Cannes 2010: Everything is digital and everything is advertising

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Cannes | In Advertising | June 25, 2010
Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer, Adobe Systems speaks of how brilliant creative is what engages audience; and how important it is for advertisers to create brilliant content, deliver it across various devices and optimise the same

In the midst of the digital explosion, innovation is a key driving factor. Newer devices to deliver engaging content come to the fore sooner than ever before, and it is imperative for brands to reach out to their audience across communication channels.

According to Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer, Adobe Systems Incorporated, it is an era when everything is digital and everything is advertising. Speaking in a seminar, Narayan began with the thought that every day and every minute, someone is making something amazing; and it is vital to make every moment count.

& #BANNER1 & #He said that the number of communication channels has exploded and there is no end in sight to the growth.

"Everyone is hyper connected and consuming more media. Even while watching television, people surf the internet and use the mobile," said Narayen. In such a scenario, brands have to be on their toes, because advertising is no longer about just paid placement.

Narayen said that managing brands across various media channels is not really a tough task; and it all starts with "brilliant creative".

"While technology and devices might enable content, it really is content that continues to inspire and engage the audience like never before. It is content that changes a business transaction to actually be more of an emotional feeling and an engaging experience for the consumer. And it is these experiences that are going to move popular culture and our business forward," he said.

Speaking about what he thought was brilliant and engaging creative digital work in the recent past, Narayen cited various examples, including the Nissan website, an adidas campaign in Germany for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the digital magazine, Wired.

Talking further about digital magazines, Narayen said that they would open newer advertising possibilities for publishers. Moreover, an array of devices would be available to deliver content in the near future.

Narayen then proceeded to talk about the delivery of content across such devices.

"The era where everything is advertising is filled with amazing creative work. We need to recognise that creative is just the beginning of the advertising process today. One still has to figure out how to deliver that brilliant creative to myriad devices," he said.

"People clearly want information on their own terms. We have been talking about 'anytime' and 'anywhere'; but now, we have to extend it to 'any device'," he added.

Addressing that need, he said that Adobe's strategy is to provide an efficient workflow that spans creation, delivery and optimisation, where an advertiser can create content once and deliver it multiple times.

He used the example of Adobe's Flash Player 10.1, which is supported across devices. Excitedly, he predicted that there would be 250 million devices, which would support Flash Player, by the end of 2012.

The third aspect of his talk was the need to be able to create optimisation. According to Narayen, the job of the creative provider is not just to deliver creative content, but also to help the client reach the right audience at the right time for best results.

"One has to prove that with a successful reincarnation of the campaign, one improves the return on investment. Clients are demanding that brilliant creative must be tied to real revenue, real results and real success," he said.

The benefits of optimisation, according to him, go beyond return on investment. It is about building customer relationships and realising the full value of creative work, which requires a deeper understanding of the audience.

"At Adobe, we believe in giving you control over your own creativity and strategy to engage audience across multiple screens. Our goal is to be a neutral partner, ensuring your ability to create brilliant creative, deliver it and optimise it. It is about your power to create this content and engage audience that is going to be the differentiator," Narayen said.

In conclusion, Narayen also spoke of how Adobe, while developing the digital medium, has also been spending time thinking about ways to capture the era we live in. He shared more details about Adobe's upcoming online museum (, which will be maintained to preserve and showcase celebrated digital work.