Adobe Hatches ‘Idea’ to Connect With Creatives

A new banner campaign for Adobe Systems’ Creative Suite 2 aims to connect with creative types by empathizing with their struggle to conceive great ideas.

The campaign’s tagline, “Everything but the Idea,” runs throughout the online creative, as well as in accompanying print ads, direct marketing, and outdoor executions. San Francisco’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners performed the work for Adobe.

“We’re demonstrating Adobe’s compassion for what creative pros live through every day: the constant struggle to generate fresh ideas,” said Melissa Dyrdahl, SVP of corporate marketing and communications at Adobe, in a statement. “Rather than focus on individual product features and benefits, the ‘Everything but the Idea’ campaign demonstrates Adobe’s understanding that ideas are at the foundation of every designer’s world.”

The online ads use spare snappy white text against a black background, with copy and imagery that invite viewers to interact. One execution shows an animated maze-style game in which necktie-wearing figures chase long-haired creative types. The copy reads: “Use your arrow keys to grab the awards before the account people get you.” When the game fades, the text says, “Introducing Adobe Creative Suite 2. A fully integrated set of tools to help you win those awards. It’s everything but the idea.”

“The campaign imagery shows that Adobe feels what designers feel, and the text communicates in a voice that is sophisticated, yet honest, human and real, without any technical jargon and advertising double-talk,” said Rich Silverstein, creative director and co-chairman of Goodby, in a statement.

Online ads will appear on sites such as,, and Newstoday. They’ll also be rolled out in Europe and Japan over the next several months.

The landing page for the ads continues the low-light artistic feel of the banner creative. Text reads, “Ideas, meet Tools. Tools, please meet Ideas.” Links lead users to a more detailed explanation of the product, as well as to a place where they can purchase it.

Offline campaign elements include high-contrast print ads that portray creatives at their moments of inspiration. Those executions will appear in design industry publications such as Archive, CMYK, I.D., and Communication Arts. They’ll also appear in design-inspired titles such as Wallpaper, Flaunt, Dwell, and Nylon.

Adobe kicked off the campaign with a design show, called the Ideas Conference, this week in New York City. The company invited more than 1,000 creative professionals to attend. Outdoor elements — on phone kiosks and transit shelters, and wild postings — will also appear around New York.

The Adobe Creative Suite 2 integrates full-versions of design software including Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Illustrator CS2, Adobe InDesign CS2, Adobe GoLive CS2, and Version Cue CS2.

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