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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

The ‘I Love You, Acrobat’ Campaign

Finalist in Technology, Multi-Platform Partnership, Video Ad

Gold Honor in Branded Content

Entered in Brand Partnership, Comedy Video, Integrated Campaign, Launch Campaign, Multi-Platform Campaign


Drive new Adobe Acrobat subscriptions and traffic and click through (increase engaged users). As the primary location to drive subscriptions and product downloads, it was essential to build content engaging enough for the audiences to learn more on Moreover, web traffic allows the brand to further retarget engaged prospects. Supporting Adobe Acrobat growth and customer base is essential for the broader Adobe business' vitality. Seamless document workflows across every device and platform are more important than ever for productivity. Adobe Acrobat and PDFs continue to power Adobe's Document Cloud business and macro market trends for customers.  

Introduce Adobe Acrobat to new audiences (increased awareness) and change perception. Getting audiences to watch an ad for a business tool is a challenge – let alone getting them to engage with content on social media, and then further click through to a website. Typical business tool promotion is focused on features, but can feel dry and boring. Using an entertainment approach makes Acrobat stand out from our competitors, and aims to improve social sentiment. 

Strategy and Execution

While mapping out this campaign, Adobe’s main goal was to showcase how small businesses can utilize Adobe Acrobat as a tool to maximize their digital workflows. When investigating the issues with B2B marketing, it was clear that engagement was the area where campaigns lacked most.  Through research, we found that Entertainment & Media always generated the highest engagement levels. According to Harvard Business Review, “Entertainment companies are borrowing approaches from popular cultural moments to make their brands famous, using short-form storytelling, cinematic tricks, songs, and empathetic characters to win over and engage audiences.” Further, over 52% of entertainment brands use creators as their top social media marketing strategy. 

As we thought like an entertainment brand, we realized the first thing we needed to do was enlist a different type of headline influencer. They needed to be a small business owner to establish credibility among our target audiences, but they also had to be an entertainer at their core and someone we could collaborate with. With this in mind, the criteria pointed to the potential for us to engage actor, writer, and producer, Hasan Minhaj. As a comedian with several Netflix specials and serving as guest host of The Daily Show, Hasan had the “it factor” we were looking for to help reimagine the way we target professional audiences. Not only did Hasan check our entertainment box, but he is also a small business owner and an actual Adobe Acrobat customer who's cited the software as beneficial to turn ideas into projects for his production company, 186K Films. Making him the perfect collaborator for our unique approach.  

As a social-led campaign, we prioritized social early in concepting and production with the goal of capturing a mix of highly produced hero videos, cutdowns showcasing product use cases, and lo-fi social-first content with comedian Hasan Minhaj to promote upper funnel activity. Campaign content was rolled out on owned Acrobat social channels in a strategic cadence that told a cohesive story, leveraged Hasan's social reach to extend to new audiences, and was amplified by Adobe's broad social ecosystem. 

The central challenge was to showcase how small businesses and entrepreneurs can utilize Adobe Acrobat’s software as a tool to maximize their digital workflows and understand how editing and e-Signature capabilities, specifically, could aid their productivity. When taking a deeper dive into traditional software marketing campaigns, we found that most fail because they lack strategic depth and memorability.  

Generally, the elements that build brand recognition are a strong story arc, characters, soundtrack, emotion and persuasive techniques. B2B advertisements typically lack some, if not all of these. Knowing this, our challenge was to find a new, effective model for B2B influencer work – a model that would challenge the conventions of B2B and bring a new level of engagement with our audience. 


The collaboration with Hasan has generated record levels of engagement with our B2B audience. We have generated 5x the anticipated organic influencer performance. Ultimately, the goal of this campaign was not only entertaining audiences but driving a true business impact—something we were successful in accomplishing across every piece of this campaign. During the campaign period of June-August, Acrobat subscribers increased +7% during the same quarter year over year, resulting in a near 10% swing in value vs the previous quarter—remarkable performance during the disengaged summer months (Tron CRM). 

Social audiences responded positively to this campaign, driving over 29M+ engagements on social channels, with Acrobat fans and celebrity friends of Hasan extending the reach of this campaign and bringing the Acrobat brand to new audiences. This campaign drove benchmark-breaking website traffic as users clicked through to the landing page. KPIs were more than doubled through the campaign, with influencer performance driving 5x the anticipated performance.   

Finally, beyond the immediate campaign impact, audience exposure has led to massive opportunities within retargeting and nurture programs to drive future revenue. Further, unlike all previous B2B work, the campaign has received 99% positive feedback from our target audiences, Adobe also worked with a leading research team to understand campaign performance by directly measuring consumer response from brain activity. They said the hero film, "I Love You, Acrobat, was “one of the highest performing ads they’ve neurotested all year”. And our entertainment approach is set to be a permanent and enduring strategy for Acrobat. 


Video for The ‘I Love You, Acrobat’ Campaign

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