Role: Research Design, Strategy, Ideation, Pitch

Caroline Jordan, CBM
Beka Tesfaye, CBM
Alyn Carr, CBM
Caitlin Russell, ST
Brit Kern, XD



The Request.

While Adobe was the creative enterprise platform leader by a long shot, Enterprise Clients valued the products more than the brand. To built equity, Adobe Enterprise had launched a campaign to better connecting with “Creative Decision Makers” (eg: Directors of Digital Innovation). They asked us to uncover watering holes & placements where they could better speak to these folks.


The Research.


We conducted three three-day ethnographies with heritage Creative Decision Makers. We photographed their desks. We analyzed their junk mail. We ate lunch with their teams. We served as therapists to vent about their email. Most importantly, we analyzed their calendars. What we saw was a lot of pre-selling one-on-ones leading up to big meeting and then the infamous “coffee chat” to discuss what went wrong. Two weeks later, they were flying out to a transformation summit to refuel and try again.


The Reality.

Adobe didn’t have a reach problem. It wasn’t that Creative Decision Makers weren’t seeing Adobe communications, it was that they weren’t seeing value in Adobe communications. These enterprise leaders were motivated by catalyzing creative change within their heritage companies. Since they normally didn’t have a spot on C-Suite, they were constantly presenting transformation initiatives that never saw the light of day. As a result, they were actively searching for resources that could help them communicate the missed opportunity to their senior leaders. If Adobe could help, they were in.


The Realization.

The key to that last sentence? Enterprise Creative Leaders were searching for help communicating, not looking to be communicated at. And their communication problem was simple. While they spoke in the language of possibility, their analytical superiors spoke in the language of proof. That’s why those transformational ideas were getting lost in translation. Lucky for us, Adobe had products, projects, and partner companies that could speak to both the possibility & the proof behind creative transformation. To share that content we didn’t need to plug into someone else’s watering hole, we needed create one that gave us credit.



The Strategy.

Teach the language of creative business transformation.

The Strategic Shift.
From one-way communication to brand-building conversation



A is For Adobe.


So, we built the Duolingo for Creative Business. We studied the principles of language learning platforms to create one focused on teaching both the proof & possibility behind creative business transformation. Bonus? The platform collected individualized data that could be deployed to our sales and product teams.


Onboarding: We incentivized Enterprise Creative Leaders to create individualized accounts by blending fun with function through an on-boarding leadership style quiz. Participants entered their company, name, email, comfort level with core topics and “mindset” information.

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Onboarding Result: Once they clicked submit they were given a “Leadership Archetype”, correlated strengths & weaknesses, and suggested courses. These accounts then served as a data-collection tool for Adobe, feeding both sales & product teams.


Home: Logging on later, the landing page was built to incentivize people to search creative business transformation terms like a translator, populate revolving essential topics of the day, and re-suggest learning paths.

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Learning Framework: After analyzing all types of online courses, from IDEO U to Duolingo, we built out our Adobe learning framework. First we defined key terms, then we connected them to their context through cases, next we immersed participants in scenario learning, and finally we maintained that knowledge through relevant refresher content on the home page or in their email.


Course Home: We brought that framework to life through a gamified course page that always let you know where you are in the learnining process.


Pitch: We pitched the idea through two watercolor blobs.

Plus, we created a Kayne West hype reel to bring it home.



The Outcome.

We won the pitch. Less than a year later, the work is in market.



Adobe Experience League


“To become an Experience Business, you need more than just great tools and online help. You need a partner. Experience League is the new enablement tool with guided learning…”

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