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Campaign Strategy and Activations

Consumer Research


School Of Visual Arts MPS Branding 


Adobe has industry-leading products such as Adobe Creative Cloud Express and Adobe Acrobat which provide small businesses with everything they need to create engaging content as well as to stay organized. However, many small businesses do not have sufficient awareness of Adobe's capabilities to view them as relevant or instrumental to their success. The brief given to us was to develop a fresh, breakthrough brand campaign that puts Adobe on the map as the must-have brand for small business success. The challenge was to create a big idea for the Adobe brand that builds lasting connections and establishes them as an invaluable partner to small businesses for years to come.

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Small businesses have long been beloved cornerstones of our communities and important to forward-progress of society as a whole. They foster local economies, keeping money close to home and supporting neighborhoods and communities. But, despite the vitality they infuse into the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the game.


We analysed the current landscape of small businesses during the pandemic, explored the brand perceptions and awareness and understood the needs of small businesses and their owners through surveys and interviews to develop a compelling brand campaign to put adobe on the map for the small businesses

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We saw the Great Resignation take place during 2021, an ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs as priorities and attitudes around working have shifted globally.nearly 4 million workers quit their jobs each month in 2021.

This is important for Adobe to understand as 32% of Americans quit their jobs to start their own business and 4.5M applications were submitted to start a new business in 2021.

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Introducing The Great Resignator - People who have quit corporate jobs and started working for themselves within the last two years. This entrepreneur recognised an apportunity to take the leap and pursue their dreams.

We conducted surveys and interviews to further understand the drivers and motivations behind resigning and building a business.

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What Chelsea mentions is echoed in research about these resignators. The top two drivers for quitting to start their own business were wanting to be their own boss and pursuing an idea they were passionate about. It was also found that they valued independence and were willing to bet on themselves.

Many of these resignators have found various reasons and motivation to start and sustain their businesses. These drivers are often not merely personal. Small business owners like Lizzy, who left her job to open the Oma shop, want to enrich their communities. 

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By reaching out to the great resignator, Adobe will resonate with all resignators, , those thinking about resigning and those who want to make their side hustle their main hustle. 

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We spoke to these business owners who had taken the leap to understand their daily struggles and obstacles that they face while running their business.

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Adobe has various products that address this need for creative control through its business solutions for content creation, document collaboration and customer experience. Adobe is undoubtedly the industry standard but also has to contend with the perception of being intimidating

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With new free and low cost tools like CC Express, Adobe is moving towards being perceived as seriously easy and seriously quick.

The true potential, however, lies beyond Adobe as a provider of products, which is establishing it as seriously empowering.

How will Adobe be seen as an empowering partner to the Great Resignator?

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Adobe is uniquely positioned to speak to the Great Resignators.

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They set up their small business in a garage and named the company after the creek that ran behind the house, Adobe.

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And as a metaphor for the pursuit of success, Adobe can help small businesses make it -  in more ways than one.  

The campaign: Make it out of the Garage, Make it with Adobe

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The big idea of ‘Make it out of the Garage’ has been planned to establish a long lasting connection with our audience.

The idea translates into a social media campaign, supported by strategic partnerships and community building through the “Summit for small businesses”, to create a holistic brand level marketing campaign.

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This audience is keen to learn and is already using social media platforms to share their thoughts, consume and generate business content, sometimes even to run their entire business on Instagram. So with this Instagram page dedicated to Adobe for small businesses we want to give them a place to find community and see what the brand has to offer. It will be activated by the hashtag #makeitwithadobe.

This on-going campaign will feature real life resignators and small business owners, with their authentic stories and advice they might want to share with others. We will also boost UGC to give them a platform, bringing their stories to the forefront. This will live in the form of carousel posts, IG live take overs, reels - content that will also live in other social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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The visual language used for this campaign will inform OOH promotion like billboards, posters and subway ads. Meeting people on their phone, laptop and their commute to work.

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The Adobe Summit for small businesses will include talks and workshops on content creation and business operations. Access to a community of small business owners for networking and mentorship opportunities. And the state of the small business, think, the state of the union. A forum for small business owners to discuss what they think is next for Adobe. The annual event will start virtually, and could expand to in-person local events in the future, held in the growing business hubs of the country. For these events, Adobe could provide attendees with their own e-business cards to facilitate networking.

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The campaign and community building will be supported by Strategic partnerships, which can strengthen the perception of Adobe’s commitment to this audience.

These partnerships can be chosen to provide services that are required to set up a business - such as legal services through LegalZoom, financial guidance with TurboTax and marketing advice through collaborations with social media content creators who are experts in digital marketing.

Competitors have realized the importance of speaking to small businesses. These recent ads from Mailchimp, Squarespace and Apple - all targeted this audience.


But these ads focus on highlighting their product solutions - like a website or a watch. 

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