Goodby Lands Adobe Account

Imaging software giant Adobe Systems, Inc. has handed its estimated $20 million U.S. advertising account over to Omnicom’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners, concluding a three-month-long review.

The San Francisco-based agency presented against the Los Angeles office of Interpublic’s Deutsch during the final round of the Adobe review — the company’s first account change in four years. According to sources, Havas’s Black Rocket also made it to the final round, but opted to drop out.

Goodby takes over the account from Young & Rubicam — now a WPP Group company — which had won the work in 1997. Adobe confirmed that it plans to continue its earlier relationships with Y&R Geneva and Dentsu Tokyo, which it selected during its last review.

Probably best-known for its “Got Milk” campaign, Goodby in recent years has made a brisk business of landing work for technology and dot-com brands, including E*Trade, Hewlett-Packard and Pacific Bell.

Now, the agency is saddled with the task of bringing Adobe’s new Network Publishing initiative to life. The concept, outlined last year by the San Jose, Calif. software company’s executives, revolves around the idea of “write-once, publish everywhere” — making one document readable and editable by any software platform or device.

Adobe, one of the country’s largest software companies with annual revenues over $1.2 billion, says the concept is going to be central to its future brand, which has evolved dramatically over the company’s 19-year history.

From its beginnings as the vendor of PostScript font and layout technology, Adobe shifted gears in the 80s to become an award-winning graphics software company (publishing titles like Photoshop and Illustrator). In 1993, the firm released Adobe Acrobat, a multi-platform document format that would become the centerpiece of its new publishing-focused strategy (which has also included the purchase of page layout and Web authoring software companies during the past decade).

Now, Adobe aims to take its brand one step further, to position itself as the leading vendor of Network Publishing tools — and to convince its business clients that buying into the concept is crucial to their success.

According to Adobe, Goodby will develop a campaign targeting the company’s three core markets: creative, business, and IT professionals. The first phase of the assignment includes hammering out a strategy to base the company’s brand on network publishing. Ultimately, product-specific advertisements will incorporate the new branding as well, spokespeople said.

“Goodby presented not only compelling creative strategies, but showed us campaign concepts that demonstrated strong insight into the Adobe business, particularly network publishing, which is rapidly evolving from a vision into reality,” said Peter Isaacson, Adobe’s director of brand marketing. “The agency’s thinking about our marketing and brand communications was right on track, proving they understood our markets, our customers and our challenges.”

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