The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when the Linux Foundation announced a contest to produce a TV advertisement for Linux they meant well. It's just a shame the results don't end up doing Linux any favors. At all.
The problem with asking amateur film makers to make ads is that you get amateur results, unfortunately. And so, like watching your father dance at a wedding, it just ends up being embarrassing. Leaving aside the number of entrants who were so enthusiastic about the competition that they forgot the rule limiting the videos to 60 seconds, you have to wonder how some of the entries are meant to persuade people to use Linux.
One video uses the amazing tactic of presenting Linux users as jargon-speaking geeks who can't talk to women. That'll get 'em flooding in, as will getting you to use Linux because Chicks dig it. Another, while starting off trying to give David Lynch a run for his money, ends up showing that Linux makes you dance in an embarrassing way.
We also have talking cows, Tux as a bluesman, car analogies and the amazing revelation that software updates tickle.
This four-and-a-half minute video gives the impression that Windows Vista has applications while all Linux has is fancy visual effects, and another doesn't improve matters.
Even the finalists don't elevate the standard much. The first leaves you with the impression that Linux just wants to be loved. The second emplores you to "Raise with us," whatever that means, while the next is very slick, but doesn't actually tell you what Linux is.
Our fourth finalist is like a late-night takeaway burger, in that it's cheesy and vomit-inducing, which you'd probably buy after visiting the "Linux Pub", which features no beer whatsoever, but does have a giant talking Penguin. In French.
The winner, finalist number three, was graphic designer Amitay Tweeto, who wins trip to Tokyo.
This article was originally posted on ZDNet UK.