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OpenOffice.org Newspaper Ad Mockup Released 413

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the spread-the-word dept.
Benjamin Horst writes "The volunteer effort raising $10,000 to place at least two backpage ads in New York City's free daily paper Metro is now entering its second full week. We've collected over 10% of our goal already and continue to find new pledge donors at a healthy pace. Our project's purpose is to help 'cross the chasm' and bring awareness of OpenOffice.org 2.0 to the large number of computer users who stand to benefit from its broad feature set and range of useful capabilities. This is not the first time an open source project has sought a high-profile newspaper ad buy. In fact, our effort was directly inspired by the Firefox New York Times ad. Firefox's famous effort announcing its arrival on the world stage helped push it from about 10 million downloads to its current tally of over 185 million!"
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OpenOffice.org Newspaper Ad Mockup Released

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  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by warrior_s (881715) <kindle3@gmail . c om> on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:30PM (#15610004) Homepage Journal
    I dont have anything against openoffice.. but comparing openoffice with Microsoft-office.. it still has looong way to go (you are free to disagree).. where as firefox beats Internet-Explorer quite easily.
  • Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by djwhornplayer (874984) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:30PM (#15610006)
    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the sample ad looks horrible?
  • by a.koepke (688359) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:33PM (#15610021)
    Please, someone help them and design a proper advert.

    That looks like something put together in MS Paint. It really is a crap advert and does nothing for OpenOffice.org.

    If you are going to spend a lot of money putting an advert in a paper at least make it worth your while and get a decent advert designed.
  • by RootsLINUX (854452) <rootslinux.gmail@com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:35PM (#15610033) Homepage
    - doesn't mention that OO.org can (usually) read/write .doc, .xls, .ppt documents
    - doesn't mention that it can run Linux and other O/S (I know Windows and Mac users are the target audience here, but the wide platform availability is one reason why I switched personally...)
    - "Free Software for Free People" => doesn't quite work. It is not explicitly said that OO.org can be downloaded and installed for zero financial cost, but instead alludes that OO.org is "free" in the same sense that people are "free". A person can not cost anything (unless you are a slave), so... the ad draft doesn't communicate the important point of "free to download, free to install, free to use"
    - don't even get me started on the bright yellow background. I know its a rough draft, but at least make it a *good* rough draft! If I saw something that cheezy/annoying/distracting/unprofessional in my newspaper, I would turn to the next page before I finished reading the title

    Good intentions are there, but I need more faith in an ad that works if I'm going to shell out cash for this cause. I don't want to waste my donation money on an ad that doesn't advertise very well :/
  • Ugh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zadaz (950521) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:36PM (#15610039)
    If that's the ad mock up, I'll pass. It looks like something I'd see taped to a phone pole above a undecipherable Xerox of someone's lost cat.

    I like OO and all (Especially when my $2500 computer came with a trial version of Office.......) but could they find one capable designer to donate 30 minutes of their time somewhere--anywhere in the project?

    I might support a real ad in a real publication, but paying good money to distribute this visual hernia in the back of a disposable rag isn't going to bring credibility to anyone.
  • Ach, mein eyes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mnemonic_ (164550) <<ude.hcimu> <ta> <cemaj>> on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:39PM (#15610051) Homepage Journal
    That ad looks like total shit. Seriously, it makes the OpenOffice.org project look like a joke. It's insultingly unprofessional design work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:40PM (#15610054)
    How is the grammer[sic] wrong?
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:44PM (#15610064)
    It isn't good enough on it's own merits... ok that's bollocks, but word of mouth is far more valuable and cheaper than taking out adverts in a newspaper. Hell it's something that all the ad agencies are trying to fake just now anyway.

     
  • Re:Is it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mboverload (657893) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:45PM (#15610069) Journal
    I agree, it's pretty horrible. I'd consider donating if they came up with a really nice one like Firefox had.

    Then again they need to improve their product more before they launch it. Making it less bloated than Microsoft Office is a good goal. I mean...come on? Slower than Office? How is that possible?

  • Re:Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ant P. (974313) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:47PM (#15610082) Homepage
    Not just you. That thing needs a lot of work. A _lot_.
  • by Freaky Spook (811861) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:48PM (#15610090)
    The advertisement doesn't really say exactly what it does, why it is good or why it is worth downloading.

    For years security experts and geeks have been telling users to "be very careful with free software" to avoid malware and other nasty junk, and this ad quite frankly looks like some of the armature SPAM I have received in my inbox, if I saw an ad for this it doesn't make me want to download it or trust where it is coming from.

    For 10K I would take a different approach, the best advertising is word of mouth so I would do something like Mac did in the early 90's, fund schools with software/hardware and a learning program for the software, if it impresses schools then more schools will happily adopt it, plus each kid could be given a free copy to take home to practice on.

    10K could do one classroom in one school, but the word of mouth and the publicity from a company trying to help education would be priceless.
  • Who reads Metro? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by apflwr3 (974301) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:51PM (#15610104)
    Seriously, Metro is not a paper of note. It might be picked up for a quick read on the subway or for lunch by some NY office workers but it's certainly not the caliber of other free papers like the Voice, NYPress or even the Onion. I can't imagine it will get Open Office much return for their investment.

    Wouldn't that $10,000 be better spent on banner ads on high traffic site or Google adwords? Then they'd reach a worldwide audience, and the reader would be literally seconds away from downloading the suite for themselves.
  • Marketing 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pipingguy (566974) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:52PM (#15610111) Homepage
    Lose the freedom/hippie theme and appeal to wallets. How much does MS office cost these days?
  • by zamyatin (768442) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:54PM (#15610119) Homepage
    Don't worry, version 2 of this ad will be created by professional designers! Nothing gets a designer to come out and help like putting something out there for them to criticize.

    Much better would be for this discussion to focus on the real issue of the fundraising effort. Thinking about the target market, the choice of NYC as the location, questions about the number of daily readers of this paper (450,000, in fact), thoughts around the Tipping Point concept of Malcolm Gladwell, reaching a new crowd of non-geeks and home/small business users, etc. These are the valuable points we should be talking about! Not the draft, mockup ad that will soon be superceded.
  • "Free" is bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:58PM (#15610139) Homepage
    Don't say "free" software. People associate "free" as in free beer with cheap. Remember the saying, "There's no free lunch"? Especially in a field filled with adwares, "free" can set off alarms. Why would these guys offer free software? There's must be a catch. That's what the viewers will think. Use open or some other word that makes people think "free as in freedom".
  • what about ODF? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Fluffy_Kitten (911430) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:00PM (#15610147) Homepage
    why don't they just make an ad for ODF instead of making an ad for OO.o
    Isn't this thing really about promoting the format instead of the product?
    Personally I use abiword and still use ODF because it is better than default abiword format.
  • Re:Design (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cervo (626632) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:01PM (#15610148) Journal
    The worst thing about the ad is that it does not tell me anything about Open Office except that it is free, runs on windows/mac, and is an office suite. Firefox's Ad mentioned that it was faster/more stable than Internet explorer and it never made unsubstantiated claims of being the "best". Firefox just claimed to be an alternative which is why it worked so well. Furthermore, getting user experiences in the ad was also a good idea to appeal the reader on a personal level. The open office ad is kind of in your face, I am free, I am superior, download me. Personally the ad comes off as very arrogant; if I did not know what open office was I probably would not even bother giving it a try.

    What is probably the worst thing of all is that Open Office is both slower and less stable than Microsoft Office. Really I'm not quite sure why anyone would switch other than price. If they advertise themselves now when the product is less than ready for full time, they risk leaving the public in general with the impression that Open Office is inferior to Microsoft Office and always will be. Whereas if they waited until the product was superior to office they would have a better chance at making/keeping converts.
  • by VValdo (10446) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:11PM (#15610189)
    With the majority (by far) of comments remarking on the utter badness of the ad, both aesthetically and in terms of its content, I should point out the following note [google.com] when this was submitted:

    This is just a draft, and we are in search of your feedback and suggestions!

    I can only assume the ad will be replaced with something a lot, LOT better. Maybe it would be a good idea to get that part straight before soliciting for cash?

    I'd like to see:

    * What OOo is.
    * Why you would use it.
    * Compatibility with MS Office
    * Compatibility with WordPerfect (?)
    * Save-to-PDF and other standout features
    * Who brought you this ad, and why they did it.
    * NeoOffice as an interoperable alternative for OS X.

    Whoa. That was triangular.

    All the above could be done in a really clever way. A cool graphic. A slogan. Something that grabs your attention and then makes you read more. A contest or something might help to facilitate the best idea(s) floating to the top.

    W
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:13PM (#15610202)
    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the sample ad looks horrible?

    Just basic stuff, like the absurd hyphenation of "all-in-one" in that context... it screams "high school marketing project," and conveys the sense that the technology effort might not be any more fully executed.

    Combine that with the low-brow attempt to appeal to some reflexively counter-culture audience, and the tone is just plain wrong. The project doesn't need more hipster nerds using the software, it needs more corporate IT people to like it. And those folks are not going to talk their bosses and users into using it on the grounds that doing so makes a political statement or somehow "gets even" with profit-oriented companies. Come on! It's profitable companies you want to attract, and conveying that whole "business is teh evil" atmosphere will do more to alienate prospective users than pretty much anything else.

    And, of course, never mind that Excel can still kick its ass, which makes the "world's best" claim just transparently false... and isn't that sort of hucksterism the very thing that the F/OSS most hate about software from The Man?

    Better to have a contest with marketing/design students - they've got a vested interest in building up their portfolios and can really use "won contest" on their resume. And, they may actually have a clue about how punctuation, capitalization, clauses, verbs, and those other little details play a role in communication.
  • Re:Design (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quarters (18322) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:17PM (#15610223)
    You're not alone. The layout is simplistic, the font choices are basic, the colors are attrocious and thhe picture has nothing to do the product. The ad copy is fully hippy-esque "stick it to the man" angst to the detriment of any meaningful copy that actually describes the product and its strengths.

    Based only on that ad I'd assume that OpenOffice some bush-league office suite that I'd find in the schlocky productivity aisle in the software section of BestBuy or Wal*Mart, alongside the "AdSubtract" and "InternetWasher" crap.

  • Re:Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Khaed (544779) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:20PM (#15610237)
    No, it's certainly not just you.

    Rant/ramble ahead.

    First of all the yellow is pretty gaudy, and if anything the yellow and white should be reversed, so that the URL box below the picture has a background that is highlighted, not the way it is now. The black/white reverse for the top URL would look better then.

    The whole Independence/Rushmore thing is a little insulting. I've used OO.o for a long time, and wrote most of my school papers in it up until I started using AbiWord. I still use OO.o occasionally, but I don't see it as being nearly as important as the Declaration of Independence -- which is what I get from the ad --

    I'd change the tag below the URL to "Great (all the features) in one free package."

    Emphasizing the freedom/free software aspect is good. Highlighting compatibility and guaranteed future compatibility would be good. I don't know how to fit "You won't have to use OO.o x.0 just because everyone else does and Sun decided to be snarky and make changes to screw backwards compatibility" into an ad, but I'm sure someone else could.

    OO.o has a lot of nice features. Being free is one of them, but interface wise, I just don't know if it's ready to take on Microsoft Office. It's bloated and MS Office is just easier on the eyes. In my experience and opinion.

    Of course, in a weird twist, OO.o saves documents in Word/Excel format that are actually smaller than the same exact documents saved in Word/Excel... might be true for other aspects of Office, but I never compared them.

    Rant/ramble mode off.
  • by spoop (952477) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:21PM (#15610244)
    Firefox is arguably much better than its competition, IE, but OpenOffice is arguably worse than the competition, Office.
  • Re:Do it... (Score:2, Insightful)

    Hi DoD, Ben just emailed me with the link to this /. article, and so I know that he is reading it now.

    WRT to quality of the ad, I'm thinking that Ben's idea was probably "release early and often" in the hopes that he would spark a discussion such as we are getting now on /. If people don't like the ad, it would be really helpful if people could 1) make some detailed constructive criticisms, or 2) maybe do a quick mock-up themselves, so that we could improve it.

    Thanks again for contributing to the effort, DoD!! Christian Einfeldt
  • Re:Is it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:27PM (#15610260) Homepage
    Problem is they put almost ZERO effort into the AD. It looks as cheezy as a mid 80's Cable TV advertisment. Hell the Comcast "Comcastic" ad's have less cheeze level than this does.

    Getting a student or two at an art school to make a top notch advert worthy of a back page ad on a newspaper is really stinking easy.. Most students kill for something to put on their resume and having it published is even a bigger bonus to get the students signing up.

    The Mock-up is worse than some of the low refinance rates flash ad's all over the net (Gawd that moster playing a love song one sucks worse than most flash animations on albinoblacksheep.com)

    If they want to do this they nered to first get a national newspaper class add created. Not that hard and will cost nothing if they apprioach it right. THEN go asking for money.
  • by monkeybrainsoup (584442) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:36PM (#15610291)
    Maybe they should spend their money on making their website,download, and install process a little more streamlined. I've told tens of people that were in need of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to just go get OpenOffice. ~80% came back to me needing help downloading and installing the software. Yes, these people are definitley not the best at figuring it out, or trying different things, or even reading instructions on a website, but if openoffice.org provided an interface on their site to download as easily accessible as the one on getfirefox.com, they would immediatley have a larger user base.

    1) Don't make users choose a mirror. Users don't have any clue what that means. Figure it out yourselves, but leave the option open for "advanced" users. The torrent is a nice touch though for the "advanced" options.
    2) Provide direct links for the most likely platforms. Sadly this means Windows. On the front page. In huge fonts. (Just do it)
  • Good start (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JayTech (935793) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:38PM (#15610297)
    It's a good start, but it's going to take a lot more than a few ads here and there to make the M$ crowd realize there are better alternatives available. I believe the best way to introduce people to this "new technology" (lol) is by word of mouth.
  • Re:The only way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QRDeNameland (873957) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:39PM (#15610303)
    What part of producing an xml document "requires" Java?
  • Re:Is it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravis777 (123605) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:51PM (#15610350)
    Its awful. It looks like someone came up with it in about 5 minutes. The whole Mt. Rushmore thing is totally inappropriate, it might actually drive people AWAY from the product. The ad is totally uninformative. I truthfully think a frontal attack on the big office packages, something along the lines of "Why pay $600 bucks for MS Office when you can get our product which does the same thing for free" or something similar to be much more effective. Shoot, even those AWFUL Sprite commercials are better than this. I would have to say tha this ad is one of the biggest disappointements the open source community has delivered in a while
  • Re:Is it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NitsujTPU (19263) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:53PM (#15610354)
    No. OO.O doesn't have a lot of the things that FireFox had in place when they did this.

    People forget a lot about FireFox. For one, everyone, 10 years ago, was using Netscape... which begat Mozilla... which begat FireFox.

    People are comparing this to FireFox, because FireFox has a lot of support. People view FireFox as an open source victory. There's a lot different about FireFox though. For one, it was competing against IE, which wasn't as feature-rich and didn't work as well (sorry MS). Compare to MS Office, which OO.O actually has a tough time competing against (Yes, let the flamewar begin. There's nothing like 1000 posts saying, "but I don't use those features!").

    Anyway, by the time FireFox was dumping out newspaper ads, IT pros were already recommending their users install it rather than IE, and people were listening. I don't think that that is remotely true of OO.O.

    Also, the ad isn't going to resonate with anybody. 99.95% of the population doesn't believe that all software needs to be free, and certainly even less understand what that means, since most people who discuss the matter and clamor to the call don't actually understand what it means.

    The ad just isn't going to work on the general public, and it's too soon, there isn't the grassroots support for it. They should wait a year or two until they have their own head of steam, and don't have to ride FireFox's coattails.
  • Re:Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QRDeNameland (873957) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:02PM (#15610393)

    If the guy is fresh out of college, then he should know a few people who at least minored in graphic design who'd be happy to have something to put in their portfolio, one would think.

    A couple suggestions...

    1) Yellow is a poor choice of background color.

    2) OpenOffice has a nicely designed logo for its splash screen. Why not follow the graphic design already suggested by the product? The overall look of the ad is more appropriate for a used car lot or a bail bondsman.

    3) Instead of focusing only on freedom, how about something for the more practically minded, like mentioning how the MS Office can often cost more than the computer it runs on.

    4) Get a few more people involved (including some folks OUTSIDE the FOSS community) and brainstorm a bit.

  • Re:Is it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by babbling (952366) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:05PM (#15610406)
    Some things I think should be in the ad:
    - A screenshot of the UI.
    - Emphasis on it being a free (in price, since businesses care about that more) Office suite that can import/export MS Office files.
    - Emphasis on it being able to completely replace MS Office.
    - A "download it for free from" and then a URL.
  • Re:Do it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nacturation (646836) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `noitarutcan'> on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:10PM (#15610428) Journal
    Hell, I'd put $10 towards them *not* running the ad. Anyone with me? If we hit $10,000 first they agree to not post that eyesore?
     
  • by geekwithsoul (860466) <geekwithsoulNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:17PM (#15610452)
    In the not too distant past . . . OpenOffice people realize that people are actually expecting them to run some sort of ad using their donations

    OOOOOOOOHHHHH SHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIITTTTTT!

    and they smash this traffic accident of a design together in the hopes that everyone is so horrified that someone with some brains and aesthetic sense gives them something better to use

    . . . seriously, this ad is the perfect example of what is wrong with OpenOffice in comparison to Firefox:

    1. OpenOffice is not as good as the commercial software it's trying to compete with, and so it is sort of hard to come up with a marketing-type message.

    2. The software itself, while functional, lacks any sort of cohesive vision or raison d'etre beyond "hey, what do you want? It's free"

    3. It looks like crap. I know this is hard for many of you programmers out there to hear, but if your application *looks* like crap, people are going to think it *is* crap, no matter how good it actually is.

    4. Whereas Firefox took their message to the New York Times and built-up a lot of well justified hype, the OpenOffice folks came up with something that looks like a cross between a church picnic flyer and a political manifesto that maybe a dozen clueful people will read and understand.
  • Re:Is it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:22PM (#15610474)

    Not only that, but the claims in the ad are dubious and subjective at best, if not outright untrue. For a start, I'd be expecting a call from Microsoft's legal team, followed by several others, over the claim to be the "world's best" at all those things.

    If they run that ad, then unfortunately I think it will have only one overwhelming effect: it will convince serious businesspeople everywhere that open source software is from amateurish wannabe land, and shouldn't be touched with a bargepole.

  • I don't get it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TaggartAleslayer (840739) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:26PM (#15610484)
    Why? Why spend money on ads like this?

    I work in an industry full of stuff like this. Everyone outside the industry calls it "the media". Everyone inside calls it advertising. The purpose of a newspaper is to sell ads. The purpose of television programming is to sell ads. The purpose of most web sites is to sell ads. Eventually, if you deal with it day in and day out, you start to despise the system.

    So you load up Linux and start playing with something like OpenOffice. You enjoy the lack of commercial draw. You enjoy the movement away from advertising, into the realm of products shipping on their own worth.

    Then you see people throwing away money on ads that could be better used elsewhere. Honestly, the first thing that came to mind was, "Those thousands of dollars could go to a worthwhile charity and do more good for the cause."

    Maybe I'm just tired. I simply hate commercial advertising for a product that has so much more going for it.
  • Not really... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IANAAC (692242) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:35PM (#15610512)
    If they were to include some screenshots of Writer, Calc, etc.,and mention compatibility with Office just as every other distribution that includes it does instead of that cheesy yellow crap, they might actually attract attention.

    Well, that and actually run the ad in a subscriber-based newsparer, such as the Times, instead of a free rag.

    Seriously, that ad is going to attract noone.

  • Re:Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ClickOnThis (137803) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:15PM (#15610664) Journal
    The worst thing about the ad is that it does not tell me anything about Open Office except that it is free, runs on windows/mac, and is an office suite. [...] The open office ad is kind of in your face, I am free, I am superior, download me. Personally the ad comes off as very arrogant; if I did not know what open office was I probably would not even bother giving it a try.

    Hear hear! Well posted.

    If I may, I'd like to embellish your comments by noting that the ad does absolutely nothing to build brand recognition: no OO.o logos, no sexy screenshots, no feature bullets, nothing that puts the essential aspects of the product into the zeitgeist of the consumer in a way that is memorable or "viral".

    Maybe OO.o needs a mascot? Linux has Tux; Firefox has, well, Firefox; Thunderbird has ... okay, you get the idea.
  • Re:Is it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaseparlo (819802) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:25PM (#15610701) Homepage
    Some things that should not be in the ad:

    * Performance metrics V MS Office (Even more so in the PPC Mac version!)
    * Comparison of Clipart and Wordart features (My kids won't use OOo cos it has none)
    * Cost/Benefit in switching from a version of Office that people/companies already own

    As far as I can see, the difference between Firefox and OOo is that FF was a distinctly superior product, that filled a gap left by the poor features, security and function of IE. OOo on the other hand fills the same niche as MS Office, but is free. Both of them are massive bloated feature rich monsters, that 95% of people use about 5% of.

    Sure, if you don't have any kind of Office software you might try OOo before forking for Office, but if you already own a copy of Office, the time taken to learn new menus and workflow isn't worth switching. Likewise if you are just gonna pirate Office then it's easier to get what you'll be using at work or school than learn something new.

    Corporate environments ditto, retraining office drones to accept that a function is in a different spot, rolling out new software etc, isn't worth the time cost of switching from the Office 2000 install that was paid for once and has served well for 5 years. Likewise if you have MS licensing, it's probably all bundled with your OS licensing anyway. This may be different when the next version of Office comes out though, for orgs that will be upgrading at that point the tabbed menu structure in the new Office will mean drone retraining anyway.

    I'm not pro MS by any stretch, but I have to work with it. These are arguments compiled from my attempts to live on OpenOffice alone, and from family and friends who I have tried to convince to switch. FF gave easily understood advantages, in security, functionality, but the motive to change Office suite just isn't as compelling
  • Re:Is it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdot@nOsPaM.gmail.com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:37PM (#15610741) Homepage Journal
    Is it really worth the money?

    Is Open Source worth the investment in thousands of hours of programming?

    It's the same question, but different currency.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:52PM (#15610791) Homepage

    This ad is so awful that it looks like an attempt to sabotage OpenOffice. The design is terrible, the message is confusing, and it will look even worse on newsprint. Did Microsoft have something to do with this? Anybody competent could do better. The first line ought to read something like this.

    Free office software. No purchase necessary. No fees. No subscriptions. Nothing to pay, ever. No ads. No spyware. No limits on use. No limits on copying. No charge for upgrades. No kidding.

    How is this possible? OpenOffice is free software, developed by hundreds of users and companies worldwide. ...

  • Re:Is it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omeg (907329) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @12:37AM (#15610908)
    Yes, they probably are. But PLEASE don't! There are billions of design students, but only a few of them will be able to make anything that looks even remotely professional. The team is much better off searching on until they find someone who can provide them with a real design. Afterall, I can attest to the fact that a lot of design students are also just idiots who only learned how to download Adobe Illustrator last month. They usually don't learn what good design is until years of working in their second or third studio.

    If a badly designed ad (with bad humor) ends up in any newspaper, it will make sure that a lot of people will NOT get the product. They will just think of the Mt. Rushmore and the horrible tagline ("They'd download it").

    No marketing is infinitely better than bad marketing!
  • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dodobh (65811) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @01:41AM (#15611058) Homepage
    Well, you folks could simply have started requiring ODF for internal communications (or SXW for older OOo versions), and then let the MS Office users complain about incompatibility.

    As long as you try to stay compatible with MS Office, you _will_ get screwed. The easiest way to get around that would have been to say "We don't care, we are going to use ODF, and MS Office users can become compatible with us." Then let _them_ worry about compatibility issues.
  • Bravo! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nospam.jawtheshark.com> on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @01:43AM (#15611063) Homepage Journal

    I couldn't agree more.

    Oh, and for the grandparents kids: there is a thing that is called "Fontwork Gallery". I suspect that "WordArt" or whatever it's called in MS Office, was too risky to take over. It's in the "Drawing Toolbar" and the icon looks like an "A" in a frame.

  • Re:Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Infernal Device (865066) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @01:49AM (#15611078)
    Microsoft says, "Where do you want to go today?" Apple says, "Where do you want to go tomorrow?" FOSS says, "Are you coming, or what?"

    The flipside to that is that at least the first two asked before they dragged you there.
  • Re:Is it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WalksOnDirt (704461) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @02:35AM (#15611169)
    As the guy in charge of computers for a small company, I've seen a lot of damage caused by people installing programs they saw advertised for free. I've often explained to people that while free programs may or may not be ok, a free program that can afford to advertise should always be avoided. The cost of that type of free program is more than someone in business can afford.

    I use Open Office and I recommend it to others. On the other hand, I've trained a lot of people to avoid it once they've seen the ad.
  • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe@joe-baldwi[ ]et ['n.n' in gap]> on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @02:49AM (#15611198) Homepage Journal
    You do realise this is akin to saying "Fuck you, we're writing everything in Urdu, and you English speakers can put up and shut up", don't you? And that it makes much less sense?

    To reiterate: For businesses, who want to reach everyone and need to to survive, shock switching away from MS using customers (e.g "Code to standards, fuck IE" "use ODF, fuck Office") does not work.
  • Re:Oh, please. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by k_187 (61692) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @04:21AM (#15611416) Journal
    not everyone has either the time to relearn it, or someone to call to walk them through it.
  • Re:Is it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oliderid (710055) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @04:34AM (#15611452) Journal
    The message is totally irrelevant. The message is aimed at "open source" geeks. Most of them (if not all) have already tried (and somes use open office).

    Lambda citizens don't care at all about the "Microsoft Evil empire". They don't even consider it
    as evil. They don't think their freedom is threatenned by it. A large fraction in the corporate world even admires Microsoft for its achievment. It is a well managed US company, its market share is the best evidence. Trying to place founding fathers/presidents (ie US mythology) against an US successful project is completly stupid (and I'm not American, I already use Firefox and openoffice). The message is alienating a large fraction of potential users.

    The real issues for them are:
    - Price
    - user-Friendliness
    - Compatibility (with existing documents, mainly MS Word)
    - Features
    - Security

    I think Openoffice.org should hire a marketing manager ASAP. When a marketing guy tries to influence the application architecture, it becomes a mess. When a developper tries to define
    the marketing message, it leads to the same mess.

    Get the big picture and stop to think that you are messiah. The whole world doesn't turn around computer technology. Today it is merely a commodity.

    And frankly the lay-out is plain ugly, I hope they won't sign it with "made with open office...".

    Olivier
  • Re:Is it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goof21 (872039) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @04:55AM (#15611504)
    No, not if it's Metro.

    That's the free throwaway 10 pager they pass out by the subways. The articles are sub-par, even for a free fishwrap. This won't have an impact on a literate, decision making crowd.

    I can't speak for New York, but just about everyone on the tubes in London has a copy of the "free throwaway 10 pager" during their morning commute. I wouldn't just dismiss the potential.

    If they want to foster adoption, take out a quarter pager in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. People who have the clout to have their companies adopt a new and better office platform read those.

    I'm not sure coroprate adoption is the priorty at this stage. While it would be a great thing, just about every IT employee from a sysad to the CIO should already be aware that OpenOffice is an option. Those people don't need the education of an ad as much as Joe User, who may not be able to afford MS Office.

    Distribute the ad to typical PC users without $600 to spend on MS Office. Watch market share and popularity grow. Then let them go to work and say to their managers, "Hey, I use OpenOffice at home, can we start using it here?" Managers see OpenOffice is free, and suggest it as a "cost-cutting" measure to earn them their next promotion. Managers never listen to IT anyway, so in spite of IT's protests that MS Office works much better, they wind up having to deploy it regardless. That's the impact I'd shoot for.

  • Re:Is it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by richlv (778496) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @07:05AM (#15611825)
    * Performance metrics V MS Office (Even more so in the PPC Mac version!)

    i suppose you mean startup time. yeah, oo.org is quite slow on startup, though extremly large times are caused by missing and enabled java.

    * Comparison of Clipart and Wordart features (My kids won't use OOo cos it has none)

    i have to ask - wtf ?
    if you mean clipart collection that is shipping with oo.org, that is different than 'features', isn't it ?
    anyway, there's http://www.openclipart.org/ [openclipart.org] and several other collections (there even was one specific package to oo.org, but i can't find it right now).

    wordart - double wtf.
    first, oo.org for a long time has had a tool named fontwork. it is very powerful, it allows you to shape text along any line etc.
    starting with 2.0, there is 'fontwork gallery', which is simpler & more like ms wordart. these things are described in help, you could also have used mailing lists or forums.

    * Cost/Benefit in switching from a version of Office that people/companies already own

    why not ? that is one og things that should be emphasised, i think.
    there are a lot of factors that must be taken into account - future upgrades, file accessibility, integration possibilities. i'm sure you can find a lot of information about these things on your own.
    there will be cases when it is better to keep existing msoffice installations - but you will have to upgrade at some point, and, as others have mentioned, upgrading to next version of mso probably will be harder than to oo.org anyway.

    Sure, if you don't have any kind of Office software you might try OOo before forking for Office, but if you already own a copy of Office, the time taken to learn new menus and workflow isn't worth switching.

    really, it is not THAT different. you get a logical page->format instead of file->page setup (or whatever that was). if a person can adapt to a different car, this really is no big change. if somebody is unble to retrain, maybe employing such a person should be considerated. i really enjoy the examples where a company is moving to oo.org, but is offering employees a choice - either they get a small wage increase or stay with msoffice. suddenly nobody has retraining or productivity issues.

    Likewise if you are just gonna pirate Office then it's easier to get what you'll be using at work or school than learn something new.

    sure, pirating distorts marketplace - and ms knows & encourages that to a certain amount :)
    it's mostly businesses that are starting to evaluate available options based on the price.
  • Um... no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday June 27, 2006 @08:15AM (#15612134) Journal
    FOSS says, "Are you coming, or what?"

    To which I reply to OO.o: No, you aren't mature enough for an ad to take on Microsoft Office. Maybe in 5 years. Now get to work.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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