Adobe Has Success With All-Digital Launch for Creative Suite 5

Adobe Systems has a hit on its hands this week with the launch of its Creative Suite 5, an all-digital marketing effort that gained significant traction across the Web.

The launch of the latest software package, which includes new versions of Photoshop and Flash, was a highly anticipated event for design professionals that likely would have caused a stir online even without Adobe’s PR and advertising blitz. But having decided years ago to move the bulk of its $200 million yearly advertising budget online, Adobe was well positioned to further inspire its approximately 1 million followers across social networks to spread the word about the new product.

The centerpiece of the launch was a multimedia event on its homepage on Monday that drew 340,000 viewers. A series of teaser videos showing how to use the new software also attracted a large audience, with one reaching 2.5 million views by Wednesday afternoon. Adobe also launched a wide-ranging display ad effort on sites like CreativePro.com and TechCrunch, and used its in-house evangelists to send tweets and Facebook notifications that drove people to the event and video collateral. There was no offline promotion, such as print, TV or outdoor ads.

“Adobe CS5” became a top worldwide trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday, with about 33,700 tweets generated during the event, according to Adobe. A PR person with the company, which is based in San Jose, CA, said that at one point users were producing 8,000 Adobe-themed tweets a minute.

Of course, counting tweets is always a dicey method for determining a campaign’s success. Those 8,000-tweets per minute included a large number of marketers of varying credibility promising free CS5 suites in exchange for followers or re-tweets (which in turn created more tweets). But it also included no shortage of design enthusiasts saying things like, “Woah, Photoshop CS5’s Puppet Warp command is coooool. How does it do that!?”

This was the second all-Web launch for an Adobe Creative Suite. The first came in 2008 with the launch of Adobe CS4.

The company’s decision to move its marketing budget online came after it realized that the Web was where its core customers were, and where they could have the most meaningful actions with them, said John Travis, VP of brand marketing at Adobe.

“It’s a way that we can enable our community to participate with us, which is very important to Adobe,” he said. “Also it allows us to really measure and optimize our media, and we���¢�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½ve seen some enormous improvement since we made the shift to digital in terms of ROI.”

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