A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Press Release….or How I Learned to Love Adobe Voice

AdobeVoice logo

Today Adobe Voice was launched, a new free “storytelling” app for iPad. The press release can be seen here.

We, here in the propaganda department of Adobe, had a chance to play with an early version. And this came about in an unusual way. As our press release for Adobe Voice went up the approval chain, it reached our CEO, Shantanu Narayen. Shantanu looked at the PR and said to me, “Where’s the Voice version of the press release?” Two things occurred to me at this point:

1.     Why hadn’t I thought of that?

2.     I guess that’s why Shantanu is CEO.

Anyhow, suitably chastised I got on the pre-release program, downloaded the app to my iPad and boldly set out to create my first “Voice Video”.  It was a revelation and 15 minutes later I’d created a pretty polished piece that supported the announcement. The app is very easy to use and there’s a touch of whimsy in the way you search for and select icons and music. It was a ton of fun.

On a way to a meeting with my boss that afternoon I bumped into Adobe’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ann Lewnes, in the coffee room. I showed her my creation on my iPad. She thought it was great but then said: “Get Alex Amado to do the voiceover”. Alex is Adobe’s creativemeister, working on the look and feel of the marketing campaigns that support Adobe products. He also moonlights, on many Adobe official videos, as our voiceover man. I was slightly taken aback, what was possibly wrong with my voice?

I went home and showed my wife and our 15 year-old son, Connor, my Voice Video. His first reaction: “Dad, you sound ridiculously Scottish…..were you hamming it up?” So now it all made sense. Even after 17 years in California, when confronted with talking into a microphone, I had defaulted into Rob Roy McGregor. Connor then whisked the iPad out of my hands and started to create his first Voice Video in support of a high school book report.

Back at Adobe’s San Jose HQ the next day, Alex sent Ann a new version of the press release Voice Video, using a preposterous faux-Scottish accent that halfway through seemed to morph into a slightly raddled 18th century Dubliner. This caused much hilarity and sharing internally.

So why do I tell you all this? Adobe Voice seems to be one of those apps that really does engage, spark conversations, and prompt viral sharing. Everybody who sees a Voice Video immediately wants to access the app and try it for themselves. So here’s Alex’s finished Video….and I do have to admit it’s better than mine.

This is just the first version of Adobe Voice and the team is looking forward to hearing your feedback and seeing where the feature set should go. Myself, I’ve already requested the Scottish Accent Dampening Algorithm, which I’m sure our busy and talented audio engineers are hard at work on! Download the app here.