What brand better to reinvent than Adobe Flash? Once considered a web development staple, it is now said by many — most notably Steve Jobs — to be “dead.” And Adobe’s November, 2011, announcement that it was discontinuing Flash Player on mobile browsers appeared to be one more nail in the coffin. But was it?
If the future of the digital experience lies on mobile devices through mobile apps, Flash is actually leading the charge by moving beyond the browser and turning its focus to mobile app development, where it will be highly competitive due to its cross-platform compatibility — a major advantage for developers.
A “beyond-browser” strategy led to a new brand promise: “Flash revolutionized the Internet on the desktop, and now it’s revolutionizing it again on mobile devices by enabling innovators to reach beyond what browsers can do through a comprehensive platform for web and app development. Flash — a rich legacy, a mobile future.”
Next emerged the new big brand idea: “Experience Everywhere” — a double entendre referring, on one hand, to Flash’s maturity (rich legacy) and on the other hand, to the ubiquity of digital experiences from mobile apps.
For the logo redesign, leveraging the brand equity of the Adobe visual identity system was important to keep Flash rooted in the Adobe family. The new logo makes visual reference to the letter “A” for Adobe and “F” for Flash, which symbolizes that Flash is still very much embedded in the Adobe family. The white squares that comprise the arrow graphic are representative of Adobe Flash Platform’s comprehensive toolset as well as the screens of all the different devices that exist today. These two characteristics illustrate “Experience Everywhere.” The arrow graphic is pointing towards viewer (and slightly upwards), which conveys “leading the charge” and “moving beyond browsers.” This is reinforced by the graphic breaking the frame.
The final stage of this brand reinvention was the reveal — presenting Flash’s new position to the world. And what better gateway than SXSW? Flash sponsoring and developing the official SXSW app was a perfect way to demonstrate Flash’s mobile capabilities to highly influential members of the development community.
The app provides SXSW attendees with the standard, useful, on-location functions as well as auxiliary functionality that delivers on “Experience Everywhere.” The app offers remote streaming of the keynotes to those who are unable to attend SXSW. And built-in question submission and up-voting allows remote viewers and attendees to interact. The app literally allows SXSW to be experienced everywhere though the use of Flash and it puts a Flash mobile app in the hands of thousands of influencers.
My role: Strategy, UX, Logo Design