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Adobe Summit diary day 2: Purpose, creativity, technology

Creative and creativity are perhaps the most used words for any advertising or marketing forum but it is interesting to note how the meaning of the terms change when digital companies speak about it. On the second day of the Adobe Summit 2019, the company’s annual affair in Las Vegas, not only power CEO Microsoft’s Satya Nadella stressed on it but also actor and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon.

Creativity allows the ultimate differentiator in the conversation with consumers, and therein comes its significance. In the tech world, creativity is less about the big idea or even the craft in creating the message but more about empowering the creative community to bring unprecedented ideas to life. In the case of Adobe, it also means cutting down the grunt work, delegating that to the machine, and focusing quite literally on ‘creativity’.

On the mainstage, Satya Nadella and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen’s conversation began the day to a crowd waiting in anticipation to hear the two CEOs. Courtesy the increased partnership between Adobe and Microsoft, a large part of the conversation was more detailing of the initiatives and why these should matter to companies and businesses. But among the broad takeaways from the session, Nadella did highlight the role of purpose in a company’s DNA – “not just a set of words in strategy, product and all areas of the business” Nadella had said.

Witherspoon also touched on the importance of purpose as “customers are looking for companies that are deeply invested in giving back – whether it being central to their business strategy or more an outreach’. The actor, producer and entrepreneur also highlighted the role technology disruption in media platforms allowing for ‘interesting times’. “Women hear and understand their stories better today because we have the platforms to do so. They are supporting each other in solidarity and connecting in unexpected ways. These are changes for the better,” she said.

Another important message from the mainstage came from NFL quarterback Drew Brees who spoke on the principle of “leaving something better than when it was found”. This could be applied to any situation and Brees pointed out chances are that more the people followed this, more the world would change positively.

The Community Pavilion kept holding companies, networks and agencies present busy through the day. WPP pushed creativity in its presence. Its booth was dubbed WPP Creative Fuel and the changes seen in the likes of Wunderman Thompson – of building creativity on the foundation of data and technology – was central to its message.

Dentsu Aegis Network too was busy meeting its clients and non-clients further detailing the Adobe services that are impacting marketer’s businesses.

Publicis Sapient had a similar spread wherein agency officials were not only meeting with their own existing clients but also prospects from booth traffic. Typically the conversations ranged in three user journeys for want of a better word – the absolute starter: companies that are yet to adopt the solutions that tech firms such as Adobe a providing; companies with one-foot in: essentially those that have at least one Adobe product and are looking to understand what more can be done and finally the deep users: companies that already have around three to four Adobe products but are now looking to make these products work harder and in more efficient ways.

Day three of the Summit is packed with more marketing conversations. More on that later.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.