Adobe offers to take grunt work off web designers' hands with 'Cloud Creative'

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The word "bland" might be too kind to describe the web's vast ocean of banner ads, which most people effortlessly avoid with "banner blindness" or ad blockers.

Adobe on Tuesday planned to introduce a product meant to help marketers out of the banner-ad debacle, a platform called Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative. It bundles several Adobe martech products to automate the process of resizing display ads and to improve personalization.

"When we had to update hotel rates or take down a promotion, that historically used to take us two weeks," says Megan Estrada, VP of media at MGM Resorts International, which owns Las Vegas venues such as the Bellagio, the Aria and the MGM Grand. "So our messages were very broad."

The Adobe product is speeding up changes faster and simplifying targeting, Estrada says—helping MGM use its data to target a husband and wife contemplating a Vegas trip, for example, and to show them different ads.

Adobe is battling rivals Salesforce, Oracle and IBM with its marketing cloud offerings. Although the company has historically served marketers, competitors have begun encroaching on its space. Salesforce, for example, acquired MuleSoft for $6.5 billion last week; MuleSoft will be able to create "deep intelligent customer experiences throughout a personalized 1:1 journey" through Salesforce's cloud offering, the company said.

For designers, Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative removes one of most tedious aspects of their job: creating hundreds of versions of what's basically the same ad.

Justin Merickel, VP of media optimization at Adobe, says designers will hopefully appreciate the lift more than they fear losing their jobs to software. "Designers enjoy original creative concepting, but they hate the production around digital advertising banners and the many different sizes and iterations they have to produce for those banners," Merickel says. "Although the marketer is asking for stronger velocity and quicker turns, it is really not the job of the designer to do all this production work."

Cloud Creative combines Adobe's creative tech, which automatically imports ad creatives and allows for small tweaks by using Photoshop, a with its martech tools to target audiences with marketers' data via Adobe Analytics. Customers can then execute ad buys through TubeMogul (now Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP), which the company acquired in 2016 for $540 million.

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