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By Published on .

Adobe Systems is known as the company that introduced desktop publishing. But it wants to be known as a company that can transform Web publishing.

The software marketer today launches a $5 million to $10 million brand-identity ad effort -- its largest single media expense on one campaign to date.

Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, created the print, outdoor and Web work.

"We haven't gotten credit as a Web company, when Web designers are using our products day in and day out," said Peter Isaacson, Adobe group manager of worldwide brand marketing. "The objective is to improve our credibility in the Web space, especially with high-end Web designers and influencers."

The billboards and wild postings, Internet and print ads are designed to drive traffic to several of Adobe's microsites. Once on the sites, customers can test and try out Adobe products, including Photoshop 5.5, Illustrator, Premiere and After Effects.

The ads entice readers with the microsite Web addresses as headlines.

For example, one shows a grandmotherly-type woman popping a wheelie on a BMX bike on the spire of a bridge. The headline: "www.defytherules.com." Another ad seeks to drive customers

to a second site, www.smashstatusquo.com.

Coinciding with the debut of the campaign Oct. 4, the Adobe.com Web site also will be relaunched. Print ads will appear in magazines including Details, Spin, Wallpaper and Wired; outdoor will run in San Francisco and New York.


Adobe is expanding its media buy from traditional Web and publishing magazines with the goal of reaching young, hip designers and trendsetters. The target is the 20- to 25-year-old Web professionals who don't necessarily have a strong graphic arts background and instead jumped into design on their own, Mr. Isaacson said.

Adobe also plans to take the campaign global later this year; Europe is slated first, followed by Asia-Pacific early next year.

Melissa Dyrdahl, Adobe VP-corporate marketing, said it's important to take the campaign overseas because Adobe's revenue is generated worldwide. About 50% of its $895 million in 1998 sales were in North America, 30% in Europe and 20% in

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