So Sun Microsystems had some print ads developed that went right after Dell, but apparently some business publications weren't OK with the messaging - think "Dell Sucks" and you'll get the idea. This is great because the ads feel consumer-generated and talk like Sun fanatics do. They were awesomely direct and "in your face" at Dell. Sun profiled the ads on its Web site, and everyone started linking to the site to spread the word. If you head over there, you can check them out and they are indeed hilarious.
But here's the catch - those aren't the rejected ads, they are the modified versions that even Sun now says, "are running in major print and online publications." The actual rejected ones, although similar to those on the site, are long gone. As is the original Web page content.
Why does this matter? Sun decided to speak up about being excluded from the publications but then chose to edit itself when word caught on about the ads. Here is the original Web page content (thanks Google):
"Top business publications refused to run our bold ad concepts because the headlines were thought too controversial. At Sun, we're the radical engineers that build "ass-whoopin" technology - we're not Miss Manners and we never want to be."
But then they revised the ads to remove the direct attacks on Dell and took down the originals - pretty contrary to that statement. Luckily the originals are here and there around the Web - they are similar to the final ones but with more aggressive headlines:
- "Benchmark Studies Prove that Dell Sucks"
- "100% More Bitchin' than Dell"
- "Now that's What We Call an Ass-Whoopin"
I applaud Sun for the approach - the fact that some wondered if the ads were legitimate or consumer-generated to me was very cool. But it seems that their boldness wore off a little once people started taking notice. That being said, the final ads are still bold, funny and new for a company like Sun.
(If anyone has heard this chain of events differently, please comment and let me know!)