23rd, 2008, 11:05 AM
I supose your marketing would have to be mainstream, i think viral (is that the right word?, im talking about stickers and stuff done by individuals) marketing for linux would be a good way to go as it has a huge user base. Im not sure how well it would work i doubt people will change thier OS because of a sticker somewhere but it will raise awareness of alternatives, and for some windows users linux is something they want to do they just never got round to it.

Mainstream marketing for linux normally involves either the
the open source side ( apeals to users)
or slaging of the competition ( buisness probably prefer this)
you may want to havea look at this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=673873)

January 24th, 2008, 04:05 PM
Our campaign is going to market Ubuntu in general, but we will mention the newest releases (Gutsy, Hardy Heron) and incorporate them into the plan. Also what are the "biggest" profits that ubuntu receives. Any information regarding ubuntus profits will be helpful since we need to know how much money we can use to advertise. thanks

January 24th, 2008, 04:12 PM
In my opinion you should focus more on the terms free (Not free as in money!) and of course on the philosophy behind Ubuntu. (Humanity to others etc...)

January 24th, 2008, 04:30 PM
+1 for Freedom. Have a look into the philosophy of the Open Source movement. Freedom to choose is a definate positive, and Open Source has it's own benefits in terms of security and rapid development/evolution.

January 24th, 2008, 05:10 PM
set up a video of somone using ubuntu for somthing, with heaps of compiz effects.

January 25th, 2008, 12:09 AM
Wow! What fun.
Food for thought from a 25 year Windows and marketing guy who converted.

Selected by Experts (PC World) as one of the Best Products of 2007, with comparisons to Mac OS - at no cost & without onerous licenses and install limits.
Powers up easily - and fast. No waiting around. XP takes (observed) 2-3 times longer on same machine. Challenge folks to try it! Nothing to lose.
"Command line" for power users - "Vista+++/more like a Mac interface" for folks who like GUI. Users have choice!
Seems to be 2x+ faster than other OS's (and certainly the fastest Windows) on same machine.
No recurring cost for licenses, no limit on machines, no invasive practices, not vulnerable to outside attack, No badgering, effortless to maintain.
Pioneering advances. Consider Gutsy is certainly more elegant and pleasing that Vista - as sharp as new Mac Leopard - and offers an Office system almost as good as MS Office 2007 - for $300+ less.
Easier updates, substantial Upgrades every 6 months versus every 3-5 years!
World of developers and people who want something better... willing to contribute time, energy and genius.
Plus all the points on the Ubuntu Main Page - Why Ubuntu? - plus cost of ownership (Do you want to spend, privately, up to $400++/yr on SW or $0?)

WEAKNESSES - mostly due to only being around for 4 years vs. 15-20:
Video applications not as good as Windows or Mac; but will emerge (consider it has same core system power - Linux - as Mac.) Future promise.
Financial systems not as good yet - but coming - see KMyMoney as example.
Downloading programs takes getting used to - but easier when learned - and up to 19,000 programs available on a whim, at no cost.
Does not cost money - some view this to mean it is not as good.

January 25th, 2008, 01:21 AM
Download the Ubunt training manual (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=672330&highlight=training+manual) from this thread. The 1st few pages list some of the pluses of Ubuntu.

The Weekly Newsletter also showcases Ubuntu use around the world.

Good luck with your project

February 26th, 2008, 08:06 PM
good news, we finished 1st at the state competition and will be advancing to nationals in Atlanta. We threw this campaign together in a couple of days and plan on improving it before nationals. the presentation was 15 long and we created a screencast showing all the features of ubuntu. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

I. Executive Summary

Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that uses “open source” values, meaning it is completely free, and anyone can do what they want with it. Ubuntu was created and is funded by Canonical Ltd., a private company founded by Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical is the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu and is dedicated to the development, distribution, and support of Ubuntu and its community (“Canonical”).

Ubuntu stands out from the competition because it is free of charge and there are no limitations to what you can do with it. Ubuntu is one of the most stable and secure operating system in the world, and it brings a new, fun and effective way for people to accomplish tasks on their computer.

Objectives of the campaign include teaching the public the benefits of Ubuntu through presentations at conferences and local demonstrations, organizing large events such as “Ubuntu Day,” forming partnerships with businesses and school institutions, and creating thousands of Ubuntu CD’s and distributing them across the United States. By the end of the campaign, we hope to have increased both the number of downloads of Ubuntu and the number of CD’s ordered by 15%.

The primary market for the campaign will be home users, initially focusing on the “early majority,” recreational users who can see the benefit of adopting a new technology. By the end of our campaign we want to begin to break into the “standard user” market. This market consists of people who are not fascinated by computers; they only see them as a way to accomplish tasks. To reach this market we will be promoting Ubuntu at several consumer technology shows, as well as hosting “Ubuntu Day,” which will reach thousands of these users locally. The secondary market consists of businesses and schools. Creating partnerships in this market is crucial, for it creates long term usability of the software, and paid support which brings in profit for Canonical.

Advertising will consist of internet ads, presentations at conferences, the Ubuntu website, Ubuntu Day, press coverage, word of mouth, and online viral marketing (user generated content). The costs of advertising in the campaign will total $59,000. This money will mostly come from the established “Ubuntu Foundation,” as well as profits made by Canonical through support, and free will donations (“New Ubuntu Foundation”). This campaign will increase general public knowledge of Ubuntu. An increase in Ubuntu’s popularity will greatly benefit Canonical because having more users means there will be a greater need for paid technical support from Canonical bringing in more revenue.

II. Descriptions

Description of the Product

Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are.’ The Ubuntu operating system brings that philosophy to the software world (“What is Ubuntu”). Since Ubuntu is open source, it believes that software should be available free of charge, and people should have the freedom to customize and alter their software in whatever way they see fit.

Ubuntu is sponsored by Canonical Ltd., a private company founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical is a global organization headquartered in Europe and is dedicated to the development, distribution, and support of Ubuntu and its community.

Ubuntu is different from the competition (Microsoft and Apple) in several fundamental ways. Primarily, it is free software in two senses of the word “free.” In the financial sense of the word “free,” users can acquire and install Ubuntu for any purpose without paying for it. In the liberal sense of the word, users have the freedom to modify, redistribute, or do whatever they want with the software.

Ubuntu also stands out from the competition because of its availability of software. Users who pay hundreds of dollars for their operating system are provided only with a media player and a web browser. All other software must be purchased separately from Microsoft or other vendors. Ubuntu, however, comes preinstalled with open office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), an image manipulator (Photoshop), a webpage creator (FrontPage), and many more. These programs, like their operating system, are provided free of charge for business or professional use.

Ubuntu also differs in regards to security. Whereas there are tens of thousands of viruses and spyware that wreak havoc on windows systems every day, there are only and handful of viruses that have been found and taken care of on Ubuntu, and virtually no spyware whatsoever. This means longer system stability, protection of personal information, and no paying for costly virus protection software.

Description of Client/Advertiser

Primetime PROduction marketing (founded by Paul Huinker and Isaac Rockafellow) has been hired by Canonical Ltd. to create an advertising campaign for Ubuntu. Canonical is looking for a campaign to increase public awareness of Ubuntu while utilizing the support of the community and maintaining the philosophy that Ubuntu brings to the software world.

III. Objectives


Teach the public about Ubuntu, Open Source, and Free Software.

Present effective presentations at numerous large events/conferences.


Advocate Ubuntu to groups like schools, libraries, families, businesses, etc.

Organize large events to get the word out about Ubuntu. (Ubuntu Day)

Partner with businesses and educational institutions.

Create consumer product recognition by continuity of Ubuntu logo/message.


Provide supplies and information for getting Ubuntu.

Create thousands of Ubuntu CD’s for distribution to anyone interested.

IV. Identification of Target Markets

The main goal of this advertising campaign is to increase the public’s knowledge of Ubuntu. For that reason, our primary target market will be home users. We can’t possibly target all home users at once, so we will focus on the “early majority:” recreational users with some technological know-how, who can see the benefit of adopting new technology. We will seek out those users through a mainly internet based campaign, advertising on websites populated with potential members of the early majority such as Digg, C-NET, and PC World.

To acquire that early majority, we will also be using Google Ads to target users searching for keywords such as spyware, adware, and viruses because Ubuntu is virtually virus and spyware free. Another key word we will use is “Vista Problems.” Microsoft’s most recent operating system release, Vista, has been plagued with problems and bugs. We hope to reach Vista users fed up with those problems.

We will also re-vamp the current Ubuntu website by adding an easily accessible “First Time Users” section to the homepage. The section will include easy to use instructions for installing Ubuntu, as well as popular applications and their uses; information that is currently scattered across their website.

The Ubuntu community is another excellent resource we will have at our disposal. With almost 500,000 forum members and over 1 million posts per year, the forum can be an excellent source of free, grassroots advertising (“Ubuntu Forums”). We intend to sponsor monthly forum competitions to not only create user generated advertisements and viral Ubuntu-related content, but also to foster a greater sense of community between current users.

In addition to internet advertisements, we will sponsor Ubuntu Day in five regions (the NE, SE, MW, W, and SW) of the US to promote awareness of Ubuntu. Ubuntu Day will be largely organized by volunteers and existing volunteer marketing teams, called LoCo teams, at college campuses, community centers, and other localities across the United States. As a company, Canonical will coordinate with these volunteers and LoCo Teams to distribute free Ubuntu CD’s and Ubuntu merchandise on Ubuntu Day. In addition to passing out free CD’s, demonstrations, workshops, and Q&A sessions will be given by LoCo team members.

The secondary markets of the campaign will be businesses and schools. Convincing businesses and schools to use Ubuntu provides huge benefits; a single school adopting Ubuntu can introduce hundreds, if not thousands, of students to it. Businesses and schools, small or large, are also an excellent market because they will be likely to purchase technical support from Canonical, providing income that can be re-invested in Ubuntu.

To target the business and school markets, we will set up booths and give presentations at trade shows across the country. A few examples of such trade shows are the School Technology Summit in Washington D.C. (“School Technology Summit”) and the Consumer Technology Innovations Conference (“Consumer Technology Innovations 2008”). Convention presentations will center on how Ubuntu can satisfy a business or school’s needs, showing demos that emphasize its user friendliness, functionality, cost-effectiveness, and reliability.

To assist interested businesses and schools, we will also add separate sections to the Ubuntu website for businesses and schools. These sections will contain pertinent information, such as Ubuntu features often utilized by businesses, success stories of other schools/businesses who use Ubuntu, benefits of switching to Ubuntu (functionality, user friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and reliability), and a link to Dell’s line of computers pre-installed with Ubuntu (“Ubuntu.”). Finally, LoCo Teams and other members of the Ubuntu community will be encouraged to contact their local school district’s technology administrators and talk with them about Ubuntu.

V. List of Advertising Media

Viral Marketing


Community Competitions


User Generated Content

Internet Advertisements

Google Ads

Banner Ads






Word of Mouth

LoCo Teams

Special Events

Ubuntu Day



VI. Budget




Google Ads

Banner Ads


Ubuntu Day



Misc. Exp



The budget details the costs of advertising techniques that will be used throughout the campaign. The “Conferences” row includes the estimated cost of attending various business, education, and consumer electronics conferences. It includes estimated travel expenses, vendors’ fees, and Ubuntu CD’s given away. The first CD expense is for additional Ubuntu CD’s we estimate will need to be produced. Expenses beneath “Ubuntu Day” are the estimated costs of the merchandise and CD’s that will be given out on Ubuntu Day. The miscellaneous expenses row includes shipping costs and other potential costs that come from organizing Ubuntu Day activities.

VII. Advertising Schedules

A large part of this ad campaign is focused on centralizing information on Ubuntu’s website, as well as consistent advertisements. For the entire six month period, the Ubuntu website will be updated with specific sections for first time users, businesses, and schools. We will also be running Google Ads consistently during the campaign period and opening channels to talk with heads of the Ubuntu community advertising teams to increase their drive to (freely!) market Ubuntu.

Every other month, we will attempt to have a press release announcing new features of the upcoming Ubuntu version, sales promotions, and other Ubuntu information. We will host monthly contests on the forums to create advertisements, video or otherwise, for Ubuntu. Finally, on a monthly rotating schedule, we will purchase banner ads on Digg, a user driven, technology focused news site (Alexa Ranking: 150), CNET, a source for technology reviews, products, and news (Alexa Ranking: 22, and PC World, the website of a popular magazine containing news, product information, and reviews (Alexa Ranking: 1,167)( “Alexa: the Web Information Company”). Finally, near the end of the campaign will be Ubuntu day.

VIII. Schedules of Sales Promotions

Because Ubuntu is a free operating system, there is no way that we can provide sales promotions on the operating system itself. But we can provide incentives for businesses, schools, and server operators by offering introductory price reductions on technical support. Those price reductions will be available through the entire campaign. Also, Dell recently began carrying a line of computers pre-installed with Ubuntu. We will work with them to create discounts for bulk orders coming from businesses and schools.

IX. Benefits to Canonical

One benefit of the campaign is that each piece can be easily evaluated. The overall effectiveness can be judged by the number of CD’s requested, copies of Ubuntu downloaded, and advertisement clicks that are generated. Success at conferences can be gauged by the number of CD’s that potential users take. The viral marketing campaign can be reviewed based on the number of hits the advertisements are generating on sites like YouTube. The success of Ubuntu Day can be judged by surveying the LoCo Teams about the number of CD’s and merchandise given away as well as their estimates of the turnout for the event. Although easy evaluation is a definite benefit, it isn’t the largest one.

The greatest advantage of this campaign is increasing the general public’s knowledge of Ubuntu. An increase in Ubuntu’s popularity can benefit Canonical because having more users means there will be a greater need for technical support from Canonical. This will become especially true if Ubuntu begins to be adopted by businesses and schools, who are more likely to need technical support.

X. Bibliography

“Alexa: the Web Information Company.” 2 February 2008. Alexa Internet Inc. Alexa the Web Information Company

“Canonical.” Canonical Ltd. 2007. http://www.canonical.com/

“Consumer Technology Innovations 2008.” Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 2008. Consumer Technology Innovations | Consumer Technology Innovations 2008

“New Ubuntu Foundation.” Canonical Ltd. 2007. New Ubuntu Foundation Announced | Ubuntu

“School Technology Summit.” Software and Information Industry Association. School Technology Summit | K-12 Digital Content: Evolving Models and Markets

“Ubuntu.” Dell Home and Home Office. Dell Inc. 2008. www.dell.com/ubuntu

“Ubuntu Forums.” Ubuntu Forums. 3 February 2008. Ubuntu Forums

“What is Ubuntu.” Canonical Ltd. 2007. What is Ubuntu? | Ubuntu

February 26th, 2008, 08:15 PM
My partner and I are competing in a competitive event in which we need to create an advertising campaign for a company or product. It is an 11 page paper describing the campaign and a 20 minute presentation in front of judges. We decided to create an ad campaign for Ubuntu. We really don't have much as of now but we wanted to let the community know to see what you guys thought of it and if you had any ideas/advice/ links or any sort of help. We would have to include target markets/promotion plans/budget/profits/market research etc... This has to be done in 1 month and if we do good at the state competition we will advance to nationals in Atlanta Georgia where we will present the campaign there. This creates opportunities for scholarships and possibly money to fund this campaign. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thank You

Paul Huinker, Isaac Rockafellow

*waves a hand in front of your face*
You wil film this presentation and host it on youtube or something like it for all to see.... ps:- these are not the droids you are looking for :-P