Adobe and its creative agency MRY are attempting to make Adobe's Behance platform cool among college students by developing once-in-a-lifetime experiences with well-known collaborators.
Most recently, the "Make it with Creative Cloud” campaign aligned with Marvel to invite young graphic artists to submit their best work.
Four international students will be selected to craft the first comic book created using Adobe Creative Cloud. Each student is tasked with a portion of the comic to showcase their unique style and interpretation of the popular Marvel superheroes.
Then, the limited-edition issue will be released in conjunction with the “Avengers Age of Ultron” theatrical film and will debut at San Diego's Comic-Con this summer.
Last month, borrowing from the movie "Almost Famous," MRY matched Adobe with Dreamville Records, home to the rapper J. Cole, to provide student Logan Koerner with an all-access pass to the rapper while on tour. Koerner spent a week on The Forrest Hills Drive tour across four cities as their videographer, while Adobe followed him on the tour to document his experience.
Under the same initiative, the project selected 15 artists to create the official tour poster for each tour stop as work-for-hire in that particular city.
"In all, this one partnership effort brought in a whole new audience of top-tier creative students with very varied skillsets," says Leo Leone, group creative director at MRY. "Doing so helped us show what really happens on a music tour, and take a deeper dive into the careers beyond the artists themselves. Again, helping us connect with a larger student audience, and their own career aspirations."
One important design consideration around each collaboration is that the entry requirements involve talent, not luck. For instance, Koerner's opportunity to document the Dreamville tour wasn't merely because he won a contest. Rather, he was selected from among 400 submissions of students' best journalism, photography, design, and filmmaking portfolios.
"None of these opportunities are 'contests,' says Leone. "It’s something we are very specific about in our positioning. Sometimes that language sneaks into partner social posts, but we ensure that students are never asked to submit spec-work. We leverage Creative Cloud’s Behance Network to get students to showcase their existing portfolios."
Although Abode has been actively targeting college students since 2013, executives say these campaigns are opportunities to speak to a wider range of students not entirely focused on a traditional creative career. To that end, Adobe and MRY interviewed the Dreamville’s Label president and Brand Strategist about their own, nontraditional “make it” stories -- helping them usher in new audiences to inspire, says Leone.
"We focused on the roots of the label beyond its main star, instead telling the story of Dreamville’s up-and-coming artists Bas, as well as the team behind the music, [including] Label president Ibrahim Hamad, creative director Adam Roy Rodney, brand strategist Derick Okolie."
Ultimately, the “Make it with Creative Cloud” campaign is designed to position Adobe as a facilitator of student ambition. Not only through their suite of products, but by providing unprecedented access to brands, career-making opportunities and advice from professional creatives they aspire to be.
"Each partnership helps evolve our story by helping us tap into, showcase and elevate student talent from around the world," says Leone.