Dentsu’s Content Symphony reinvents the Brand Hub

Adobe Stock / Дмитрий Посудин

By Simon Williams

Posted on 10-19-2020

Part of the dentsu group, dentsu international is a global marketing services group, with 47,000 employees serving 11,000 clients, spanning 145 countries. They also have one of the largest deployments of Adobe Creative Cloud, with over 12,000 users and as a “cloud first” organization, Creative Cloud has been at the center of efforts to standardize brand assets for clients — and is now powering The Content Symphony, dentsu’s ambitious and cutting-edge content delivery platform.

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Clients have long been challenged for more efficient and effective quality content solutions from content discovery to adaptation to distribution. The Content Symphony is a response to clients struggling with implementing global content at scale. The idea for The Content Symphony is based on the concept of theme and variation. This is what global clients are crying out for — the galvanizing nature of a central platform idea (the theme) with the ability to execute for the myriad needs of local markets, segments and business units (variation). What dentsu’s created is a nimble network of global studios, supported by a next-generation Content Symphony platform, to give clients a solution that is more efficient… but also more creatively effective. The Content Symphony uses a connected global studio network powered by AI and linked sharing platforms to provide more content production visibility, agility, and control. As an integrated, creative production network, The Content Symphony can ensure speed and scale for clients. In addition, the internal marketplace model enables competitive bidding for content, ensuring dentsu clients are provided with the best price for their marketing needs.

For James Thomas, dentsu international’s director VP of creative technology, Adobe Creative Cloud is at the heart of The Content Symphony and deploying CC quickly is key to ensuring creatives and marketers have access to the content and assets that bring brands to life, in a consistent way: “With Creative Cloud, we can scale up to a workforce of 20,000 overnight: there’s no barrier to us onboarding huge armies of creatives.”

CC Libraries: The starting point

CC Libraries lets anyone in the dentsu Creative Cloud ecosystem collect design assets from various desktop and mobile apps; and organize these design assets by brand, project, asset or type. Creativity is a team sport and Creative Cloud Libraries are shared with active collaborators, at clients or satellite dentsu offices, so that the most up-to-date shared assets inform all designs, across formats and channels.

Sabrina Rodriguez, global head of digital marketing at dentsu international, was on point to drive consistency across the group’s matrix of agencies, including making sure the dentsu brand itself spoke with a single, coherent voice when it came to presenting themselves online or in pitches. “We’re a very complex business and there was a lot of fragmentation in the colors that were being used, different types of logos, varying font treatments, and no consistency in imagery.”

One big issue that Sabrina identified was the use of stock photography, which is of course a mainstay for creative teams who need to push out large quantities of content. There was a danger that a stock asset, licensed in one market, might be shared by a creative team and deployed in a jurisdiction where it was not paid for. Standardizing on Adobe Stock removed that risk and delivering globally approved Adobe Stock assets, via Creative Cloud Libraries, ensured that local teams were working with a shared image vernacular that drove brand consistency. Within the first six months of deployment of the Global DAN Brand Library, 5,000 unique users had accessed the library.

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Hear more about how Dentsu leverages Creative Cloud Libraries to manage a cohesive visual identity across 145 markets in Sabrina’s Adobe MAX session now on demand.

A core CC strength: Get along with everybody

Adobe Creative Cloud has always played well with others and one crucial capability for dentsu is CC’s deep integration with Microsoft Office. Creative Cloud Libraries are accessible from within Office apps and, once again, this helps ensure brand consistency for marketing teams delivering content, such as PowerPoint presentations. Sabrina’s team created a specific CC Library for marketing teams, giving them easy access to a set of core assets they can use in presentations and social media campaigns.

Similarly, to equip marketers with simplified creative tools that are more suited to their roles, dentsu deployed Adobe Rush to 150 marketers around the globe. Introduced in 2018, Rush enables marketers to create pro-quality video on mobile devices and share from the app to social channels like YouTube, Facebook, and lnstagram.

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James’ London-based tech team are close collaborators with Adobe development groups around the globe. The sheer size of dentsu’s Creative Cloud deployment has made the company a key contributor to Adobe product plans and future capabilities. They are early testers of Adobe products, as they enter the alpha and beta stages, and have pushed for new features from the engineering teams.

“We’re amazed by the ambition of the dentsu technology team,” says Vijay Vachani, senior director of product management, Creative Cloud. “They have pushed Creative Cloud hard in terms of its underlying infrastructure capabilities and being first movers, stress-testing new technologies. For example, they’ve tapped into our Sensei and creative application APIs and product extensibility, to quickly surface assets and intelligently process and automate content production workflows.”

The Content Symphony tunes up

It is this close collaboration with Adobe that has helped dentsu begin to roll out their emerging Content Symphony Platform. It’s a platform that showcases, once again, Adobe technology working well with third parties, this time Workfront — as the project management front-end. Also, the platform includes Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a way to get personalized content experiences into market faster.

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In this content pipeline example, a project is set up in Workfront and, via integration, storage is automatically created in CC Enterprise Storage, pulling meta-data, user access information and other project data for the assets. Brand Identity and Governance is created, managed and shared in CC Libraries. The platform can ingest content from photoshoots, leveraging Adobe Sensei AI and Creative Cloud APIs to accelerate workflows by processing time-consuming, repetitive tasks like Auto Select Object, Remove Background, add new background, Intelligent crop, Auto Tone and Tagging. Creatives are now free to create, not spend hours tweaking imagery in Adobe Photoshop.

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In this workflow example, content and experiences are created with Adobe XD, leveraging Design System capabilities and Adobe Dimension for the delivery of immersive AR/VR and product visualization campaign elements. Adobe services, such as Fonts and Stock augment the creative process with typography and stock asset options that include 3D objects, illustrations, textures, Motion Graphics Templates, video, as well as photography. Leveraging CC Enterprise Automation for custom pipelines, local teams can create their own version of the asset, within the brand guidelines, and change elements such the background, text, layout and size of the piece. Using the built-in review tools in XD, assets can be reviewed and approved in real time with clients. Once signed off, the assets are pushed into AEM via Workfront and Asset Link integrations for multi-channel publishing.

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With The Content Symphony now making a noise with clients, James sees only the upside to its impact on dentsu business: “Our work with Adobe, Workfront and other third parties is a reimagining of content and asset production workflows, and it is a huge differentiator for our networked agencies as they pitch for new business. We like to say it was built by creatives, for creatives with the aim of delivering a content development and deployment platform that is efficient, intelligent, connected and secure.”

Topics: Creativity, Artificial Intelligence, Customer Stories, Creative Inspiration & Trends

Products: Creative Cloud, Photoshop, Premiere Rush, XD,