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Ubuntu Launches ‘#Reinvent’ Marketing Campaign

ubuntu reinvent images

Canonical is building hype for its upcoming Mobile World Congress announcements though a new online initiative. 

A vibrant social media campaign underway on the software company’s social networking accounts combines the hashtag ‘#reinvent‘ with a colourful set of split-pane images.

The purpose of the images and slogan? One assumes it’s to generate some intrigue and discussion ahead of Mobile World Congress 2016, an event at which both Canonical and its hardware partners are expected to showcase new Ubuntu hardware.

Defining Intrigue

The dictionary definition of “reinvent is as follows:

Reinvent | verb | To change something so much it appears to be entirely new. 

An apt description for the Ubuntu Convergence dream? Quite possibly, and the colourful graphics accompanying the hashtag back up the message.

1. Music

regram 1

First Image, 29th January

The dawn of digital music help to reinvigorate and remould the music industry.

Devices like the iPod helped boost sales of music and pave the way for the development of new devices, distribution chains and marketing opportunities.

Digital music is still music, of course. But buying an MP3 is a wholly distinct experience to buying and playing a vinyl record.

2. Wheel

Image 2

Second image, 30th January

Image two is of a Penny-farthing bicycle intercut with the wheel of a ‘safety bicycle’, which is the type of bicycle we’re all most familiar with today.

As a statement the graphic serves the same purpose as the first, denoting progress, iteration, innovation and evolution of a product.

Somewhat unfortunately, the wheel motif does cause the clichéd phrase “reinventing the wheel” to spring to mind — one assumes Canonical is not trying to convey that message about its’ convergence hoopla!

3. Currency

ubuntu reinvent currency

Third image, 1st Feburary

The third image juxtaposes physical currency against the trend towards contactless payments, now commonly made through mobile devices through ‘digital wallets’.

Apple Pay and Android Pay are perhaps the best known digital wallets. Microsoft and Samsung are among tech companies also chasing consumers in this lucrative area.

The ‘currency’ image is unlikely to hint that Ubuntu Phone will be getting digital wallet capabilities any time soon, but it’s another striking example of innovation borne through reinvention.

4. Aviation (h/t: @daniele813)

Balloon and airplane

Fourth image, 2nd Feburary

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s …Wait, yes: it is a plane.

The fourth image released in this marketing campaign contrasts the (relative) simplicity of early aviation, in this instance balloon travel, with the complexity of modern aviation.

It also backs up my earlier hunch that the content of the images aren’t conveying a deeper meaning beyond the message of reinvention.

ubuntu reinvent speakers

Fifth image, 3rd February

We can all say with some certainty that Ubuntu is not about to launch a plane!

5. Speakers

From gramophones to standable bluetooth and Google Cast speakers, the fifth image in the Reinvent series continues to highlight the technological improvements that come from taking what already exists and reshaping and rethinking it in new ways.

Ubuntu Phone PC Pushes Things Forward

Quite whether the Ubuntu ‘pocket PC’ smartphone schtick will prove as revolutionary as the safety bicycle or iPod is, frankly, yet to be decided.

‘Will the Ubuntu ‘pocket PC’ be as revolutionary as the safety bicycle and iPod?’

Simply trying to reinvent and disrupt two very cosy, super settled markets like the PC and smartphone industry Canonical is worth attempting.

And this hype-building campaign, in all its gaudy hues, show that the company isn’t shy in holding back on its ambition to do just that.

It’s easy to imagine that the last image in the series might show a regular smartphone sliced with a desktop PC.

  • Phone -> Mobile Phone -> Smartphone – > Pocket PC

While Canonical wouldn’t be the first to blur the lines between smart phone and traditional PC — the Motorola Atrix was a smart phone able to ‘dock’ into a laptop or desktop hub to run an Ubuntu-based ‘web top’ OS, and Microsoft’s Continuum enables high-end, high-spec Window 10 Phones to work like a traditional desktop PC when connected to or wirelessly connected with a larger-size monitor — it could yet be the first to truly nail the concept.

Several new devices running Ubuntu (Touch) are to be unveiled by Canonical at MWC 2016, including at least one Ubuntu tablet with convergence capabilities.

We’ll keep this article updated as Canonical shares further images — if you spot one first give us a shout on Twitter, Instagram, the on-site tip form of through old fashioned e-mail