Adobe Unveils Branding Ads

Adobe Systems is setting its sights on New York City for the launch of its new branding campaign.

San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe, the nation’s second-largest software company, recently handed its estimated $20 million advertising account to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in an effort to recraft its brand around the concept of multi-platform content distribution, or what it calls “network publishing.”

The $3.25 million campaign features a new tagline, “Tools for the New Work,” and aims to appeal to advertising and design professionals — the largest users of its high-end imaging, publishing and graphics software.

The campaign, which features billboard and kiosk executions focusing on its Adobe’s InDesign 2.0 page layout software, is timed to coincide with this week’s Seybold 2002 conference, a publishing industry trade show.

“Our new branding initiative builds on the solid reputation we’ve established among creative professionals,” said Melissa Dyrdahl, senior vice president of corporate marketing and communications for Adobe. “By concentrating on New York for the first phase of the campaign, Adobe is demonstrating its leadership in providing graphics professionals with core software tools to enhance both their creativity and productivity.”

It’s a small-scale beginning to Adobe’s much-touted focus on “network publishing,” a concept that the company has said will be central to its future.

It’s not the first time that the firm has shifted its brand positioning. Starting in the early 80’s, the firm began focusing less on its role as the vendor of PostScript font and layout technology, and more as a graphics software company.

During the last decade, the company began positioning its brand around its Acrobat multi-platform document format. In conjunction with purchases of page layout and Web authoring software companies, Acrobat became the centerpiece of its new focus on publishing solutions.

The new “network publishing” effort thus takes Adobe’s 90’s-era positioning one step further, marketing the company as the leading vendor of cross-media tools, and marketing the concept as critical to publishing companies’ success.

Adobe said it plans future executions concentrating on its Acrobat, Illustrator and Photoshop products, which would expand the current campaign’s messaging to a wider business audience. For the moment, however, the company said it remains content to debut its new brand by focusing on New York-area creative professionals and the upcoming trade show.

“It’s more of a barn-storming approach, and the tactic makes sense to reach this audience, given New York’s high concentration of creative professionals in the advertising and design industries,” said Rich Silverstein, co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners.

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