Adobe Highlights AI-Powered Creativity And Content Supply Chain At Adobe MAX

By Melody Brue, Patrick Moorhead - November 27, 2023

Adobe held Adobe MAX 2023, which it bills as the world’s largest creativity conference, a couple of weeks ago. At the event, Adobe showed several generative AI innovations. Not just announcements of AI to come but real, on-stage demos of some of the more than 100 new AI features and updates across Adobe’s flagship Creative Cloud applications. In an era where nearly every conference keynote features upcoming AI announcements, it was refreshing to see the many AI-for-creativity features that are currently generally available and are empowering creatives from individual solopreneur artists to global brands.

Let’s dive into what Adobe showcased at Adobe MAX and how the company is working to bring simplicity and sophistication to the content supply chain. We’ll examine the increasing importance of the content supply chain and how Adobe seeks to manage it with GenStudio, an end-to-end solution for creating and activating content to streamline and enhance the content creation process.

What Is A Content Supply Chain?

A content supply chain encompasses all the processes and resources needed to plan, create, produce, deliver and measure the effectiveness of content. Adobe predicts that content generation will grow 500% over the next two years as companies offer personalized marketing campaigns across channels. Consumers demand high-quality experiences, while brands need to optimize for speed. With increasing media outlets and formats, this means that content needs are exploding within the enterprise.

Given these realities, brands must rethink their content creation and delivery approach to meet the increasing demand for personalized, meaningful content. This is where the content supply chain comes in.

“Managing a vast array of tailored content using tools like email and spreadsheets places immense pressure on creatives and marketers,” Amit Ahuja, senior vice president of platform and products for the digital experience business at Adobe, told me. “These manual processes slow progress, waste time and hinder dynamic content delivery, resulting in bottlenecks for product launches and experiences. As an industry, we need to modernize and streamline our content supply chain to break free from this cycle,” he added.

While I was at Adobe MAX, I spoke with Matthew Purdon, senior director for product management in Adobe’s digital media business, for a Moor Insights & Strategy Insider Podcast. He echoed the need for brands to produce content at scale, plus the economic impact of streamlining the process. “I think a lot of it has to do with the costs,” he said. “Large enterprises could be spending anywhere between $1 to $500 million just on content creation.”

“And think about where that cost is coming from,” Purdon added. “People are recreating content because they don’t have access or don’t know where that content is created. So if you’re looking to reduce cost, a 10 to 20% cost reduction on that becomes a significant amount of savings that can improve the bottom line of your company.”

Adobe GenStudio solutions and applications

Enter Adobe GenStudio

As previously mentioned, Adobe GenStudio is a platform that integrates various stages of content creation, from brainstorming ideas to production and activation. GenStudio uses generative AI (hence the Gen in the name) and automation to speed up the creation of on-brand content to match the pace of creative thinking and effectively deliver it across various channels.

GenStudio brings together Creative Cloud, Adobe Express, Adobe Firefly and Adobe Experience Cloud into one solution. This combination of planning, editing, text-to-image design, activation and measurement tools should optimize and improve businesses’ content creation and delivery processes to address the challenges that brands face in managing their content supply chains.

AI-Powered Creativity With MAXimum Control

One of the standout aspects I discovered at Adobe MAX was the flexibility Adobe offers for incorporating AI into creative workflows. Users can choose the extent to which they want AI involved in their creative process, from simple ideation to full automation, all while enhancing collaboration between creatives and marketers.

Adobe Express, an all-in-one creativity app facilitating collaboration between “citizen creatives” and professional creatives, has been enriched with advanced AI features such as generative fill, text-to-template and translation capabilities. This allows marketers to swiftly personalize and adapt brand-approved assets, while distributed teams can fine-tune content for various channels, audiences and locations. This streamlined approach accelerates content creation and delivery while maintaining brand standards and governance.

Other notable AI enhancements within the Creative Cloud ecosystem include generative fill in Photoshop, Firefly AI-powered workflows in Illustrator and Adobe Express and expanded AI capabilities in Lightroom to give users greater control and flexibility.

Premiere Pro and After Effects now also include AI-powered, text-based video editing, leveraging Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI and machine learning platform. This feature simplifies video editing by analyzing and transcribing clips, enabling users to edit videos based on transcriptions. This improves audio and video alignment without the need for intricate cutting and splicing.

Comparison of Adobe Firefly 1 (left) and Firefly 2 (right)

The Firefly Family Of Models

Adobe also introduced three new models in its Firefly family of creative generative AI models, which are designed for generating content that’s safe for commercial use. I originally wrote about Firefly when it was introduced at Adobe Summit in March of this year. At Adobe MAX, Adobe introduced a more advanced version (Firefly 2), along with Adobe Firefly Vector Model and Adobe Firefly Design Model.

Firefly Vector Model is the first-ever generative AI model specifically crafted for vector graphics. It can generate commercial-ready designs and illustrations from a text prompt and is integrated into Adobe Illustrator workflows. Firefly Design Model, integrated into Adobe Express, enables users to generate templates for social media posts, flyers, posters and more by inputting text descriptions. This model utilizes Adobe Stock resources alongside Firefly’s image-generation capabilities to produce tailored templates.

Responsible AI

Responsible AI is top-of-mind for any company deploying AI tools, but the stakes are particularly high for Adobe. The company recognizes the potential harm that could be caused by misleading video or images, and it has gone to considerable lengths to ensure that content produced using GAI is safe for commercial use.

Adobe has consistently shown its commitment to transparency in AI-generated content with Content Credentials, a digital “nutrition label” attached to AI-generated assets. This digital label showcases key information such as the creator’s name, date, edits and tools used.

Wrapping Up

With its emphasis on the role of AI in redefining creative workflows and enterprise content supply chains, this year’s Adobe MAX seemed to signal a new era of creativity for Adobe and its customers. The event brought together creatives, marketing pros and industry experts to share ideas and stories, experience new innovations and learn—not just from Adobe but from one another.

I believe that Adobe is making important innovations to empower creators and marketers worldwide, and Adobe customers said the same in my conversations at MAX. (If you missed Adobe MAX, the company is holding a post-event wrap-up webinar.) As a former CMO, I see tremendous power in AI to supercharge creative workflows and the content supply chain, and it was nice to see some of that power in action at Adobe MAX.

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Mel Brue is vice president and principal analyst covering modern work and financial services. Mel has more than 25 years of real tech industry experience in marketing, business development, and communications across various disciplines, both in-house and at agencies, with companies ranging from start-ups to global brands. She has built a unique specialty working in technology and highly regulated spaces, such as mobile payments and finance, gaming, automotive, wine and spirits, and mobile content, ensuring initiatives address the needs of customers, employees, lobbyists and legislators, as well as shareholders. 

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.