If you could magically create any 30-second commercial to advertise Linux and Open Source, what would be in it?

I think this might help people out there get their creative juices flowing. You can’t be a geek all the time, you know. (I say, you need to exercise your artsy side somewhat also, or there wouldn’t be balance). :wink:

If money was no object to make a 30-second commercial/vignette about Linux, what would be in it? You’re not actually selling anything for money, here. It could have fancy computer graphics, music, etc. How would you describe it? It can be as crazy as you like, which I think some of the best commercials are. The more Dreamlike, the better. This way, it’s more like actual art.

Mine would have eminent Open Source community members like Linux Torvalds, Guido van Rossum, Carl Richell, etc. playing air guitar, rocking out to some catchy guitar song, standing on top of clouds which float towards a nice sunset. Then there’s a shift in camera perspective, showing these looming giant evil spaceships off in the dark cloudy distance (which are suggestive of Imperial Star Destroyers).

Then from all the guitars (which now exist in the hands of the Open Sources luminaries, as they rock out even harder), colors come shooting out, which are like fat laser beams which all fly in parallel lines towards the spaceships, which zap them thoroughly, gradually blowing off more and more massive chunks. Finally the evil spaceships slowly fall to the Earth, trailing smoke and fire, and make slow, giant explosions. Vast hordes of people on the ground look up to the sky and cheer, and whoop it up. Perhaps some of them break-dancing.

Among the crowds are several pink unicorns, hoofing at the sky and whinnying in jubilation. That just goes without saying.


It’d be a parody of the old PC and Mac commercials, they’d be discussing telemetry, SaaS, controlling who can deploy software and so on in an A B comparison and then Linux shows up.


For me it would be a play off of something like this: Apple 1984 Super Bowl Commercial Introducing Macintosh Computer (HD) - YouTube

Go for giant big brother spying on everything you’re doing imagery. People following blindly passing spray painted symbols of Linux on the walls of the dystopian streets as they look down to their range of electronic devices that read “your personal data has successfully been uploaded to the Big Brother thank you!”

Switch to a man staring at his laptop. It’s clearly Windows and has a plethora of messages layered across the screen like, location services turned on, targeted ads turned on, forced update starting in 20 seconds, his age, income, medical history, terms of service agreements, cookie history, internet search history, Cortana recording, webcam turned on etc. A young person walks by and hands him a USB stick with Linux written across it and says to the man “you do have a choice”.

Screen goes to black. Bold text - “It’s time to take back control of your privacy. You do have a choice in an Operating System. Demand Linux!”


I was thinking the exact same thing while reading the OP.

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What an excellent start. So, who’s in the cast? When does filming start?

What an excellent idea for a project. You just have to do this now.

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Where are those Blender guys when you need them? :wink:

Seriously though, there are lots of young filming arts students out there who need to make some sort of short project to pass their courses. They understand the technologies behind how to make such films, but maybe they don’t have any good ideas to make into a project. If ideas like these make it to them, at the right time, they might create films like these for us, and get their marks.

How ironic that we pretty much totally live in 1984 now, and Apple in no way prevented, or escaped it.

No offense, @ulfnic, but I think you can dream bigger. I think your idea is a little too low budget, and not really original. What does the Linux Tron guy do with his Tron powers? Does he take out his glowing Tron disc, and perform some sort of feat of master skill with it? Does he roll up on one of those glowing CGI Tron bikes that leaves a fat tracer behind it?

What was it, which is seen in movies like Tron, which your Linux Tron man performs, with fancy special effects?

If he just shows off his Tron cosplay suit, that’s not really any display of power, IMHO.

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I’ve thought about this before, and I think I would model it off of the “You Chromebook” ads like this one–but, of course, with Chrome OS being tossed into the trampling pit. I don’t like Chromebooks, but the style is interesting and it would be a not-so-subtle jab at Chromebooks.

It would show Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS users suffering from their variety of plights, while the narrator’s voice asks questions such as the following:
“Tired of incessant forced Windows Updates?”
“Unwilling to pay for a new Mac when your old one runs just fine?”
“Fed up with constant viruses and malware?”
“Concerned about just how much you’re being tracked?”
“Wish you could run real desktop apps?”

Towards the end, of course, we get the “You Linux” statement, followed by a brief summary of the strengths of Linux and a link to a “learn more” site, such as the homepage of a distro or a general site with readable, easy-to-understand information about Linux.

I cut the cord about 15 years ago, so watch ads on TV is now a foreign concept to me. Netflix has spoiled me. However, the drawback is that, well, I’ve never seen a Chromebook ad, so I’m kinda left in the dark here.

@esbeeb. While I like your thought about using film students, I think we have the talent in house to pull this off.

I can’t wait to see this go viral.

Wish granted! They made a couple of others too

Wow… I did not know those existed.

@esbeeb you’re right. Tron man is an unmarried, basement dwelling cosplayer who likes to share his Gentoo compiling adventures with random people at the bus stop. He doesn’t have a light cycle but he can criss cross submits between so many GITs on a friday night it’d make your head spin and when he shows up on a Linux forum it’s like Flynn senior showing up at Castors.

As he speaks we glimpse between the lines what his internal World must look like, an epic battle raging with Clu over free software as he complains about GIMP lacking smart objects and Ubuntu’s telemetry which isn’t that bad but he’s going to bring it up anyway.

But who is Tron man really?

A guy who obviously places doing good for users above all else.

Tron man is our best representative.

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Begin with a close-up of a user running Audacity in Ubuntu.

“I am Linux,” they say.

Another of someone streaming games on Manjaro. Another writing code in elementary. Expand out, expand out, to potentially hundreds or even thousands of people doing ordinary and extraordinary things.

Then you gradually start hearing a huge chorus of voices overlapping, kind of talking over each other, and eventually it comes back to one person but the entire crowd is now saying “WE are Linux” in unison.


Seeing this in my head gave me chills


The traditional Win/Mac advert but with those two standing next to each other, introduce themselves, and it pans over to Linux just sitting nearby working on a swish laptop sipping some coffee.

The other two start arguing about privacy and price, design, proprietary cables, anti-virus software. Maybe in the middle they both stop and ask for time to reboot.

Each time a subject is brought up, we cut to Linux just chilling with their coffee and comfort, and showing that Linux has that feature (privacy, gorgeous UI, security, see less updates etc.)

Voice over: “An old friend once told me that sometimes… the best way to win a fight… is to stand out”

The other two break out into some all out fight, perhaps a pillow fight.

Voice-over: “Think beyond the normal, think Linux”.

In the background, pc and mac throw each other in a pool, or something. Linux folds up their laptop and walks away.


This is brilliant. Can someone please give this man some money???


Good, very good, but I never had to reboot my Mac systems any more frequently than I have to reboot my linux systems.

Yeah, true. Would just have Windows need to reboot.

windows < mac < linux

I see a pattern forming here…


I like the "Think beyond the normal, Think Linux! This should be our motto, and then have a serious collage of all the things that Linux does and solves everyday, such as running the internet, The billions of transactions done safely by wall street and the outstanding security, updating and then remind everyone that Linux doesn’t stop unless the hardware fails. No reboot